A successful fund-raising round by Emmac Life Sciences has seen it emerge as one of the leading lights of the booming European cannabis industry.
In a press release London-based Emmac Life Sciences says it has raised £15 million in Convertible Loan Notes (CLN) from investors in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. This follows similar CLN exercises over the last 12 months which have raised £34 million, with the company sating the conversion of these at 50 pence a share equates to a company value of £150 million.
Emmac is a vertically-integrated cannabis business with a strong research focus and such a valuation will make it one of the largest European cannabis businesses.
New Investors On-Board
The previous cash raises have supported the acquisitions of Portuguese cultivation company Terra Verde and U.K. medical laboratory Rokshaw. Antonio Costanzo, CEO of Emmac, said ‘almost two thirds of the funds have come from new institutional investors’.
“We are not aware of any other UK private medical cannabis company that has raised this quantum of funds…and that it is testament to Emmac’s strategy, strength of management team, and our market leading position,” he added.
The funding round comes just week after Emmac announced a new research partnership with Imperial College London, trialling cannabis-based medicine for the treatment of cancer and acute pain. With NHS clinicians asking for more evidence of the efficacy of cannabis-medicines Emmac hopes its work will go some way to providing that.
More Research Required
Imperial College’s lead researcher consultant Mikael Sodergren, who is also a paid scientific advisor to Emmac Life Sciences, elaborated. He said that while there is ‘undoubted’ evidence that medical cannabis works for certain conditions such as childhood epilepsy there are all sort of claims that are unsubstantiated.
He adds: “As medicinal cannabis has not gone through the normal drug development pathway that the pharma industry and medical profession are used to, we have a lot of work to do to provide robust data to support clinical effectiveness as well as determine efficacy of different constituents of the plant.”
The researchers will also examine whether CBD, one of the main active compounds in cannabis, could help treat cancer. Mr Costanzo said it has a ‘science-led approach and sees Imperial College as the ‘perfect fit’ for this work.
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