MediPharm Labs Selected by University Health Network and Medical Cannabis by Shoppers Inc. for First Real-World Evidence, Patient-Centred Clinical Trial Using Blockchain Technology

Published: July 20, 2020

MediPharm Labs Selected by University Health Network and Medical Cannabis by Shoppers Inc. for First Real-World Evidence, Patient-Centred Clinical Trial Using Blockchain Technology

 MediPharm Labs Corp., a global innovator in specialized, research-driven pharmaceutical-quality cannabis extraction, distillation and derivative products, today announced its participation in a ground-breaking collaboration between University Health Network (“UHN”) and Medical Cannabis by Shoppers Inc. that will use blockchain technology to track medical cannabis products from seed to sale.

MediPharm Labs’ own pharma-quality (GMP Certified) CBD and THC products, including CBD 25, CBD 25:5 and CBD 50, first launched on the Medical Cannabis by Shoppers™ portal earlier this year, as well as a suite of Avicanna Inc’s Rho Phyto™ CBD and THC products, manufactured by MediPharm Labs, have been selected to be used in a 24-week observational study targeting at least 2,000 Canadian medical cannabis consumers.

“As part of the largest pharmacy chain in Canada, the Medical Cannabis by Shoppers team is delighted to partner in this research with MediPharm Labs, a trusted name in the cannabis industry and a company with whom we have a strong commercial relationship,” said Ken Weisbrod, Vice President Business Development/Cannabis Strategy, Shoppers Drug Mart. “The success of this research is dependent on collaboration, and with partners like UHN, MediPharm Labs, TruTrace and Shoppers on board, the stage is set for achievement.”

The collaboration will use a blockchain-secured software platform – designed by TruTrace Technologies Inc. integrated with the Medical Cannabis by Shoppers portal – to manage, track and trace medical cannabis strains in 7 distinct products manufactured by MediPharm Labs, or about 20% of the study formulary, in various formats including oils and extracts throughout each step of the supply chain.

Robert Galarza, CEO, TruTrace Technologies said, “The evolution of the medical cannabis industry over the past several years has been nothing short of remarkable and the commitment by MediPharm Labs to implement the highest level of product quality through certified GMP standards and protocols, as well as a desire to advance innovation, collaboration and technology alongside companies like ours will only further drive our industry forward. We are excited to explore how the power of dynamic and transparent data can support their initiatives in Canada and beyond.”

“This important study, conducted by one of the largest  health research organizations in Canada, will have wide-reaching benefits for cannabis patients and MediPharm Labs as we remain dedicated to producing pharmaceutical-quality products that are rigorously tested and verified on a lot-by-lot basis using GMP certified standards,” said Pat McCutcheon, Chief Executive Officer, MediPharm Labs. “Our view is that this study has the potential to enhance confidence in medical cannabis by giving physicians and patients true transparency into product chemistry, composition and effectiveness so that they can prescribe validated products and adjust their treatment regimens based on real-world evidence. We are proud to be a contributing partner with leaders in the fields of science, technology, medical dispensary and cannabis who have come together to make this study possible.”

About the UHN Study

This novel Medical Cannabis Real World Evidence study will look to match cannabis genetics, with defined cannabinoid and terpene profiles, to patient outcomes using validated questionnaires and scales. Patients enrolled in this study will have access to a wide range of products that have consistent genetic, chemical, cannabinoid and terpene profiles and will know exactly what is in their products down to the milligram of THC and cannabidiol. If a product in the study is effective for them, they can rely on it being identical, from batch to batch.

From this work, a national repository of real-time data about cannabis products,  their composition and their effectiveness will be made available to Medical Cannabis by Shoppers’ patients.

Patients participating in the study will use the same ecommerce platform as other Medical Cannabis by Shoppers patients, though research participants will have access to the first fully verified products. First launched in Ontario in January 2019, Medical Cannabis by Shoppers (a subsidiary of Shoppers Drug Mart) provides patient access to numerous medical cannabis products from over 20 licensed cannabis brands. Cannabis medication can be ordered online or via phone, and is shipped directly and discreetly to their doorstep. The Shoppers Cannabis Care team – a dedicated call center staffed by cannabis-trained advisors and pharmacists – provides counselling and support for patients.

University Health Network consists of Toronto General, recently ranked the #4 Hospital in the World according to Newsweek Magazine, and Toronto Western Hospital, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, and the Michener Institute of Education at UHN. The scope of research and complexity of cases at University Health Network has made it a national and international source of discovery, education, and patient care.

Why Traceability Is Important

Medical cannabis currently lacks assigned Drug Identification Numbers (“DINs”) that quantify attributes such as chemistry, genetics, and metabolomics. This information is critical for producers, distributors, government agencies, payers, clinicians, and patients. Maintaining an effective and interoperable traceability ecosystem built on reliable and immutable data provides safe and consistent medicine.

MediPharm Labs distinguishes itself as a supplier of medical cannabis through its GMP-certified production capabilities. This internationally recognized certification is only granted to companies that can demonstrate consistency, precision, and quality in all stages of production and are able to comply with GMP principles for manufacturing Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and final medicinal products.

TruTrace is a fully integrated software platform, secured on a blockchain infrastructure that gives clients the ability to store, manage, share and immediately access quality assurance and testing details, COAs, as well as motion and movement intelligence on inventory from batches and lots to serialized items.

Founded in 2015, MediPharm Labs specializes in the production of purified, pharmaceutical quality cannabis oil and concentrates and advanced derivative products utilizing a Good Manufacturing Practices certified facility with ISO standard built clean rooms.