US agreement for Zelda Therapeutics

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Zelda Therapeutics (ASX:ZLD) has entered a binding Heads of Agreement (HoA) with US-based medicinal cannabis company Ilera Healthcare.

Ilera is a vertically integrated medicinal cannabis company with operations based in Pennsylvania and Louisiana.

The operations cover the cultivation, processing and dispensing of medicinal cannabis. Ilera customises products with formulations designed to address the unmet clinical needs of patients and is expanding their footprint to other states through license applications and partnerships.

Ilera was founded by executives with extensive experience in the life science capital markets, corporate management and pharmaceutical industries.

Under the terms of the binding HoA, Zelda and Ilera will explore a range of collaborative and commercialisation opportunities including the co-development of potential full spectrum formulated products supported by pharmacokinetic and clinical studies, licensing of clinically validated products, and data-sharing and generation of joint intellectual property.

There are no upfront payments associated with signing the HoA. However, the terms do provide for both parties to negotiate separate commercial agreements for the various licensing, co-development and data-sharing opportunities that will be explored under the partnership.

“We’re delighted to formalise our partnership with Ilera, which is designed to leverage the strong synergies between our companies," said Zelda managing director Dr Richard Hopkins. 

"As a vertically integrated company, Ilera’s strengths in cultivation, extraction/formulation and distribution are complemented by Zelda’s expertise in clinical validation, product differentiation and downstream value-adding.

"Given the current barriers to undertaking clinical trials using medicinal cannabis at the Federal level in the US, Zelda can help fast-track clinical validation of Ilera products while Zelda potentially gains access to a significant North American market for its products."

Zelda said that, when considered alongside its recent manufacturing and distribution agreement with HAPA in Germany, the company's partnerships provide access to over 110,000 registered medicinal cannabis patients globally.

“We are pleased to be entering this partnership with Zelda as part of our strategy to extend the reach of our research and product development around the world," said Ilera chief scientific officer, Dr Oludare Odumosu.

"Ilera’s installed capacity to formulate specific medicines, our commercialization expertise combined with our executive teams’ global experience creates a unique opportunity for this partnership to deliver condition-specific cannabinoid-based medicines to the global stage.

"This is a fast-emerging space with strong anecdotal evidence and limited scientific data. This partnership will help expand our clinical understanding and position us to make significant strides in providing patients and healthcare practitioners with clinically validated cannabinoid based branded products for the global market.”