- Novel drug delivery platform DehydraTECH masks unwanted tastes, improves onset speed, increases bioavailability of active ingredients
- Cannabis is the current focus, but company eyeing massive markets such as nicotine and painkillers
- Currently working on using DehydraTECH to deliver antiviral drugs and help in the global fight against coronavirus
What Lexaria Bioscience does:
The Kelowna, British Columbia-based company has developed and markets DehydraTECH, which masks unwanted tastes, improves onset speed and increases the bioavailability of active pharmaceutical ingredients in a simple and cost-effective platform.
In 2013, Lexaria’s management decided to pivot from oil to cannabis and within a year had acquired the rights to DeydraTECH, which is now the company’s main focus.
Essentially, DehydraTECH allows cannabidiol (CBD) and other oils to be dehydrated into an odourless, tasteless powder and mixed with xanthan gum, cornflour and other base ingredients which can then be added to foods, drinks and creams.
It also allows drugs and vitamins – in the case of cannabis, CBD – to enter the bloodstream faster than existing drug delivery platforms.
While cannabis is the main market, Lexaria is developing DehydraTECH for other markets as well, such as nicotine and painkillers called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs for short.
The company is also currently working on using DehydraTECH to deliver antiviral drugs, which could help in the global fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).
How it is doing:
Lexaria is ramping up production of its DehydraTECH-enabled CBD powder, even exceeding its own expectations.
On September 23, the company told investors it had received purchase orders for 4.4 million CBD servings of the powder, but as of October 22, Lexaria had already processed approximately 4.2 million servings and had confirmed purchase orders to process more than 8 million servings during the current quarter. If things go to plan, volume growth is expected to hit 500% over the previous quarter.
Another of Lexaria's more recent major developments is its planned human pilot study to assess the effectiveness of DehydraTECH to enhance the oral bioavailability of antiviral drugs that could be used to treat coronavirus or other infectious diseases.
The company has also announced the launch of a separate rodent antiviral study to evaluate potential pharmacokinetic benefits of DehydraTECH in the delivery of two classes of antiviral drugs being investigated as treatments for COVID-19. Dosing of the rodents has already begun and results are expected in December, the company said.
Lexaria recently won a patent for DehydraTECH that protects the use of the technology together with cannabinoids, nicotine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or vitamins in mix-and-serve beverage formats.
Previously, the company also revealed that it had successfully processed its first CBD nanoemulsion for one of its licensed clients using DehydraTECH to be incorporated into the client’s cold-brewed coffee production and bottling line.
Earlier this year, Lexaria expanded a definitive agreement with cannabis punch and dip producer Cannadips Cannabis to provide DehydraTECH for its California market as well as potential expansions into other US states.
Lexaria’s licensing agreement grants Cannadips CBD exclusive rights for the US market for 10 years and a renewal option for an additional 5 years. It also offers an option to expand the licence to Europe, Mexico and/or Canada and contains minimum performance provisions to maintain exclusivity.
- Developments in using DehydraTECH to fight coronavirus
- Continued expansion of CBD powder processing
- More clients for CBD nanoemulsion
What the boss says:
Lexaria CEO Chris Bunka believes DehydraTECH could play an important role in fighting the coronavirus.
“We are excited at this progress towards our pilot human study using our patented DehydraTECH platform in the delivery of antiviral drugs, and are continuing the process towards regulatory approval so we can advance this important study,” CEO Chris Bunka said in a statement in September.
“We are pleased to have started an animal study using DehydraTECH on certain potential COVID-19 drugs under investigation,” he said. “Not only will this study help to determine whether DehydraTECH is capable of delivering higher proportionate doses of the antiviral drugs than generic versions of the drugs, but the outcomes should also be beneficial in gaining regulatory approval for the planned human study.”
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