Israel has long been ahead of the pack on medical cannabis research and development. A new partnership could help cement that reputation by bringing a clinical cannabis-delivery device to market.
On Monday, Tel Aviv-based Syqe Medical and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries announced a distribution and cooperation agreement to market a Syqe-developed inhaler that the company says could revolutionize how medical patients consume cannabis.
Under the partnership, Teva, a multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Petah Tikva, Israel, will be the inhaler’s exclusive marketer and distributor in the country. Syqe says the deal marks the first time a major pharmaceutical company has agreed to market a medical cannabis device.
Syqe has been in use for more than a year already at Haifa’s Rambam Hospital following the device’s approval for hospital use by Israel’s Health Ministry. The inhaler is expected to receive approval for home use by next year, the Times of Israel reports.
“Teva Israel is entering the field of medical cannabis out of a deep commitment to patients coping with pain, which is one of the company’s core therapeutic areas,” Teva Israel CEO Avinoam Sapir said in a statement about the deal. “State-of-the-art technology and groundbreaking medical devices … integrate perfectly into the strategy of Teva Israel.”
The inhaler uses structurally modified cannabis that has been pre-loaded into individual “vapor chips,” which are essentially tiny cartridges preloaded with raw, whole-plant cannabis. It allows for precise, consistent dosing in increments as small as 100 micrograms (0.1 mg)—a level of precision, Syqe says, that will allow cannabis to be delivered to patients in a “true pharmaceutical fashion” for the first time.