AMBITIOUS medical cannabis company Eurox Pharma is just weeks away from launching the first domestically-produced THC oils into the German market.
Despite having the most advanced medical cannabis programme in Europe – with over 100,000 patients and more than 300,000 written scripts – the market is still reliant on imported product.
There have been pitfalls along the way but Eurox MD, ex-Deutsche Bank Senior Executive Neil Smith, believes its May launch will see it emerge as a market leader.
“We will be the first medical cannabis company in Germany to be able to say our oils are ‘Made in Germany’ and we believe they will be a real winner in the German domestic market,” he told BusinessCann.
Dronabinol – A Lucrative Market
As well as the THC-products – which have yet to be given a brand name – Eurox will be also be producing the licensed cannabis medicine Dronabinol – a market that generated €40m in Germany last year.
The company’s revenues are currently derived from selling imported Dutch Bedrocan flowers through its German partners.
Eurox secures its own flowers from producers in Canada and Spain and its oils are manufactured in Bensheim, Germany.
This facility is owned and operated by its German partner Dr Reckeweg & Co, a 75-year-old pharmaceutical company producing plant-based medicines in Germany.
Its 10,000 sq ms manufacturing plant was certified as a fully-GMP facility in October 2020. At full capacity it will have potential to manufacture 50 tonnes of product.
Mr Smith says it is primed to go: “All our licences are in place; import, export, distribution, sales and now we have the licence to manufacture Dronabinol – what we now need is the product.
“It is currently progressing through its three-month period in the stability chambers and, once cleared, we will be able to sell into the market come early May.”
‘Made in Germany’ Story
It is currently in talks with a number of brand partners. He continued: “Together with a brand partner in Germany, our aim is to lock-out competition. If you’re a believer in the ‘Made in Germany’ story then , effectively that will be us – we will be the sole supplier.
“And, once we have the German market locked down then we may well look to other European countries such as France and the UK.”
The German authorities have licensed two Canadian firms – Aphria and Aurora – and one domestic producer Demecan to cultivate for the domestic market but these seem to be behind schedule with the first harvests not expected until later this year.
Medical cannabis product manufacturers have to therefore be creative in ensuring they have adequate supplies which are manufactured to the stringent EU-GMP standards.
Mr Smith believes that the ultimate, seed-to-sale, ‘Made in Germany’ supply chain benchmark may be hard to achieve because of the stringent rules around crop production which make it hard to produce at reasonable cost and without pesticides.
Eurox have supply agreements with partners in Canada and an organic producer in Spain.
Integro Medical Clinics In UK
Eurox was founded in 2019 by Mr Smith, Bernhard Babel, ex-Partner at McKinsey & Co and David Reckeweg-Lecompte, CEO of Dr Reckeweg & Co.
It is currently working with the University of Frankfurt on the efficacy of cannabis medicines for a range of conditions.
Mr Smith had previously partnered with a Canadian LP on establishing a seed-to-sale operation across Europe before moving on this new venture.
In addition Eurox has a partnership with leading British pharmaceutical company IPS to operate the Integro Medical Clinics in the UK.
This opened late last year in Harley Street, London, and provides a range of over 50 cannabis medicines to the growing number of private patients frustrated by the poorly-functioning NHS regime.
Eurox is currently developing a CBD wellness brand for the European nutraceutical market and looking to secure authorisation through the Novel Food pathway.
Industry heavy-weight Chuck Rifici recently joined the board. He is currently Executive Chairman of Feather Company and co-founder of Canopy Growth Corporation and the Auxly Cannabis Group.
Eurox believes the pharmaceutical route for cannabis medicines will best serve European patients and businesses.
“It is our goal to see Eurox as a major independent player in this market within the next there to five years. The market has massive growth potential which we intend to embrace and exploit.
“As the market matures and develops the European Union may well become protective of the revenues it can generate and the jobs it can create,” added Mr Smith.