France has announced the suppliers selected to provide cannabis during its long-awaited 2-year clinical trials. Each of the selected suppliers will fulfill a slightly different role in the supply chain, and each will also be paired with an established French pharmaceutical company. This is the first step in supplying the pharmacies that will distribute cannabis to the 3000 trial patients.
Canada’s Aurora and Tilray, Israel’s Panaxia and Australia’s Little Green Pharma have been selected by the French Drug Agency (ANSM) to supply cannabis products for a therapeutic cannabis trial due to start in France in a few weeks.
The ANSM had launched a call for tenders from October 19 to November 24 to select these suppliers, who will make their products available free of charge.
With this being just the first step in establishing a supply chain, and only weeks left to go until the commencement of the trials, there will be more developments in this story coming soon. By downloading the companion Hemp.IM cannabis news app, you can be on top of new announcements as they happen.
First step in supplying cannabis to pharmacies
“This step paves the way for the supply of pharmacies that will allow the effective start of the experiment by March 31, 2021 at the latest,” said in a release from the National Agency for Drug Safety.
To start the cannabis experiment, “it is necessary to have quality medicines, controlled, meeting strict safety standards and ready to be used by patients,” emphasizes the ANSM.
Aurora, Tilray and Panaxia and Little Green Pharma selected to fulfil different supply roles
Aurora’s European subsidiary was selected to supply the products in the form of dried cannabis flowers, in three different dosages of the active ingredients of this plant, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
Tilray, which has a production site in Portugal, has been selected to supply the drugs in the form of oil with dominant THC and balanced THC and CBD, while Australia’s Little Green Pharma will supply those in the form of oil where CBD is dominant.
The Israeli Panaxia Pharmaceutical Industries will be responsible for supplying the products in the form of capsules to be ingested.
Cannabis suppliers to be paired with French pharma company
Each producer is selected in pairs with a pharmaceutical company based in France, which will be entrusted with the distribution of cannabis-based medicines.
Alternate suppliers are also designated, in case of default of the main supplier.
“This announcement marks another important step in the development of Tilray in Europe,” said CEO Brendan Kennedy in a statement.
On the other hand, the French company DelleD deplores the fact that the decree setting the framework for the experimentation limits “the derogation to the import and distribution of cannabis products, omitting processing or manufacturing operations on the national territory”, which did not allow the selection of actors wishing to produce in France.
Trial patients subject to strict selection criteria
This experimentation, which is to serve as a full-scale clinical trial to evaluate the usefulness and efficacy of the medical use of cannabis, is to last two years and will involve 3,000 patients.
Patients will be eligible for the cannabis trial if they suffer from serious illnesses (certain forms of epilepsy, neuropathic pain, side effects of chemotherapy, palliative care or multiple sclerosis), and only “in case of insufficient relief or poor tolerance” with existing treatments. They will be selected by hospital referral services.
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First published in La Presse, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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