CB2 Insights CEO: CROs Will Lead the Way in Medical Cannabis
CB2 Insights CEO Prad Sekar joined the Investing News Network to talk about big pharma’s role in medical cannabis and product development.
CB2 Insights (CSE:CBII,OTCQB:CBIIF) CEO Prad Sekar believes that the medical cannabis industry is moving towards the use of contract research organizations (CROs) for validating product health claims.
CROs are third-party organizations that help drug manufacturers take a product from formulation to commercialization. According to Sekar, CROs provide several benefits to medical cannabis companies looking to meet US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada standards. These organizations can conduct clinical trials faster, they’re scalable and they are more effective when compared to pharmaceutical companies that use their own in-house services.
Sekar believes that South America will be a hub for medical cannabis testing, which has sparked CB2 Insights’ recent move into Colombia and the Latin American cannabis market. According to Sekar, the country is establishing patient databases, technology and CRO services. With the company’s three primary divisions, CB2 Insights is looking to become a leader in this space.
CB2 Insights’ three divisions span clinical operation, technology, analytics and clinical research. Through its clinical operations, the company has established one of the largest networks of medical centers in the US. The network is comprised of 35 clinics in 14 states that serve 100,000 active patients annually, providing a large data pool that is necessary for conducting drug development research. CB2 Insights is also a full-service CRO that can conduct preclinical trials, trial research and post closeouts.
Below is a transcript of our interview with CB2 Insights CEO Prad Sekar. It has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Investing News Network: What is your name, company and ticker symbol?
CB2 Insights CEO Prad Sekar: My name is Prad Sekar. I’m the CEO of CB2 Insights, trading on the CSE under the ticker symbol CBII.
INN: Please give our investor audience an overview of CB2 Insights and some of its recent activities.
PS: CB2 Insights is a research technology platform specializing in the medical cannabis sector. Our goal is to bring mainstream cannabis into traditional healthcare, and we operate under three primary divisions. Our first division is clinical operations, where we own and operate one of the largest networks of medical centers in the US that specialize in medical cannabis evaluations. We have 35 clinics in over 14 states and serve 100,000 active patients annually.
Our second platform is technology and analytics. We operate one of the industry’s only proprietary clinical trial management software systems. The software allows researchers and organizations to capture proper data through clinical trial methodologies while also amassing over 500,000 patient interactions through clinically validated outcomes. We can use this data in new drug and research development as well as post-marketing product advocacy.
The third aspect of our business is clinical research. We are a full-service CRO that conducts pre-clinical trials, trial research and post closeouts. We assist drug manufacturers and research organizations with clinical trials in the medical cannabis industry.
INN: You’ve made several recent announcements about your expansion into the UK and Colombia over the past several months. What are you seeing in the international market that you seem to be seizing on at the moment?
PS: The European market is a great opportunity for us, as well as the South American markets, especially as we expand into the area for the medical cannabis-focused infrastructure. We’re talking prescriptive markets where patients are prescribed specific doses of a particular product. From a medical perspective, we’re seeing a single indication formulated medication being implemented through traditional pharmacy protocols. From a research perspective, it makes it easier to understand evidence-based outcomes.
The Colombian market is exciting for us because we think it will be the future of medical cannabis research and development. The market is establishing a research hub as patient databases, technology and CRO services are developed. This enables CB2 Insights to be a leader in bringing new drugs to the market.
INN: We’ve heard you discuss this notion of a CRO being needed within medical cannabis. Can you explain what a CRO is for our audience?
PS: In the past decade, contract research organizations have emerged. Big pharma services are being implemented in third-party organizations that specialize in helping drug manufacturers take a product from formulation to commercialization. This is your typical FDA and Health Canada approved cycles of preclinical trials, Phase 1 to Phase 4 studies and post-efficacy surveillance data reporting. These services succeed because they can conduct clinical trials faster, and they are scalable and more effective when compared to pharma companies that use their own in-house services.
Outside of academic organizations, companies such as IQvia (NYSE:IQV), MedPace and PRA Health Sciences (NASDAQ:PRAH) have built multi-billion-dollar market caps on the back of this opportunity. We see a direct parallel for this in medical cannabis and believe that licensed producers will require similar services.
INN: We’ve seen the US FDA start to crack down on large licensed producers and CBD manufacturers for claiming health benefits that haven’t been substantiated through traditional scientific evidence. How is CB2 able to help in these initiatives?
PS: This is an evolution of the industry where the development of medication in the cannabis sector was based on creating medical cannabis products and selling them through dispensaries in the US market. We’re now starting to see governments step in to bridge the gap that researchers and drug manufacturers haven’t invested their energies towards, such as proper research and post-marketing efficacy data. CB2 Insights believes that this is an opportunity for drug manufacturers to keep their products on the shelves while also solving the efficacy problem with a simple prescriptive method.
INN: What can investors expect from CB2 Insights in the near term as you continue to form these research partnerships around the world?
PS: We’re starting to see more work in evidence-based outcomes entering the market as businesses invest in the infrastructure and people. We are building a solid pipeline of potential customers globally that see the value in conducting product research. It not only helps with education and post-commercialization, but the data allows companies to differentiate their products from others on the market. We’ll see CB2 Insights take a leading position by helping these drugs come to market but also developing data around how to build new product formulations.
This interview is sponsored by CB2 Insights (CSE:CBII,OTCQB:CBIIF). This interview provides information which was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by CB2 Insights in order to help investors learn more about the company. CB2 Insights is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this interview.
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