Cannabis deal sealed

TASMANIAN pharmaceutical company Extractas Bioscience, formally Tasmanian Alkaloids, now has possibly the largest production capacity to process medicinal cannabis in the Southern Hemisphere at its Westbury plant.

The company’s capacity has been boosted with the signing of a three-year partnership deal to substantially increase its medicinal cannabis formulation capacities to position the company as a global leader in the pharma-quality medicinal cannabis space.

The deal with Victorian-based manufacturing company Ensign Laboratories is part of a reciprocal partnership. Extractas will also be a preferred supplier of medicinal cannabis Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) to Ensign.

Extractas Bioscience executive general manager, medicinal cannabis, Dr Amy Choi, said the Ensign partnership was an exciting milestone for the business.

“With the signing of this agreement, our capacity for manufacture of finished products under good manufacturing practice (GMP) conditions Cannabis deal sealed exceeds 30,000 bottles a week,” Dr Choi said.
“In combination with our extraction capacity of 90 tonnes of biomass/annum we believe that this makes us the GMP medicinal cannabis manufacturer of choice with one of the largest production capabilities in the Southern Hemisphere.
“The expansion of formulation through-put completes the integration of Extractas’ own significant in-house capacities across plant breeding, genetics, cultivation and extraction at its Westbury facilities and further facilitates our positioning as a global leader in the pharma-quality medicinal cannabis space.”

In 2019, Extractas constructed a purpose-built, dedicated medicinal cannabis cultivation, extraction, formulation and manufacturing plant. This allowed Extractas to leverage its pharmaceutical and GMP expertise in the manufacture of naturally derived extracts for medicinal cannabis.

Extractas Bioscience chief executive Dr Ross Murdoch, said Extractas is proud of the substantial growth it has seen in its medicinal cannabis business, having grown from its launch in August 2020 to now.

“This is extremely positive news for the future of the industry in Tasmania and gives security to our existing staff as well as providing new employment opportunities into the future,” Dr Murdoch said.

For more than four decades at Westbury, Extractas has built a reputation for reliability and quality in the production of primary derived controlled pharmaceutical ingredients.

It supplies customers globally with multiple key starting materials for their conversion into essential medicines. Dr Murdoch said Extractas has a strong history of agricultural research and development and manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

“For several years now, we have been applying this expertise to the manufacture of bulk and finished medicinal cannabis products and APIs including THC and CBD resin,” Dr Murdoch said.
“Demand from both our local and international customers is increasing rapidly and we are constantly striving to deliver the highest quality products faster and more efficiently at a competitive price: our goal being to not just meet but exceed our customer expectations.
“This new synergistic partnership is a strategic step forward in reinforcing our ability to meet this goal.”

Extractas currently performs contract services including plant breeding, extraction, product development and contract manufacturing for predominant players in medicinal cannabis, who supply products for distribution in Australia plus key EU countries such as the UK and Germany.

The company has also has medicinal cannabis agricultural R&D and cultivation capabilities.

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