As some of you may know, Cadence Communications & Research is now actively working with companies along the entire value chain in the cannabis industry.  Although this may come as a surprise to some, we are excited to work in this space as it is a natural extension of our core mission to support patients and assist companies in bringing innovative treatment to the marketplace. 

The growing body of real-world evidence regarding the potential power of cannabis-based medicines to treat a variety of ailments (e.g. pain, sleeplessness) is undeniable.  GW Pharmaceutical’s approval of Epidiolex® for epilepsy has shown that it is possible to develop a prescription medicine based on cannabis. The complexity of doing this is not lost to us. It involves creating a branded medication with unique chemical and biological properties, meeting the US Food and Drug Administration’s (USFDA) standards for approving new biosimilars, and establishing manufacturing and distribution systems that ensure consistency of therapeutic value to the patient.  The hurdles were arduous, and GW should be applauded for their achievement in bringing this innovative therapy for these patients. 

The surface is just being scratched.  When thinking about medicinal use of cannabis, many focus on tetrahydocannabinols (THC) and cannabidiols (CBD).  However, THC and CBD are just two of 120+ distinct cannabinoids and 100+ terpenes present in the cannabis plant.  It appears that therapeutic value is maximized by the interaction of many cannabinoids and terpenes suggesting much is yet to be discovered within cannabis-based medicine.  Patients are noticing and demand is growing. 

Lots of questions are on the table for both patients and manufacturers regarding how cannabis-based medicines are developed, produced, marketed and ultimately used by patients.  How will USFDA regulation of the cannabis market change over time? Are patients taking the right dose for therapeutic benefit? How can patients stay informed regarding the uses and misuses of cannabis-based medicines?

Similar to the explosion of activity with the advent of the internet, there is a tremendous amount of interest in cannabis-based medicines from growers, processors, distributors and retailers.  Inevitably, many companies will enter this space, but who will last in the long run?  In discussions with various industry leaders, we have heard estimates ranging from 50-80% of companies will not survive as the market matures.  Our belief is that patients will benefit with the right mix of involvement by private sector companies, regulation by the government and involvement by patient advocacy groups. 

Cadence is uniquely positioned to help.  We have exclusively focused on the healthcare sector and have a proven history of working with patients, advocacy groups, healthcare providers and manufacturers. We help our clients make better decisions regarding which ultimately translates to improved outcomes for patients.  Not only do we bring a wealth of experience to our clients but we are also developing innovative ways to make market data and insight more affordable for everyone.  We are investing to deepen our knowledge of this evolving industry and develop services that will provide greater insight, quickly and economically.  We are very excited by the challenge.  Stay tuned to for more news to follow!   

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Author Sugata Biswas

Sugata Biswas is the Founder of Csequence, a market intelligence and sales enablement company in the medical cannabis space.  He has worked in the healthcare consulting and market research industry for more than 20 years.

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