Recruitment open: Canada’s first cannabis-specialized CRO launches in Quebec

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/DerwoodPhotography)
(Image: Getty/DerwoodPhotography)
Santé Cannabis has expanded its clinic and resource center to become Canada’s first cannabis-specialized CRO.

The redefined, Quebec-based firm now offers clinical research services to the pharmaceutical, biotech, and cannabis industries to help advance the development of cannabis and cannabinoid products.

While the launch comes just weeks after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved​ its first cannabis-derived product, GW Pharmaceutical’s Epidiolex, Sante Cannabis’ president Erin Prosk told us Canada’s medical marijuana laws make it a more attractive location for the investigation and development of cannabinoid-based drugs.

“The cannabis laws we have in Canada make this country very advantageous to do this type of research, because we have a very well regulated medical cannabis programme.

“As a result, licensed medical marijuana producers are able to produce that product, and then work with pharmaceutical companies to provide cannabis that can be extracted or developed into a drug,” ​she told us.

According to Prosk, the CRO has observed interest from international companies, including US and European firms, looking to advance product development abroad.

“Pharma research is a long-term game, so a country may be five or 10 years away from launching a product, and there is research they can do in Canada while waiting for their own regulatory framework to catch up,” ​she told us.

“These companies [showing interest] are looking to invest in that future,” ​she added.

Recruitment now open

Santé Cannabis is recruiting patients in two clinical trials sponsored by Tetra Bio-Pharma, a company focused on the research and development of cannabinoid-based drugs and natural health products.

“We have other trials in varying levels of approval by Health Canada. One will compare a cannabis product against  Fentanyl that will be launching this fall, after we receive approval from Health Canada,” ​Prosk told us.

“We are also offering the service to other sponsors, including to pharma, biotech and the cannabis industry,” ​she added.


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