Medicinal cannabis sublingual wafer launched in Australia
A freeze-dried medicinal cannabis sublingual wafer is now available in Australia in what is reported to be a world first. Manufactured in Australia by iX Syrinx — a subsidiary of iX Biopharma Group — the medicinal cannabis wafer is produced using the Group’s patented sublingual wafer technology, WaferiX.
The wafer has been designed to provide rapid and more predictable absorption of cannabis, improved bioavailability and the potential for faster therapeutic action. The wafer is consumed by placing it under the tongue, where it rapidly disintegrates, releasing active compounds for absorption through the mucosal membrane directly into the bloodstream.
iX Syrinx is developing a range of medicinal cannabis products, the first product being a sublingual wafer containing a nano-emulsion of broad spectrum CBD (cannabidiol). The company has seen strong interest from distributors and doctors for the novel sublingual wafers and its initial production run has been fully sold.
“The WaferiX sublingual delivery technology allows a drug to be administered safely, conveniently and quickly into the body,” iX Biopharma Chief Medical Officer Dr Janakan Krishnarajah said.
“The sublingual wafer increases the overall absorption of cannabis by avoiding its breakdown in the gastrointestinal tract, meaning patients may be able to consume less drug to achieve the same effect, with the added potential for lower side effects.
“The iX sublingual technology offers fixed-unit dosing, predictable absorption and rapid onset of action. This will overcome some of the absorption issues faced by other delivery methods.”
Medicinal cannabis is currently used to relieve pain and anxiety, reduce inflammation and improve sleep quality, among other conditions. The Australian Government legalised medicinal cannabis as a prescription medicine in October 2016 under the Narcotics Drugs Amendment Act. The medicine is regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and is available to patients through its Special Access (SAS) or Authorised Prescriber Schemes (AP), for which specialist doctors or GPs must apply on behalf of patients.
Interest in medicinal cannabis has been growing among Australians. In 2019, the number of active patients prescribed medicinal cannabis grew by 658% to 10,595.1 As at 30 April 2020, the TGA had approved more than 42,000 SAS applications for medicinal cannabis products.2
1. Freshleaf Analytics Report Q1 2020, Australian Medicinal Cannabis Market – Patient, Product and Pricing Analysis https://freshleafanalytics.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Freshleaf-Q1-2020-Report.pdf.
2. Therapeutic Goods Administration, 2020, https://www.tga.gov.au/access-medicinal-cannabis-products-1.
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