Supplying Canada with Pharma-Grade Cannabis
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MediPharm Labs Corp. (TSXV:LABS, OTCQX:MEDIF, FSE:MLZ) is a leading B2B specialized Canadian cannabis extractor, producing purified pharma-grade cannabis oil and concentrates for the development of cannabinoid derived products. As part of their B2B model, MediPharm Labs supplies raw materials, formulations, processing and packaging for ready-to-sell advanced derivative products.
The first Canadian company to become a licensed producer of cannabis oil under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) without being a licensed cultivator, MediPharm Labs is focused on bringing pharma-grade products to the adult-use and medical cannabis industries in Canada. The company expects to receive its license to extract and import medical cannabis products in Australia and to have its facility operational in Australia in the near term(Q2 2019)..
The company’s facilities host state-of-the-art technology with strict adherence to pharma-grade standards to ensure a quality product. Currently, its facility has the capacity to extract/process 150,000 kilograms of dry cannabis per year in its primary extraction rooms. The company’s expansion plans (Phase 2) within their wholly-owned building will increase the company’s estimated processing capacity to over 250,000 kilograms per year of primary extraction. Additionally, MediPharm Labs has both commercial short-path distillation as well as chromatography capabilities on site to produce distillates and isolates.. The company provides white label production of cannabinoid-based products and/or contract processing services (extraction on a fee-for-service basis) to licensed producers in Canada.
MediPharm Labs received its sales license in November 2019, commencing revenue generation. To date, the company has signed several, multi-year white label and contract processing agreements with leading licensed producers across the globe including 13 supply agreements for the purchase of cannabis inputs to fuel its extraction activities; five (5) 3-year contract processing agreements to extract on behalf of LPs; and five (5) white label sales agreements of cannabinoid-based products to both domestic and international purchasers. Of note are agreements made with Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX:WEED), TerrAscend Corp. (CSE:TER) and AusCann Group Holdings Ltd. (ASX:AC8), among others.
MediPharm Labs is following the global trend in the medical cannabis industry which has seen a reduction in dried cannabis sales due to the long-term effects it can have on an individual’s health when smoked. As a result, many doctors and patients are likely to turn to cannabis-derived oil as an alternative because it is easier to precisely dose and does not come with the risks associated with smoking.
MMJ PhytoTech Ltd. (ASX:MMJ) is an Australian company with a diversified portfolio in Australia’s emerging cannabis market and is a strategic shareholder in MediPharm Labs. PowerOne Capital Markets Limited is also a strategic investor and co-lead the company’s concurrent financing for its going public transaction, which had a target of $15 million but raised over $22.3 million for MediPharm Labs. The company’s management team all own shares in MediPharm Labs and have increased their stake in the company at each financing opportunity.
- Primarily focused on producing pharma-grade cannabis oil and concentrates.
- Named Cannabis Start-Up of the Year at the 2018 Canadian Cannabis Awards by LIFT&Co.
- Wholly-owned 70,000-square-foot facility has been constructed to EU GMP standards with ISO rated clean rooms, and is operational.
- Pharma-grade critical environments, methodologies and discipline result in repeatability in manufacturing.
- Current processing capacity of 150,000 kilograms of dry cannabis flower annually; one of the largest extraction capacities in Canada.
- Fully-funded expansion underway expected to increase customized processing capacity to 250,000 kilograms of dry cannabis per year in the near term.
- An agnostic partner to any licensed producers, with secured supply stream of dry cannabis to process.
- Long-term cannabis concentrate program agreements in place with James E. Wagner, Supreme Cannabis, INDIVA, Emerald Health Therapeutics and UP Cannabis/Newstrike Brands Ltd, while in negotiation with others.
- Received sales license in November 2018.
- Named as one of 32 licensed producers eligible to supply Ontario Cannabis Stores.
- Opening four retail stores in Manitoba through joint venture partnership with Avana Canada Inc, Fisher River Cree Nation and Chippewas of the Thames.
- Research-driven, bio-pharmaceutical team led by Dr. Chris Talpas, Director of Quality Control and Assurance, renowned chromatography expert.
- Purpose-built, state-of-the-art Australian extraction facility is under development and is anticipated to be operational in the near term.
- Australian facility expected to serve Australian domestic market and facilitate international opportunities.
- Development of additional specialized intellectual property, focused on downstream proprietary fractionation, isolation and chromatography underway.
- Advanced activities underway targeting strategic partnerships, development of proprietary products and international opportunities.
- MMJ PhytoTech and PowerOne Capital are strategic shareholders.
- Management owns shares and has increased share holdings and investment in the company over time.
The MediPharm Labs Purity Standard
A frontrunner in cannabis extraction and purification, MediPharm Labs has invested in an expert team, state-of-the-art technology, advanced proprietary methodologies and purpose-built facilities to deliver pure, safe and precisely dosable cannabis concentrates for advanced derivative products.
MediPharm Labs uses international pharmaceutical standards for their cannabis products. The company’s two founders have backgrounds in healthcare and pharmaceuticals and are respected for strictly adhering to pharmaceutical standards, for creating replicable manufacturing processes and maintaining critical environments.
MediPharm Labs is focused on the extraction of cannabinoids and the development of cannabinoids into oil-based products through secondary processing which includes short-path distillation and centrifuge chromatography. MediPharm Labs produces purified/concentrated resins, distillates (~90%) and isolates (99.9% purity) which can be formulated, processed and packaged into cannabis-derived products or sold as active ingredients to CPG or future pharmaceutical companies.
Technology and Facilities
MediPharm Labs has invested in the technology and expertise needed for extraction, chromatography, formulation and EU GMP best practices.
Supply of Cannabis
MediPharm Labs is solely focused on the extraction, purification and isolation of cannabis elements. The company obtains its supply of cannabis from a multitude of licensed producers from within Canada and when legislation allows, from cultivators internationally. Due to not being a cultivation company, MediPharm Labs is an agnostic purchaser of bulk cannabis in the industry and thus is not constricted by cyclical growing seasons, which allows for a consistent cash flow and improves inventory control.
In November 2018, MediPharm Labs commenced daily production. The company can currently process 150,000 kilograms of dry cannabis per year and its laboratory is capable of producing concentrates every day of the week. The company is planning to increase its processing capacity to 250,000 kilograms of dry cannabis in the near term.
MediPharm Labs is looking to take it business model across the globe, especially to Australia, South America and Europe, to ensure that cannabis users are receiving a purified cannabis product.
MediPharm Labs’ subsidiary, MediPharm Labs Australia Pty Ltd, is currently constructing a 1,000-square-meter state-of-the-art extraction facility which will produce pharma-grade cannabis oil with a focus on secondary extraction methodology, distillation, cannabinoid isolation, purification and R&D. The facility is located in the South Gippsland region of Wonthaggi, which is 127 kilometers southeast of Melbourne.
MediPharm Labs has completed its application process with the federal Office of Drug Control in February 2018 in order to extract and import medical cannabis products in Australia and expects its approval to be forthcoming shortly. Once approved, MediPharm Labs Australia will be conducting a series of R&D exercises before submitting an application to the Therapeutics Goods Association (TGA), whose approval will mark the commencement of business operations in Australia.
MediPharm Labs will be offering the following two services to cannabis companies across the globe.
White Label Solutions
Through this model, MediPharm Labs will supply raw cannabis concentrates, product formulations, processing and packaging of ready-made products to companies that are licensed to sell cannabis oils and advanced derivative products. MediPharm Labs will partner with experts in their own areas of manufacturing (beverages, confectionary, baked goods, cosmetics, etc.) to make a wide array of cannabis-infused product categories, as legislation permits. MediPharm Labs is open to being an Active Ingredient supplier or to exploring a Joint Venture model.
Through supply agreements with licensed producers in Canada and Australia, MediPharm Labs will be able to provide cGMP cannabis oil to licensed companies to sell under their own brands.
Cannabis Concentrate Program Agreements
As per its business model, MediPharm Labs has signed a number of cannabis concentrate agreements with various licensed producers in Canada and abroad. MediPharm Labs charges its clients processing fees for their services.
MediPharm Labs signed its first three-year cannabis concentrate agreement with James E. Wagner Cultivation Corporation (TSXV:JWCA) in July 2018. The company has subsequently signed agreements with INDIVA (TSXV:NDVA), Newstrike Brands Ltd. (TSXV:HIP), Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc. (TSXV:EMH) and The Supreme Cannabis Company Inc. (TSXV:FIRE).
In November 2018, MediPharm Labs signed an 18-month agreement with Canopy Growth Corporation. Under the terms of the agreement MediPharm Labs will supply up to 900 kilograms of cannabis resin [which would be diluted and made into tinctures or softgel capsules] for sale to Canopy Growth and its subsidiaries. Canopy Growth has committed to purchasing a minimum of 450 kilograms and has the option to purchase an additional 450 kilograms.
“We are thrilled to work with Canopy Growth, the world’s leading cannabis producer, to deliver the highest quality cannabis oil concentrates for medical patients and recreational consumers,” said MediPharm Labs CEO and Chairman Pat McCutcheon. “This sales agreement serves as a strong endorsement of MediPharm’s industry leading extraction-only business model.”
In January 2019, MediPharm Labs signed a three-year cannabis agreement with TerrAscend Corp., a biopharmaceutical and wellness company that is committed to quality products, brands and services for the global cannabinoid market.
Private Label Agreement
The following month, MediPharm Labs entered into a sales agreement with a leading licensed producer to supply approximately $35 million in private label, purified cannabis oil concentrates. Under the terms of the agreement, the licensed producer will purchase $7.66 million in cannabis oil concentrate upfront and will purchase a minimum of $27 million in cannabis oil concentrate over a 12-month period. The licensed producer also has the option to purchase an additional $13.5 million in the same time period, bringing the value of the agreement to $48 million.
MediPharm Labs has also signed its first international private label sales agreement with AusCann Group Holdings Ltd., an Australian-based pharmaceutical company working to produce high-quality, economical and clinically validated cannabinoid medicines. AusCann will use MediPharm Labs’ concentrates to manufacture hard-shell cannabinoid capsules for a two-year term.
“MediPharm Labs has quickly established a global reputation as the go-to producer of high quality, pharmaceutical grade cannabis concentrates at commercial scale. We are thrilled to have been selected by AusCann as a supplier of choice for their medical products and clinical trials,” said McCutcheon. “As the first extraction-only LP to begin exporting to Australia, this agreement marks an important milestone that accelerates our expectations for future growth. Looking ahead, we expect to begin supplying additional international markets to build our robust global distribution platform.”
Pat McCutcheon —CEO and Chairman of the Board
Before founding MediPharm Labs, Pat McCutcheon enjoyed a 15-year career in the pharmaceutical industry in top sales roles, successfully launching a wide range of medical products. He most recently worked at Janssen Pharmaceuticals (Johnson & Johnson) where he led the Hospital Division for Renal and Mental Health products. McCutcheon is a frequent speaker at Cannabis Industry events, providing a unique perspective as the country’s first Licensed Producer to obtain approval without first receiving a cannabis cultivation license. His foresight in creating a business that focuses on advanced cannabis concentrates bodes well for medical research, investors and consumers alike. McCutcheon holds an H.B.Sc. (Biology) degree from the University of Western Ontario.
Keith Strachan — President and Co-founder
Keith Strachan co-founded MediPharm Labs in 2015, utilizing his consultancy expertise in Public Sector RFP and government contracts, compliance for government licensing and local planning, to break the mold and secure the first Health Canada Licence for cannabis oil production without first being a cultivator. A seasoned entrepreneur, Keith has applied his leadership to building out MediPharm Labs’ leading-edge facilities, launching operations and growing its workforce, while also strategically driving business development with the Company’s many supply, contract processing and white label partner LPs.
David Mayers — COO
David Mayers brings over 28 years of pharmaceutical leadership in large multinational firms and small privately held organizations, with extensive experience in corporate strategy, oversight, R&D, quality, lean sigma, production, supply chain, procurement, information technology, finance, product development, product launch, facility expansion, security and the management of controlled substances. Starting his career as a chemist for SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline), he progressed through roles of increasing responsibility for Taro Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Merck KGaA, Apotex Inc. and later Purdue Pharma (Canada).
Most recently, Mayers served as the Chief Operating Officer and member of the Board of Directors for Impopharma Inc., a pharmaceutical company specializing in the development and launch of pulmonary and nasal inhalation pharmaceutical products. In his role at Impopharma Inc., he led a turn-around of the company’s R&D programs and facilitated its acquisition. He received his Hons. B.Sc. in Biological Science from the University of Guelph and an MBA from the Rotman School of Business, University of Toronto.
Ahmed Shehata – General Counsel, Head of Corporate Development and Corporate Secretary
Ahmed Shehata comes to MediPharm Labs after having spent the previous eight years working in the Business Law Group in the Bay Street office of one of the world’s largest law firms where his practice consisted of securities law, M&A, corporate finance and general corporate and commercial law. He has acted as external counsel for numerous cannabis companies and has been involved in a legal advisory role in the going public transactions of cannabis companies as well as companies in several other industries. He holds a Juris Doctor Law Degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Bachelor of Commerce Honors Degree from the Queen’s University School of Business.
Kirk Binns – EVP Global Accounts
A molecular biologist by training, Kirk Binns was a founding shareholder of MediPharm Labs. As a serial entrepreneur, he has spent most of his career in the North American deregulated energy markets, leading market expansions, client acquisitions and managing up to 100 reports across multiple markets. Over the last 12 years, he established and ran a multinational energy sales organization that generated seven-figures annually, while also contributing to MediPharm Labs’ start-up and operations. His role as EVP of Global Accounts will help the company realize its vision as a trusted global leader in cannabinoid-based derivatives.
Chris Hobbs — CFO
Over the past 18 years, Chris Hobbs has acted as Chief Financial Officer for several private and public companies operating in the resource, health sciences and technology sectors. Hobbs is a member of the Chartered Accountants of Ontario and holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University.
Sybil Taylor – CMO
A 25-year marketing veteran, Sybil Taylor has brought premium consumer brands to life by developing innovative customer-focused marketing strategies. She launched Steam Whistle Pilsner in 2000 as a pioneering upstart and helped it grow to the largest craft beer brand in Canada. As CMO at Nuuvera Canada, she was a senior contributor who helped build the strategic planning and brand development for medical and recreational brands. She has been part of senior teams in two of Canada’s Best Managed Companies, and through CSR initiatives, has brought numerous awards and public profile to her managed brands.
Jason Nalewany — VP Finance
Jason Nalewany brings over 12 years of experience to the MediPharm Labs leadership team, providing financial expertise to various public entities in capital market strategies, M&A advisory, valuation, financial forecasting and financial due diligence. Most recently, he held senior finance positions at Aurora Cannabis Inc., a NYSE and TSX-listed cannabis company, and played a key role in Aurora’s $3.2 billion merger with MedReleaf Corp.
Prior to his time at Aurora, Nalewany held positions in the strategy and corporate development group at Methanex Corporation, a NASDAQ and TSX-listed chemical company. He has also held roles at FTI Consulting Inc., and MNP LLP, in transaction advisory capacities. Earlier in his career, he held positions in the audit and assurance practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Canada. Nalewany is a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Victoria.
Mike Perron – VP Business Development
Prior to joining MediPharm Labs, Mike Perron spent over 10 years in professional services focused in management consulting, enterprise risk and transaction advisory services, working in the US and Canada. He has served as national lead supporting cannabis industry licensed producers and ancillary cannabis businesses. He has attained the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation and obtained his Masters of Accounting (MAcc) from USC. In addition, Perron is an alumnus of the Governor Generals Canadian Leadership Conference (GGCLC).
Laura Lepore – VP Investor Relations and Communications
Laura Lepore brings over 16 years of award-winning investor relations, communications and capital markets experience across the financial, industrial and mining sectors. She was most recently AVP Investor Relations at Home Capital Group Inc. and led IR through two significant transactions and a governance renewal. During her tenure with TD Bank Financial Group, she held various roles in IR and corporate banking. Previously she was Director of IR for Newmarket Gold and Crocodile Gold. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from York University and is currently a Board Director for the Canadian Investor Relations Institute, Ontario Chapter.
Dr. Paul Tam – Director
With more than three decades of clinical research and medical practice experience, Dr. Paul Tam is a globally recognized expert in the field of nephrology and a pioneer in the development of continuous renal replacement therapy for acute kidney injury. In 1996, Dr. Tam founded the Scarborough Regional Nephrology Program where he is currently Medical Director of the largest community nephrology program in Canada. Dr. Tam oversees a team of thirteen nephrologists that provide renal care to over 900 dialysis patients and 4,000 chronic kidney disease patients and is also an active staff nephrologist at The Scarborough Hospital. Dr. Tam is also the Medical Quality Advisor for three major Independent Health Facilities that provide hemodialysis care.
Dr. Tam has extensive and highly specialized experience in pharmaceutical development having co-founded and acted as the Medical Director overseeing operations and clinical research for a contract research organization which was ultimately acquired by the Biovail Corporation. Dr. Tam served as a Director of Biovail Corporation after the acquisition and he also served as the Medical Director of Contract Research arm of Biovail Corporation. Dr. Tam also leads and serves on multiple professional and executive governance committees. He is an active member and past Section Chair representing the Nephrology Specialty of the Ontario Medical Association, and active member and past Chair of the Ontario Association of Nephrologists. In the past he has also served on the Boards of Directors for pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Tam received his medical degree from The University of Hong Kong and completed further specialization at the University of Toronto, Canada.
Dr. Chris Talpas – Director of Quality Control and Assurance
Chris Talpas has 24 years of experience in the bio-pharmaceutical field, having been involved in all aspects of development from bench-top to commercial manufacture. After completing his BSc. and Doctorate degrees in Biochemistry, he joined Hemosol as a research scientist and then transitioned into the process development group where he worked on scaling up the manufacturing process to support clinical manufacturing of a haemoglobin-based blood substitute. Thereafter, he managed the clinical manufacturing plant.
An expert in chromatography, Dr. Talpas comes to MediPharm Labs with a wealth of expertise in the qualification and validation of complex processes and equipment, as well as the development and maintenance of quality systems, having just served as the Director of Manufacturing Sciences at Therapure Biopharma.
Dr. Ina Shira Dubinsky — Lead Scientist – Secondary Processing
Dr. Ina Dubinsky recently held the position of Research and Development Scientist at ARA – Avanti Rx Analytics Inc. where she conducted analytical lab-testing and method development of tests for cannabis oil, extract, plant and intermediate products within Health Canada, Food and Drug Administration and Good Manufacturing Practices. Her experience includes research, development and performance of different extraction processes for cannabis and hemp, as well as isolation and purification of cannabinoids by vacuum distillation, vacuum filtration and Normal and RF column chromatography.
Dr. Dubinsky is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto where she designed and synthesized novel organic compounds for protein chemistry, protocols for constructing biopharmaceutical proteins and patented two inventors for red cell substitutes. She earned her Ph,D, in Inorganic Chemistry from Tel Aviv University where she designed, synthesized and purified unique organic compounds.
Paul Hamelin — Vice President of Security and IT
Paul Hamelin has a 35-year long career in policing and is dedicated to serving fellow citizens and advancing policing as a profession. He has successfully built bridges between community groups and the Ontario government and is currently the Executive Director of the Ontario Police Technology Information Cooperative. Hamelin is the former president of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police.
Warren Everitt — Director of MediPharm Labs Australia
Warren Everitt brings a wealth of senior leadership to MediPharm Labs Australia, having achieved success through building presence in Asia Pacific for a leading international digital marketing agency. Everitt boasts a 15-year history in sales and marketing, consulting to some of the biggest companies in the world.
Dr. Jake Golding – Director of Quality (Australia)
Dr. Jake Golding has nearly 20 years of experience in the biotech, medical device and pharmaceutical fields, in the development and commercialization of a variety of products. After completing his BSc. and Doctorate degrees in chemistry, he joined the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization as a post-doctoral fellow.
He then transitioned into private industry joining Southern Dental International in product development before moving to Boron Molecular taking up Operational and Quality Manager positions. He most recently served as the Head of Quality at Medical Developments International. With a wide range of experience in process and production chemistry, Dr. Golding comes to MediPharm Labs with a wealth of expertise in the registration, qualification and validation of processes, facilities and equipment, as well as the development and maintenance of quality systems.
Anuja Siwakoti — Director of Global Regulatory and Scientific Affairs
Anuja Siwakoti has eight years of experience in cannabis research, academia and work in the regulated cannabis industry in Canada. Most recently, she worked as a Senior Quality and Regulatory Consultant at Cannabis Compliance Inc., global cannabis consulting firm. In that role, she provided quality and regulatory consulting services to over 50 clients, assisting with operational gap assessment and GPP and GMP audits, guiding close to one dozen clients with license receipt from Health Canada, and navigating through the cannabis regulatory jurisdiction of multiple countries and US states.
She previously worked for two and a half years at Aphria Inc., one of Canada’s leading LPs, in a senior role in the Quality Department. She has spoken at numerous scientific conferences and been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. She holds a master’s degree from the Medical Sciences Program at McMaster University.
Lorna Willner – Director of Human Resources
Lorna Willner has a 25-year career as a human resources executive working in both the UK and Canada, with a forward-thinking perspective. For the last nine years, she headed up the Human Resources department at Steam Whistle Brewing, developing and implementing best practices to build high performing teams aligned with company objectives and values. She is an approachable, collaborative leader with expertise in recruitment and on-boarding of new talent, and development of employees and managers through trusted mentoring and coaching. Lorna was part of the senior leadership team at Steam Whistle Brewing which won many awards, including nine-years recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies. She completed the Post Graduate Human Resource Management program from Ryerson University.
Saravan Subramaniam – Director of Project Mangement Office
Saravan Subramaniam has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 12 years in roles focusing on engineering and technical services. He has led projects which included new product launches in both manufacturing and commercial environments and the design of a $30 million high containment facility for the manufacturing of soft gel capsules. Previously, he was a Project Manager in the Automotive Sector.
Subramaniam is an authentic leader of successful teams by modelling a collaborative and hands-on approach, providing opportunities for shared leadership, communicating effectively and motivating teams towards shared goals. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Waterloo, and recently completed his Executive MBA at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
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