New Zealand’s largest medicinal cannabis company, Helius Therapeutics Limited (Helius), has entered into a supply agreement with one of the world’s leading GMP-certified cannabinoid wholesalers, MediPharm Labs Australia Pty (“MediPharm Labs Australia”), a subsidiary of MediPharm Labs Corp., to supply a New Zealand-exclusive selection of pharmaceutical-quality (GMP certified) medicinal cannabis materials to Helius.
New Zealand’s Medicinal Cannabis Scheme took effect on 1 April, allowing the industry to move towards commercialisation and to make cannabis-based medicines more accessible to thousands of patients in need. However, Covid-19 has created some delays, particularly as all cannabis facility construction was suspended during lockdown.
Helius says it’s thrilled to be partnering with MediPharm Labs Australia, helping to ensure many suffering Kiwis seeking relief under the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme, are not impacted by Covid-19 related hold-ups.
Chief Executive of Helius Therapeutics, Paul Manning, says this initiative to import THC and CBD cannabis materials from Australia and Canada allows his company to make up lost time before local production facilities come online.
“Our $25m medical cannabis facility in East Auckland is due to be completed later this year. This supply agreement with MediPharm Labs Australia now accelerates our plans to improve the quality of life of thousands of Kiwis. It means Helius can be in a position to serve patients, through healthcare professionals, sooner than anticipated,” he says.
Mr. Manning says the agreement will also allow them to remain ahead of the curve as Helius expands its offerings in the future to meet evolving patient needs.
“With its global expertise, extensive supply chain, MediPharm is very well-positioned to help us meet early local demand and the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) quality standards set out by New Zealand regulators,” he says.
The supply agreement, becomes effective upon confirmation from Medsafe that all applicable New Zealand quality and regulatory standards are met.
“We are excited to be working with Helius who are true industry leaders in medicinal cannabis production, distribution and clinical research. Helius is committed to patients across New Zealand,” says Warren Everitt, Chief Executive Officer, MediPharm Labs Australia.
Local research and cultivation of medicinal cannabis at Helius’ Auckland facility commenced in 2019. The company was among the first to be licensed to cultivate cannabis in New Zealand. Helius also holds a License to Deal and is on track to commence local medicines manufacturing in 2020.