VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - September 27, 2016) - Genome BC is pleased to announce that it has made its first investment through its Industry Innovation (I²) Program to Anandia Laboratories Inc. (Anandia Labs). Anandia Labs is a Vancouver-based cannabis biotechnology company with two objectives: providing leading analytical testing services to the regulated cannabis industry in Canada; and developing improved cannabis and hemp strains for novel, safe, and effective medical applications. According to Health Canada, close to 70,000 Canadians patients are currently accessing medical marijuana from Canadian licensed producers.
"Anandia is using modern plant breeding approaches and genomics to create the next generation of cannabis varieties that combine optimized therapeutic properties with grower-focused agronomic traits," says Dr. Jonathan Page, co-founder and CEO of Anandia Labs. "Under full legalization the Canadian cannabis market (medical and recreational) may grow to be as large as $10-billion and Health Canada expects a mature medical cannabis market to be upwards of $1.3-billion."
Cannabis and cannabinoid drugs are increasingly being used to treat numerous health conditions with the main indications being pain, nausea, reduced appetite, spasticity, epilepsy and insomnia. Hemp -- the non-psychoactive form of cannabis grown for fibre and seed -- is also expanding rapidly in Canada and now grows in more than 10 US states. Genome BC's investment will be used to aggressively expand Anandia Lab's analytical testing services that have just come on-stream, including ramping up sales and marketing activities with several key hires. In addition, these funds will accelerate the identification of high-value genetic traits enabling the commercialization of optimized cannabis varieties.
"Genome BC's investment will reap benefits for our province," says Dr. Tony Brooks, Genome BC's Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Research Programs. "Our intent with Anandia Labs, and all other companies, is to support commercialization in BC and ensure that local companies can develop into globally competitive businesses."
Genome BC's I² Fund provides commercialization support for companies developing innovative life science technologies that address industry challenges in key economic sectors in BC: Agriculture, Energy and Mining, Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Forestry, and Human Health. The I² Fund will also support digital health and other technologies that will further move precision medicine into clinical practice. I² funding is repayable and is allocated to promising technologies (products, processes or services) at the early stages of commercial development. The Fund aims to provide risk capital that is concurrently matched by other public or private funding sources.
About Anandia Labs:
Anandia Labs is a Health Canada licensed company co-founded by Dr. Jonathan Page, a leading authority on cannabis biochemistry and genomics. Anandia Labs focuses on cannabis, with the aim of bringing the best of modern science to the cannabis industry for the benefit of growers and consumers. Anandia Labs provides testing services to clients licensed under Health Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), including Licensed Producers (LPs) and patients.
About Genome British Columbia:
Genome British Columbia leads genomics innovation on Canada's West Coast and facilitates the integration of genomics into society. A recognized catalyst for government and industry, Genome BC invests in research, entrepreneurship and commercialization in life sciences to address challenges in key sectors such as health, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, agri-food, energy, mining and environment. Genome BC partners with many national and international public and private funding organizations to drive BC's bioeconomy. In addition to research, entrepreneurship and commercialization programs, Genome BC is committed to fostering an understanding and appreciation of the life sciences among teachers, students and the general public. www.genomebc.ca