Canada-based FSD Pharma has signed a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) with algae technology company Solarvest BioEnergy for the development of pharma-grade cannabinoids from algae.
The partnership will leverage Solarvest’s algal-based flexible production platform designed to produce health products.
FSD Pharma is also planning to enter a definitive agreement, under which Solarvest will use its algal expression technology to develop pharma-grade cannabinoids.
According to the agreement, the partners will also make investments into each other. It also provides FSD Pharma with an exclusive licence over a subset of Project cannabinoids.
In addition, Solarvest will grant select royalty rights to all other project cannabinoids to FSD Pharma.
The partners will devise a budget plan and determine timelines to carry out the research. They will also form a joint scientific review committee to monitor the project’s progress.
After Solarvest develops a proof-of-concept for pharma-grade cannabinoids, it will provide an exclusive, worldwide licence for FSD Pharma to use the products for generating prescription drugs to treat central nervous system diseases.
FSD Pharma president and founder Zeeshan Saeed said: “We have been impressed by Solarvest’s management knowledge and operations and believe that future commercial production of cannabinoids using their algal-based production platform combined with our proposed investment in Solarvest have the potential to create significant value for our shareholders.”
The collaboration is part of FSD Pharma’s synthetic cannabinoid R&D and production efforts to offer alternative treatments for central nervous system disorders, sleep diseases and skin conditions.
Use of cannabis for medical purposes is emerging across the pharmaceutical industry globally. In Canada, Novartis subsidiary Sandoz became the first company to enter the field through its partnership with medical cannabis producer Tilray in June last year.
The UK made medical cannabis legal in October. The change to the law enables expert doctors in the country to legally prescribe cannabis-based medicines to certain patients.
This development was followed by New Zealand’s introduction of an amendment in December, seeking to allow terminally ill patients to possess and use cannabis.