Danish biopharmaceutical company DanCann Pharma has had an eventful summer. Not only did they announce that the development of the company’s first production facilities exceeded the expectations, but also that the REBORN trial can be accelerated. In addition to this DanCann Pharma carried out a directed issue of shares of circa 6.375 million DKK and warrants in late July. BioStock reached out to founder and CEO, Jeppe Krog Rasmussen, to learn more about the company’s achievements so far this year and find out what his expectations are for the coming months.
DanCann Pharma focus on discovering, developing, manufacturing, and the commercialisation of new therapeutic cannabinoids in a wide range of disease areas.
Advancements during summer
On June 15th, DanCann announced that the company’s first production facilities BIOTECH-PHARM1 located in Ansager, Denmark, had achieved a high growth rate of the cannabis plants, while observing a surprising low consumption of fertilizers and nutrients in its cultivation environment.
According to the company, DanCann Pharma has already, despite the facilities just being up and running since April, succeeded in establishing ultimate cultivation conditions for cannabis and created state-of-the-art facilities that no one else in the industry can match.
Accelerated patient enrolment
The encouraging news from the company’s production facility was followed in July by a positive announcement from DanCann’s Canadian partner Tetra Bio-Pharma regarding the REBORN1 clinical trial. In April of this year DanCann and Tetra Bio-Pharma signed a distribution agreement concerning of three cannabinoid-based medicines (Reduvo, Adversa, and Qixleef) in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Germany.
In July Tetra Bio-Pharma announced that the Central Ethics Committee had approved proposed protocol modifications to the trial. This means that additional immediate release oral opioids can be used as comparators in the study, which in turn allows for acceleration of patient enrolment.
Directed share issue
To finish off July, DanCann strengthened its coffers through a directed share issue of approximately 6,375 million DKK and warrants. At the same time DanCann obtained a loan facility of 13.7 MSEK, in total securing the company financing of approximately. 16.326 million DKK.
The directed issue was subscribed by a consortium of private investors which included Jinderman & Partners and Xignotus Capital, which is owned by DanCann’s founder and CEO Jeppe Krog Rasmussen. BioStock had the opportunity to talk to Krog Rasmussen about the directed share issue as well as getting a general status update and his outlook of what the near and midterm future entails.
Jeppe, in the press release dated June 15th, you stated that the growth rate among the cannabis genetics is impressive. Can you talk a bit about this and what this means for your business?
– Playing around with botanic plant material is not always that predictable, but we have managed to play our cards right and the work is proceeding according to schedule, thankfully. The operating process is running very well as planned, and over the next 6 months we will carry out a lot of testing and produce several test batches, as well as increase the selectivity among our material, so that we end up with the best, strongest and most solid and standardised product as possible.
Turning to the directed share issue, what can you tell us about the participating investors?
– I would really like to highlight the great interest and the participation from members of the DanCann Pharma family, including Board Members and members of the Executive Management team, as well as the great participation from Jindermann & Partners. We do really believe in this project.
What will the money raised through the directed share issue be used for?
– Basically, most of the capital has been raised to be able to finance our next step with our first facility, Biotech Pharm1, so we will make investments in fixed assets, and not just additional cash burns. What we have developed to date, which we describe as our “proof-of-concept”, we now feel ready to make more commercially based on the achieved know-how, and the next natural next step is to expand. This and the many dialogues we have with interested buyers of our products gives strong support to the investment basis. Through our future capacity, we expect to be able to supply approx. 25 per cent of the current German market for our bulk product.
At the end of June, you had your first inspection from the Danish Medicines Agency in relation to your import department of medical cannabis, what is the next step here?
– Correct, we conducted our first inspection back in late June. The process from here is that we receive feedback from the Danish Medicines Agency, where we then have a period to follow up on these points, depending on how large deviations were found in the inspection. It is a very formal process around handling times and frameworks, known from the traditional pharma industry in which we operate.
The content of BioStock’s news and analyses is independent but the work of BioStock is to a certain degree financed by life science companies. The above article concerns a company from which BioStock has received financing.