Discover the evolution of cannabis as Khiron Life Sciences brings its unique medicinal cannabis products to the Latin American, US and global markets.
This profile is part of a paid investor education campaign.*
As a vertically integrated cannabis leader with global growth, Khiron Life Sciences Corp. (TSXV:KHRN,OTCQB:KHRNF,FWB:A2JMZC) targets a market of 620 million people in Latin America. Khiron has operations in Colombia, Uruguay, Chile and a presence in Peru and Mexico. The company has also entered the US consumer market through a joint venture.
Khiron has cultivation capabilities in multiple jurisdictions and is engaged in the production, distribution, marketing and export of THC and CBD cannabis. Khiron is leading scientific research, clinical trials and education programs, owns and operates a network of medical clinics that treat 100,000 patients annually, and holds endorsements from the foremost medical associations in the region.
Khiron’s Kuida® cosmeceutical brand, the first mass-market branded CBD skincare line in the Latin America region is distributed at retail and online across Colombia, and is in the process of entering Mexico, Peru and the US through the company’s wellness unit.
The Company has a highly experienced management team, and influential board representation including the 55th president of Mexico and former CEO of Coca Cola Mexico, Vicente Fox, and global retail brand entrepreneur Joseph Mimran who sits on the board of the Company’s Colombia subsidiary.
With corporate headquarters in Bogota, Colombia and operations in Uruguay, Mexico, Brazil, Panama, Peru and Chile, Khiron lists on the TSXV and Frankfurt exchanges as well as the OTCQB market.
- Cultivation footprint in three countries in Latin America (Colombia, Chile and Uruguay) and has operations in Peru and Mexico.
- Licensed for 2.4 million square feet of capacity for 220,000 kilograms of dry flower production, with 5,640,000 square feet of total capacity in all licensed countries
- Khiron’s capacity to export both, THC and CBD extracts (medicinal from Colombia) and dry flower (from Uruguay), allows Khiron to leverage low-cost cultivation to tackle the $140 billion European market.
- Distribution channels of branded products:
- Medical products: distribution through wholly-owned clinics in Latin America.
- Wellness: Latin America and US retail distribution
- Pets and Supplements: Through Dixie JV, Khiron is expected to have access to the Therabis and Aceso brand, which will allow the company to enter into the Latin American market, according to each country’s regulatory framework.
- Started Kuida commercial sales in Colombia in 2018, with products in process of approval in other Latin American countries.
- Educational and R&D approach to drive patient prescriptions into revenues, through six Latin American patient association endorsements and clinical trials execution for 2019.
- First medical sales are expected to commence on Q3 2019 in Colombia.
Multibillion-Dollar Market Opportunity in Latin America
Expected to be worth over US$12 billion by 2028 according to consultancy Prohibition Partners, the Latin American market for cannabis is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. Regulatory change is rapidly rippling across the region; 11 countries, including Colombia, Chile and Uruguay have legalized medical cannabis, and three further have decriminalized the use of personal amounts. With a total population of 620 million people and a potential cannabis patient pool of 68 million, the region is quickly emerging as the next stage for leading cannabis companies and investors to deploy capital and expand operations.
With operations in Colombia, a presence in Mexico, Uruguay, Chile and Peru, and access to Brazil through the Mercosur Regional Free Trade Bloc, Khiron is a leading, established player providing investor exposure to the Latin American market. Most recently, the company has announced plans to enter the US consumer market through a joint venture agreement with Dixie Brands. Collectively, these markets represent over 75 percent of the total Latin American population of 620 million people, plus almost 60 million Hispanic US citizens that represent the company’s initial focus in that market.
Khiron’s Vertically Integrated Advantage
Khiron’s business model is focused on developing valuable products for a loyal patient base. From cultivation and processing to branded products and distribution, the company has developed a comprehensive market entry strategy which focuses primarily on fully understanding market needs and regulatory environments before actively engaging doctors and patients.
Cultivation and Processing
As a vertically-integrated company, Khiron cultivates its own cannabis plants, which are then processed for the production of its branded medical, compassionate use, wellness and adult use products. Leveraging Latin America’s ideal climate, low-cost labor and agricultural know-how, the company’s cultivation and processing operations are optimized for abundant, pharmaceutical-grade growth.
In its cultivation process, the company employs a hydroponic method, which eliminates the use of heavy metals and pesticides, and incorporates state-of-the-art technology designed for all climatic requirements. A recirculation system provides the plants with all their needs according to their growth stage, while a temperature and humidity control system ensures that the plant grows in a controlled natural environment. Using detectors that monitor the amount of carbon dioxide, the relative humidity and the temperature inside the greenhouse are under permanent control. This ensures a clean, healthy and high safety standard that allows the generation of high-quality pharmaceutical product.
Khiron’s core phytotherapeutics unit is focused on the development of branded medicinal cannabis products that could improve the quality of life for 68 million patients across the Latin America region. Its medical and compassionate use products aim to deliver the benefits of cannabis consistently, innovatively and affordably, and are targeted to address the main indications associated with common ailments including depression, anxiety, epilepsy and chronic pain, among others.
The company is currently developing a variety of specific formulations of THC and CBD compounds for patients that will be available both over the counter and by prescription. Khiron has registered a total of 22 strains with Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA). Production includes full profile of CBD and THC strains specifically selected for key target indications and has now secured all approvals required to commercialize its current CBD cultivation and production for medical purposes. Commercial sales are expected to commence in Q3 2019.
The company’s products are produced utilising standard operating procedures for medicinal cannabis, medical-grade varieties and GMP-compliant methods of extraction and product formulation.
In the domestic market of Colombia and Latin America, Khiron will primarily distribute its products through a regional network of physicians that is being built in co-ordination with the region’s most respected medical associations.
As part of its branded product portfolio, Khiron has also established a wellness business unit focused on cosmeceutical and nutraceutical products which offer the full benefits of cannabis to consumers across Latin America. The wellness unit was introduced with the launch of its initial consumer brand Kuida, the first mass-market CBD brand in Colombia that brings the benefits of cannabidiol to a comprehensive portfolio of skin and body care products for women. Since its introduction in October 2018, Kuida has been distributed across Colombia through retail, wholesale and online channels.
Khiron has recently expanded the scope of its Kuida distribution network by signing a distribution agreement with Cafam, a leading Colombian drugstore chain. Cafam operates 270 stores across 63 markets in Colombia, generating an annual revenue of US$561 million. Under the agreement, Kuida will be sold initially in 49 locations initially, which could expand up to a total of 150 stores if the second agreement is exercised.
In the domestic market of Colombia and Latin America, Khiron will primarily distribute its products through a regional network of physicians that is being built in co-ordination with the region’s most respected medical associations.
For this reason, the company has established the Khiron Clinics Unit with the aim of giving patients alternative treatments, from existing medicines to the safer and more effective alternative of cannabinoids and building a robust network of affiliated clinics and doctors across Latin America. One of the cornerstones of the Khiron clinics business unit is the Latin American Institute of Neurology and the Nervous System.
ILANS is one of the most respected and largest health service network providers in Colombia of its type. With two well established and large neurological clinics located in Bogota and 60 licensed physicians and clinicians, the ILANS network serviced an estimated 100,000 patients throughout 2018. Further, Khiron has initiated the rollout of its own branded clinics, known as Zerenia, which help to establish a strong retail presence in major metropolitan areas of Colombia to educate and inform patients on medicinal cannabis.
Khiron has also established a medical education programme across Colombia, Mexico and Chile, with plans for future expansion across Latin America. The education programme includes Khiron-hosted and sponsored events and conferences, which are organised in partnership with leading medical associations, including the Colombian Association of Neurology, Colombian Association of Internal Medicine, Colombian Association of Palliative Care, Colombian Association for the Study of Pain, Mexican College of Internal Medicine and Mexican Academy of Neurology, in order to educate physicians about medicinal cannabis. Events are education based, with global research and insight on medicinal cannabis and information platforms to support doctors and healthcare professionals in providing medicinal cannabis treatment options.
Khiron’s Strategy at Work Across the Americas
In Colombia, where Khiron is based, the company operates a 1.9 million-square-foot site in Ibague. With a total cultivation capacity of 100,000 kilograms per year, these facilities include a Phase 1A state-of-the-art 80,000-square-foot greenhouse. The company has recently completed construction and initiated operations in its cultivation, extraction and analysis facilities. Located in a highly secure region of Colombia, the cultivation site has an ideal climate profile with an abundance of water, power and skilled labor to scale cultivation.
In its production and cultivation processes, the company has further developed and follows an extremely stringent legal framework that includes being the first medicinal cannabis producer in Colombia to implement US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) level security protocols. Khiron is fully licensed by Colombian authorities to cultivate, produce, domestically distribute and export internationally both THC and CBD medicinal cannabis.
In Colombia, the company has further begun educating and interacting with local institutions and medical associations, while also engaging key opinion leaders in the space. These programs are aimed at reaching the country’s estimated market of six million potential patients.
To date, Khiron has signed a LOI with Copservir Ltda, Colombia’s largest pharmacy chain. Copservir has over 900 pharmacies across 200 cities across the country and sales over C$500 million per year. Khiron expects the deal to distribute its made-to-order pharmaceutical compounds to over five million potential patients.
Uruguay and Brazil
Through its acquisition of NettaGrowth International Inc., Khiron is also present in Uruguay, its third cultivation jurisdiction in Latin America. NettaGrowth owns Dormul, which has obtained the first licence to produce medicinal cannabis with THC for commercialization in Uruguay. Through Dormul, Khiron will be licensed to grow up to 120,000 kilograms of medicinal cannabis in an initial 540,000-square-foot area located in Juan Lacaze.
Khiron’s agreement with NettaGrowth in Uruguay also allows the company access to an export market in southern Brazil through the Mercosur Regional Free Trade Bloc. Production in Uruguay will concentrate on servicing the medical needs of the 75 million population in the southern Brazilian region.
With 1.8 million potential patients, Chile has an established medicinal cannabis culture and was the first country in Latin America to adopt legislation to allow the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes. Khiron has also entered the Chilean market through a partnership with Fundación Daya, the first medicinal cannabis permit holder in Chile.
Through this collaboration, Khiron has entered the market with DayaCann’s available cultivation capacity to participate in clinical trials and to develop and distribute medicinal cannabis products across Chile. Under the agreement, Khiron and Fundación Daya have agreed to cultivate up to 1,000 kilograms of dried flower to be used to formulate two products targeting patients with neuropathic pain and epilepsy.
Peru is the sixth country in Latin America to create a legalised medicinal cannabis environment with laws that allow for the production, import and commercial sale of cannabis for medical use. The company has received approval to commercialise four key products in the company’s Kuida CBD cosmeceutical product line in Peru. This approval by Peru’s executive director of the Directorate of Medical Devices and Health Products of the General Directorate of Medications, Supplies and Drugs (DIGEMID) brings Kuida products to a population of 32 million people in Peru.
In Mexico, Khiron is well positioned to reach the market of 11.7 million potential patients for medicinal cannabis. The company is working closely with Centro Fox, a think tank founded by Fox that concentrates its efforts on creating a new understanding about medicinal cannabis within the patient and medical community in Mexico.
In April 2019, Khiron and Centro Fox co-hosted the CannaMexico World Summit, an international summit focused on showing the potential of the cannabis industry in Mexico. The conference brought together leaders from the public, scientific and business sectors for an in-depth exploration of legal regulations, market opportunities, medical advances, innovation and wellness.
Khiron also participated in the XLIV International Course for Internal Medicine conference in July 2019. The annual conference attracts over 2,000 physicians and medical specialists to inform, educate and discuss medical cannabis knowledge and developments. Khiron opened the conference with a one-hour session that covered global research and insights on the safe and responsible prescription of medical cannabis.
As part of a joint venture agreement with Dixie Brands Inc., Khiron is also positioned to enter the US market for consumer cannabis products. Under the agreement, Dixie is expected to manufacture and distribute Khiron’s Kuida brand of CBD-based cosmeceuticals in the multibillion-dollar US cosmetic market. Kuida will be one of the first CBD brands targeting the US Hispanic population, estimated at almost 60 million.
Alvaro Torres—CEO & Director
Mr. Torres has over 15 years of experience in the Latin American market, including infrastructure projects and project finance, management strategy, team development, and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to co-founding Khiron Life Sciences, Mr. Torres was previously head of business development for SNC-Lavalin, Colombia, and was instrumental in growing the company from two people to more than 2,000 people in Colombia over the course of three years. Alvaro has overseen the development of projects totaling over $1 billion in capital expenditure, including the development and construction of Colombia’s tallest skyscraper. Mr. Torres holds a Bachelor of Engineering and a Masters of Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Georgetown University.
Mr. Naprawa brings extensive institutional capital markets experience to the Company. Prior to joining Khiron, Mr. Naprawa was Partner at Sprott Capital Partners, Head of Equity Sales at Macquarie Canada, Head of Equity Sales and Trading at Dundee Securities, and Managing Director at Primary Capital. He was also previously founder and CEO of Startcast Solutions, a company successfully sold to a large telecommunications company. Mr. Naprawa holds a Bachelor of Arts from Queen’s University.
Wendy Kaufman, CPA, CA – CFO
Ms. Kaufman, a Chartered Professional Accountant, is a finance executive with over 20 years of international financial experience. She has served in a variety of senior executive positions and has obtained significant experience with Latin American and European operations, gained during her tenure as CFO at Pasinex Resources Limited, CFO at Primero Mining Corporation, and previous to that in her role as Vice President, Finance and Treasury at Inmet Mining Corporation. She brings broad management and corporate finance experience, including financial management and reporting, strategy development, and corporate and project development funding. Wendy started her career with Arthur Andersen.
Juan Diego Alvarez—VP Regulatory
Mr. Alvarez has 10 years of legal experience in Colombia and is an authority on Colombian medicinal cannabis regulation. He was previously a public policy advisor to the Ministry of Health in Colombia. In the last five years, Mr. Alvarez has been a consultant for Payson Center for International Development and USAID, a Professor of Law at the University of Los Andes, and VP Regulatory of Khiron Life Sciences Corp. Mr. Alvarez holds an LL.B from the University of Los Andes, a JD from Tulane University, an LL.M from Columbia University and is a PhD law candidate.
Andres Galofre—VP Business Development
As co-founder of Khiron Life Sciences, Andrés Galofre brings 15 years of experience in pharmaceutical marketing, brand management and distribution of prescription drugs and consumer products in Latin America. Mr. Galofre was integral in leading the launch of Advil in the Colombian market, which reached a 28% domestic market share. In the last five years, Mr. Galofre has been Marketing Manager for Alpina, Founder of VeggiesBox and VP of Business Development of Khiron Life Sciences Corp. Mr. Galofre has a Bachelor of Business Administration from CESA and an MBA from La Trobe University.
Matt Murphy—VP Compliance
Mr. Murphy is an executive leader with broad based domestic and international expertise in both the federal and private sectors. As a Career Special Agent (25 years) with the DEA, he served in a multitude of positions prior to founding the Pharma Compliance Group (PCG). Mr. Murphy is an internationally recognized security expert in the fields of drug law enforcement, risk assessment and system development, regulatory compliance, and training. Mr. Murphy will support the Company by implementing closed loop systems to prevent product diversion and to enhance protocols across Khiron’s plant to patient value chain.
Martha Edith Oyuela – VP Health
Medical Doctor specialized in Diagnostic Images and Magister in Health Economics and Pharma Economics. She has over 20 years of experience in the implementation, positioning and development of services in health care institutions. She has also conducted clinical research with emphasis on Epidemiology and has managed diagnostics teams. She led business development projects including the positioning strategy of products and services in the health industry while working as Institutional Development Director for the Instituto Roosevelt and as Marketing Manager in Bayer S.A.
Manuel Buendia – VP Operations
Manuel is an Industrial Engineer and holds a master’s degree in Finance. He has over 15 years of experience in administrative areas and corporative finance management, creating and executing strategic plans, the management of resources and budgets to achieve the company’s goals. He previously worked as Financial and Administrative Assistant Manager at Clinica Vascular Navarra and Gomez Cajiao & Asociados.
Maria-Fernanda Arboleda—Medical Director
Dr. Maria Fernanda Arboleda is an Anesthesiologist, Pain and Palliative Care Physician. She also completed a Spine-Regional Anesthesia Fellowship at the McGill University Health Center and most recently, she completed a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Supportive Cancer Care and Medical Cannabis, at the Department of Oncology, McGill University, and at Santé Cannabis, a leading specialized cannabis clinic in Canada. Presently, Dr. Arboleda is the Medical Director of Khiron Life Sciences Corp. Likewise, she is a co-investigator on several research projects that are being developed in Canada, including the deployment of a phase II study on the use of cannabis oil capsules for chronic pain, as well as the first phase III study for the use of inhaled cannabis to improve health-related quality of life in advanced cancer patients.
Luis Chaves – Country Manager, Mexico
Luis is a senior executive in the pharmaceutical and health care sector with more than two decades of market experience across Latin America, Luis has an extensive track record with global brands that operate in the region, which include Pfizer and Wyeth. Mr. Chavas also served as a Business Unit head for Novartis Mexico.
Rodrigo Azocar – Country Manager, Chile
An experienced pharmaceutical industry specialist, Rodrigo Azocar has played an important role in marketing, brand positioning, management, and corporate development for leading pharma organizations in Chile, over a career span of 20+ year. Rodrigo is also current member of the board of ASILFSA, the Chile-based industrial association of pharmaceutical laboratories.
Rodrigo Duran – CPG Manager
Highly skilled marketing and sales executive, Rodrigo has over 17 years of experience in the consumer goods and pharma industry. His wealth of experience covers directing go-to-market strategies, managing teams, and bringing brands to the consumer market across Latin America. As Consumer Brands Director for Team Foods, Rodrigo was responsible for $70 Million in US sales through retail and digital channels.
Elsa Navarro – Skin Line Manager
International Business Administrator from Sabana University, with 10 years of professional experience developing and executing marketing and sales strategies in multiple industries: Dermocosmetics Attraction of foreign investment, agro-industry, bio-fuel, events and food & beverages companies.
Currently she is Skin Director at Khiron Life Sciences Corp., leading the first cosmeceutical brand with cannabis in Colombia that was launched on October 2018. Establishing creative and innovative marketing, sales and communication strategies to reach the target and educate them about the benefits this new ingredient, cannabis, has on the skin. Opening both national and international markets for the Skin business unit and building relationships with strategic partners.
Marco Algorta – Country Manager, Uruguay
Marco Algorta, with dual Uruguayan/Brazilian nationality, has been in the cannabis industry since 2013. He promotes, together with the University of the Republic, medical scientific research projects. He is a Co-Founder of the Associação CANNAB in Brazil which main focus is to perform R&D of medical cannabis and also works with SmartHemp, an accelerator for startups. He founded CannaPur in 2016 as a biotechnological project to develop hemp strains that adjust to the Uruguayan regulatory framework. Mr. Algorta has participated in several cannabis-focused scientific investigations in Uruguay and Brazil with medical associations including Institut Pasteur, Hospital Maciel and Fundação de Neurologia e Instituto do Cérebro among others.
Luis Marquez – Country Manager, Peru
Biologist, Marketing specialist and MBA from International University of La Rioja with over 28 years of successful experience in multinational pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Aventis, and Rhône-Poulenc filling in the position of Country Manager and Business Unit leader. Mr. Marquez last experience was at Pfizer as Country Manager for Peru and Bolivia. There he was responsible for sales and expenses budget of the Essential Products Business Unit, through the definition and execution of the strategic vision in both countries, generating outstanding business results.
Livia M. Maduri – General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Ms. Maduri brings a broad range of legal experience gained in private practice and in-house at a multinational life sciences company. Prior to joining Khiron, Ms. Maduri was the Director of Legal Services at Patheon Inc., part of Thermo Fisher Scientific, and previously, an Associate at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP (now Gowling WLG) in Toronto. In addition, Ms. Maduri brings over ten years’ experience in Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance roles at several multinational pharmaceutical companies in Canada. Ms. Maduri obtained her B.Sc. (Pharmacology Specialist) degree from the University of Toronto, and her LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School. Ms. Maduri was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2007.
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