An Israeli pharma-tech, Syqe Medical, which specializes in inhalation devices for therapeutic drugs, has developed an innovative medical cannabis inhaler — touted as a first of its kind — to help treat patients with chronic pain.
According to estimates of Health Canada, the Canadian medical cannabis market currently contains 320,000 registered patients, and an estimated total of 8 million Canadians experience chronic pain.
About Syqe Inhaler
The Syqe Inhaler is devised to provide metered doses of aerosolized cannabinoids to the lungs with minimal patient training. The inhaler allows for self-administered doses effective in relieving pain while strongly limiting unwanted side effects such as psychoactivity, which comes from high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The company’s clinical trials show that its inhaler usage has homed in on what’s called a therapeutic window of 500 micrograms of THC per dose. By comparison, patients who smoke medical cannabis as a treatment are at risk of administering 300 times those levels, which can lead to unnecessary side effects.
The company has raised $83 million to date from investors including Philip Morris and OurCrowd.
Syqe’s inhaler, which is a non-combustion drug delivery device, has received regulatory approval from Israel’s Ministry of Health as a medical device combined with cannabis and will be available for purchase by licensed patients in Israel. The devices will be marketed and distributed by Teva Israel. The cannabis in the Syqe inhaler is produced under controlled pharmaceutical conditions, complying with good manufacturing practices (GMP).
History of Syqe Inhaler
The inhaler is the fruit of eight years of R&D, and rigorous testing through clinical trials, including four years of paving a novel regulatory path. Syqe hopes that its Inhaler and supporting clinical research will boost the global medical cannabis market by eliminating uncertainty surrounding dosage administration and alleviating doctor’s concerns on adverse effects.
Syqe’s drug delivery technology includes complex respiration technique automation, electronic selective dosing, and remote clinical monitoring and dose control, significantly expanding the applicability of this platform well beyond cannabis.
Syqe founder and CEO Perry Davidson said, “80% of cannabis patients inhale the plant. For too long, physicians who wish to treat these patients have been without the most basic clinical knowledge on dosing, efficacy, and adverse events of cannabis. For 8 years Syqe has been developing proprietary technologies for the administration of raw plants, and through our clinical trials, we were able to determine the recommended dosage of inhaled cannabis down to the microgram. This launch marks the beginning of a new chapter in pain treatment, one in which physicians can confidently prescribe precise dosages of cannabis, and patients can reap the rewards, effectively and responsibly.”
Syqe Medical’s approval in Canada follows its European regulatory certification. The company is currently looking at ways to introduce the product, along with accompanying cannabis cartridges, into the acceptable groups of health services covered by healthcare organizations in Israel. For example, in Canada, synthetic cannabinoids are used for neuropathic and cancer pain, HIV-related anorexia, and chemotherapy-associated nausea. The costs for such products are covered by health insurance companies.
As Syqe Medical continues with those plans to fit the product into a group that is covered by health insurance in Canada, it is looking to start marketing the inhaler in the country at some point in 2021.
Source: Globes Israel business news