Avicanna had no idea that their bid to join a Johnson & Johnson cannabis innovation would be successful. When it was, the company were more than a little thrilled.
Having applied to become part of JLABS, Toronto, CEO Aras Azadian and LATAM Vice President Lucas Nosiglia literally jumped for joy at the news.
The whole concept started when Azadian was chatting with Justin Grant, PhD, MBA, a member of the former’s Scientific Advisory Board, and the research program manager of the STTARR Innovation Centre with Princess Margaret Cancer Centre at the University Health Network. They had no idea that a simple chat would turn into this.
As Azadian said to reporters, “Our first approach with them was very positive. However, we knew they had never accepted any cannabinoid companies before.”
As well as being a cannabinoid company, Avicanna is also a pretty well-known biotech company, involved in the medical cannabis industry. Azadian added, “They understood the business; they understood the approach; they understood the leveraging of different regulatory frameworks in the U.S. and Canada.”
Meanwhile, head of JLABS Canada, Rebecca Yu, said, “Companies at JLABS are at the leading edge of their field. Avicanna is focused on innovative approaches and technologies, and was selected into JLABS based on meeting our stringent criteria for demonstrating compelling and credible science or technology that addresses a significant medical or market need.”
Yu added that, “Selection into JLABS does not infer any special investments or rights assigned to J&J, and our no-strings attached model offers entrepreneurial companies and technologies the ability to access a network of resources and similar stage companies to help them reach their potential.”
It’s good news for Avicanna, J&J and the cannabis industry on the whole, as this new venture will no doubt open up doors that could lead to interesting places in the future.