Cannabis biotech startup Avicanna raises $1.6 mln in funding


A young cannabis plant at grows at The Joint Cooperative in Seattle, Washington January 27, 2012.    REUTERS/Cliff DesPeaux

Avicanna Inc, a biotechnology startup focused on the medical cannabis industry, recently secured $1.6 million in seed-stage financing. The investors in the round were not disclosed. Launched in 2016, Toronto-based Avicanna said the funds raised will allow the company to execute on its business plan, including the clinical development of its primary product line, PURA Elements, a cannabinoid delivery system. Avicanna, which is led by CEO Aras Azadian, also announced its acceptance as a resident in the Johnson & Johnson Innovation-backed JLABS incubator at MaRS Discovery District.

PRESS RELEASE

Avicanna Closes its First Equity Financing and Announces its Residency at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS @ Toronto

TORONTO, May 26, 2017 /CNW/ – Avicanna Inc., a biotechnology company focused on innovative approaches and technologies in the medical cannabis sector, has recently completed its first round of financing of C$1.6 million. Avicanna has also been accepted into Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS @ Toronto, located in the MaRS Discovery District building, a centre of innovation in Toronto, Canada.

Avicanna is recognized as the first and currently the only cannabinoid related company to be accepted into JLABS @ Toronto. Avicanna will carry out its operations at JLABS @ Toronto – a 40,000 square-foot innovation centre. The infrastructure, which includes wet labs and office spaces, provides a flexible environment for start-up companies pursuing new technologies and platforms to advance life sciences projects. Through a “no strings attached” model, Johnson & Johnson Innovation does not take an equity stake in the companies occupying JLABS and the companies are free to develop products – either on their own, or by initiating a separate external partnership with Johnson & Johnson Innovation or any other company. The strategic location of MaRS also allows for significant opportunity to network with some of the top medical institutions and clinicians in Canada in addition to proximity to many of Avicanna’s scientific advisory board members who are affiliated with the University of Toronto and University Health Network (UHN). This development is clearly more early evidence of the reduction of stigma and the emergence of interest from biopharmaceutical companies in the medical cannabis industry.

“We are honored to be the first cannabinoid related company to have been accepted into JLABS @ Toronto; we strive to be the catalyst in the advancement of medical cannabis and its acceptance within the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors,” commented Aras Azadian, Avicanna’s CEO.

The recently completed financing of $1.6 million was Avicanna’s first “seed financing” and will allow the company to execute on its business plan including the clinical development of Avicanna’s primary product line “PURA Elements”. The PURA Elements product line consists of several advanced cannabinoid delivery mechanisms including THC- and CBD-based transdermal patches.

“We seek to clinically demonstrate the safety and efficacy of our unique cannabinoid delivery products over the next six months. Furthermore, we will develop novel products with advanced physical and performance properties to improve their medical benefit to patients around the world”, commented Dr. Justin Grant, Avicanna’s Scientific Advisor.

About Avicanna Inc.
Avicanna Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on innovative and technological advancements in the medical cannabis industry. Based in Toronto, Avicanna leverages its executive management and scientific team’s extensive biotechnology experience to develop and execute its multilevel and multi-market strategic approach towards medical cannabis. The current leading product line includes the PURA Elements brand of all natural composition with advanced delivery mechanisms, including transdermal patches.

For further information: Samantha Watt, [email protected]

Photo courtesy of Cliff DesPeaux/Reuters

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