- 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:
One of Lexaria's more recent major developments is its human pilot study to assess the effectiveness of the DehydraTECH technology to enhance the oral bioavailability of antiviral drugs that could be used to treat coronavirus or other infectious diseases.
The study was given a boost in May when the company closed a private placing raising over US$2 million to help finance its efforts.
The firm has also widened the scope of its subsidiary, Lexaria Pharmaceutical Corp, to look at how DehydraTECH could improve delivery and effectiveness of antiviral drugs.
Meanwhile, Lexaria has said it is close to winning a new 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.
In April, 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 in the 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
- Expansion of Cannadips partnership
- More clients for CBD nanoemulsion
What the boss says:
John Docherty, Lexaria's president, noted in a statement in April: "Lexaria's proprietary drug delivery platform has already proven its effectiveness in the oral delivery of other lipophilic drugs such as nicotine, cannabinoids, and more, with multi-fold increases in both the rate and extent of bioabsorption."
"We hypothesize that, once detailed testing begins, DehydraTECH will evidence improvements in the quantity and rapidity with which certain antiviral drugs are able to reach the human bloodstream after oral delivery. This has the potential to make a real contribution in the fight against [coronavirus]”, he added.