A biosynthesis platform technology
Cannabinoids are closely related compounds that are the active constituents of the cannabis plant. While there are over 100 different cannabinoids, the two most well-known and studied compounds in the cannabis plant are also the two that occur in the largest quantities: THC and CBD. But what about the rest?
Until recently, nearly all cannabinoid-based medicines relied primarily on extracting just THC and CBD from the plant itself – this is the “grow-harvest-extract” technique. And then there are also a few companies that chemically synthesize those cannabinoids, as well as some of the more rare cannabinoids.
But there are many shortcomings to these techniques. In the “grow-harvest-extract” technique, only THC and CBD can be extracted economically, as they are found in relative abundance in the plant. In addition, growing plants requires months of cycle time with heavier costs, there could be exposure to pesticides, it certainly increases the carbon footprint, and, to be sure, there will likely arise issues related to quality control. Let’s call this method: Cannabinoids, version 1.0’.
Now, InMed Pharmaceuticals is building a potentially disruptive and transformational solution:
Biosynthesis: “Cannabinoids, version 2.0”.
Biosynthesis is the process that produces cannabinoids, which are biologically identical to those produced by the plant itself … without ever touching the plant! InMed has borrowed from decades of know-how in using bacteria to produce insulin and has modified this process to make cannabinoids let’s break it down.
Here’s how it works: 1. Identify the genetic information, or DNA, from the plants for a specific cannabinoid drug, 2. together with additional genetic information directed towards the bacteria that is targeted to grow the cannabinoids, build a ‘DNA vector’, 3. place the vector into the bacteria where it provides full sets of instructions to produce cannabinoids, and 4. provide the optimal fermentation conditions for the bacteria to both replicate itself and to produce cannabinoids at the same time, and finally purify the product with good pharmaceutical controls such that the end result is a large scale, pharmaceutical grade process for making cannabinoids.
InMed’s biosynthesis platform technology endeavors access to new drugs, which can hopefully be developed into new treatments that may revolutionize the way cannabinoids are manufactured. In addition to providing a high quality supply of cannabinoids for InMed’s own R&D pipeline, the company has its sights set high to become the “go-to” supplier for other pharmaceutical companies looking for the highest-quality, rare cannabinoids that have been out of their reach, as well as ‘lifestyle’ focused companies looking to migrate away from the agricultural business model, improve quality and reduce expenses.