New Zealand's largest integrated cannabis medicines company
Helius Therapeutics exists to unlock the extraordinary therapeutic potential of cannabis to improve quality of life. We have a bold vision – to become a world leader in the research, development and distribution of next-generation cannabinoid medicines.
Our scientists are innovating to create the world’s safest and most efficacious cannabis products in a variety of therapy areas. Future targets will extend beyond symptom relief into disease modification, particularly in the treatment of inflammatory and neurodegenerative conditions.
Innovating to improve accessibility.
Medical cannabis represents a substantial social and economic opportunity in New Zealand. In 2016, the Ministry of Health estimated that 235,000 patients are already using cannabis for medicinal purposes. That’s 1 in 20 people.
In April 2020, New Zealand enacted the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme, paving the way for commercial cultivation, research, manufacture and export of cannabinoid-based medicines. The Scheme aims improve the accessibility of these natural therapeutics, for all patients who may benefit.
New Zealand has a world-class, highly-collaborative scientific community. Government offers a range of favourable funding programs and clinical trials of cannabinoid medicines can be undertaken cost effectively. This makes the country an ideal innovation hub for the Asia-Pacific region.
A new frontier of care.
Helius is 100% New Zealand owned. We have raised $48m in capital between 2018-2021. The global medical cannabis market is expected to grow to $55.8 billion by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.1%.
Backed by a growing body of scientific research, ever more progressive laws, and enthusiastic public opinion, cannabis is earning the reputation it deserves as a ground-breaking health solution in the modern world.
We believe medicinal cannabis will soon be considered a mainstream product, used by mainstream people. Prohibition is ending, and as it does, Helius will lead the industry through this new frontier of care.
Based in Auckland, New Zealand, Helius Therapeutics has grown into the country's largest and most advanced cannabis medicines producer.
Our 8,800sqm integrated facility enables indoor controlled cultivation, analytics, research, manufacturing, logistics, management and bonded distribution – all under one roof.
Certified New Zealand Grown biomass is extracted and manufactured on-site, under (EU)GMP-certified conditions for domestic, export and wholesale markets.
As a biotechnology company, we are improving quality of life though the research and development of natural cannabis compounds, novel formulae and delivery systems.
Our strategy will unlock the global potential of medical-grade cannabis therapeutics, developed from New Zealand. With a clear purpose, talented team and modern resources, we aspire to become a world leader in cannabis research, formulation, marketing and distribution.
Controlling the majority of our supply chain, Helius leverages vertical integration, from plant to patient. Operations connect cultivar breeding to yield optimisation; precision extraction of high-value cannabinoids, next generation medicine development, (EU)GMP production, professional partnerships and a market-leading patient experience. Helius will define a new standard for trusted, accessible and efficacious cannabis products.
Helius is a vertically integrated medicines producer, from plant breeding and cultivation, to extraction, analytical testing and manufacturing.
Helius holds a commercial Medicinal Cannabis Licence from New Zealand's Medicinal Cannabis Agency.
We are approved to grow over forty cannabis cultivars, including a range of high-CBD, high-THC, balanced and rare genetics – sourced from New Zealand and leading international breeders.
Our medicinal cannabis is processed under pharmaceutical conditions as (EU)GMP-certified extracts, administered through a variety of delivery methods.
Our scientists have developed formulations and delivery mechanisms that allow for consistent and measured dosing of medicinal cannabis.
Every preparation is tested for potency, purity and consistency. Each therapeutic solution is made with comprehensive analysis, compliant with (EU)GMP, including stability profiles, CoAs and drug master files.
Helius' facilities and capabilities in New Zealand include:
Advanced cannabis cultivar breeding programme
Nursery and tissue culture propagation
Exclusive UV plant treatment collaboration with BioLumic
Quarantine facility for onboarding new genetics
(EU)GMP CO2 and cryo-ethanol extraction facility
(EU)GMP purification laboratory
(EU)GMP analytics laboratory
(EU)GMP stability testing facilities
(EU)GMP medicines manufacturing facilities
(EU)GMP packing and secure storage facilities
(EU)GMP contract manufacturing and logistics services
Next-generation cannabinoid R&D centre
Domestic and export distribution network
Customer centre and medicines monitoring service
GCP clinical research programme
Professional education and prescribing portal, mcinfo.com
Animal health and veterinary medicines business, Hale
Please note: (EU)GMP and New Zealand GMP are mutually recognised.
Our medicines are produced in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). This ensures all Helius Therapeutics products are consistent, safe and reliable.
This MRA allows EU authorities and their regulatory counterparts in New Zealand to:
Rely on each other's GMP inspections;
Waive batch testing of products on entry into their respective territories;
Share information on inspections and quality.
Helius products are tested for microbiological purity, metals and mycotoxins. Analytical testing for cannabinoid concentration helps ensure Helius patients receive consistent, pharmaceutical grade medicines with accurate ingredient labelling. Stability testing provides a dependable shelf life for every product we manufacture.
Our GMP release process ensures the strictest quality and safety specifications are met.
Helius products are traceable from the mother plant material to the client package, and they are assigned identification numbers to be used in the unlikely event of a recall.
Starting material and formulated products are manufactured in a controlled, GMP compliant environment to ensure consistency of each batch.
Helius is committed to an ongoing program of advanced research, supporting the development of safe, effective medicinal cannabis products.
Our research into genetics, high-yielding chemotypes, new and novel delivery systems, along with clinical trials, all play their part in developing our leading cannabis products.
New Zealand-grown cannabis has vast therapeutic potential. It’s the world’s most pharmacologically active plant, containing hundreds of beneficial compounds, including cannabinoids and terpenes. The efficacy of cannabinoids in treating a variety of both acute and chronic conditions is an area of medicine that demands thorough study.
As consumer demand shifts towards nutraceuticals, and cannabis reform sweeps across the world, New Zealand is set to become the Asian-Pacific cannabis innovation hub. From here, scientists in the Helius R&D team will thoroughly study the plant and its derivatives.
Introducing a new era of pet health.
Many of the trends that exist in human wellness, we also see mirrored in pet care. As with humans, an interest in the prevention of illness has seen as increase in demand for natural health products, including dietary supplements.
With this in mind, Helius Therapeutics is proud to be the majority shareholder in Hale Animal Health – a highly innovative business developing veterinary medicines and natural health supplements for pets.
Hale is committed to helping animals of all ages live full, healthy lives. The company’s scientifically formulated range
of pet supplements are crafted from premium ingredients that have been proven to be effective and safe.
Introduced to the market in 2020, these products are already proving popular with discerning pet owners across New Zealand. Based at the Helius facility, Hale is leading the way in developing some of the world’s first cannabinoid medicines for companion animals, with clinical trials commencing soon.
Chief Executive Officer
Carmen brings over 15 years’ experience in the pharmaceuticals and animal health industries. She holds a Masters Degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Canterbury. She spent 10 years with Novartis Pharmaceuticals and has held both site and global roles across operations, engineering and operational excellence. Previous General Manager of Siegfried Malta, Carmen has been consulting for 6 years before joining Helius Therapeutics as COO in 2020. She was appointed CEO in 2021.
Chief Financial Officer
Mark joined Helius with more than 20 years’ experience as senior commercial executive with FMCG and B2B experience in New Zealand, Australia, Asia, China, Africa and Latin America. He was previously General Manager Commercial, Global Consumer at Fonterra. Mark’s diverse background spans dairy, logistics, government, telecommunications and international trading companies.
Mary Alice Simon
Chief Operating Officer
Mary Alice was appointed COO at Helius in 2021 following 10+ years’ experience in the pharmaceuticals and healthcare industries. She was formerly the Operations Manager of API, New Zealand. Her expertise includes pharmaceutics, GxP, biotechnology, lean implementation, and CAPA. Mary Alice holds an MBA from the University of Maine and a Master’s Degree in Microbiology and Undergraduate in Biochemistry from Virginia Tech.
Dr Jim Polston
Chief Science Officer
Jim earned his PhD in Biomedical Sciences studying in the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics. he also holds an Advanced Degree in Biomedical Ethics from the Alden March Bioethics Institute. He brings deep experience in cannabinoid science, unmatched in the New Zealand industry. Jim previously led R&D, formulation and extraction at Trulieve, one of the largest medicinal cannabis manufacturers in the United States of America.
Chief Quality Officer
Bruce has over 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceuticals industry in United States and New Zealand. He previously worked on vaccines to prevent pneumonia and on approving products used in human clinical trials. Before joining Helius, he was the Global Head of Quality for Argenta. Bruce’s vast experience in quality assurance includes management of product safety and efficacy, and compliance with international GMP regulations.
Chief Commercial Officer
Mark has in excess of 25 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical and animal health industries across Australia, United States and New Zealand. His broad sector experience includes sales, marketing, business development, strategic planning and executive leadership roles. Mark had been consulting in New Zealand’s medicinal cannabis sector since 2018 and joined Helius as Chief Commercial Officer earlier this year.
What's in a name?
As the cannabis industry moves out of the shadows, it is establishing itself among the most highly regulated business environments in the world, on par with financial services and healthcare in terms of depth and complexity within the regulatory framework.
The Helius brand is designed to reflect our high professional standards as a world-class therapeutics producer. Our brand helps to differentiate us from traditional pharmaceuticals companies. This identity reflects our quality, modernity, innovation, trust and professionalism
In Greek mythology, Helius was the titan god of the sun; a guardian of oaths, and the god of sight. The name, Helius, reflects our three core values; harnessing the power of nature (the sun), delivering results for our people, our patients and society as a whole (the oaths), and relentless innovation (the sight).