Althea Group Holdings Limited (ASX: AGH), a holding company of Althea Company Limited which holds a number of licenses and permits for importing, cultivating, producing and supplying medicinal cannabis in Australia, has announced its expansion and extension into the UK market of its patient acquisition model by acquiring a new UK subsidiary company, Althea MMJ UK Ltd (Althea UK) for nominal consideration from its CEO and Managing Director, Joshua Fegan.
With a population of around 66 million people in the UK, the research suggests that there is a scope for the company to treat approximately 2.9 million patients through medical cannabis. Based on this data, AGH believes that there is a massive opportunity for cannabis treatment in the UK medicinal cannabis market.
The entry of AGH into the UK market was possible through the new cannabis product acquisition agreement and trademark license agreement between Althea UK and Aphria Inc. (Aphria). The Aphria’s strategic partnership is in line with Althea’s Australian subsidiary. The agreement between both the parties will provide Althea UK with the high quality and consistent medicinal cannabis supply which will enable Althea UK to focus on patient access and product sales.
Roughly around March 2019, Althea UK expects that they will be able to supply Althea medicinal cannabis products to the eligible patients. With this movement, Althea UK will be the first company who will be entering into the UK medicinal cannabis market after the 1 November 2018 legislative change which allowed the doctors to prescribe cannabis-based medicinal products.
Initially, Aphria will supply its own manufactured medicinal cannabis products to Althea UK till Althea’s Australian production facility is operational which is planned to commence from 2020.
Since the entry of Althea medicinal cannabis products into the Australian market in May 2018, there are at present 93 registered healthcare professionals who have been prescribing Althea medicinal cannabis products to more than 328 patients in Australia.
Joshua Fegan, who is the CEO of the Althea, stated that the highly regulated framework of the UK for prescribing, supplying and possessing medicinal cannabis products is very similar to that of Australia. AGH concentrates on its endeavour to improve a patient’s access to medicinal cannabis. At the same time, they are also trying to educate the medical practioners on the treatment. Achievement of these objectives will be the key to establish the market share. The implementation of the three-phase business model has already been successful in the Australian market, the entry into the UK market will be based on the same model.
In the mid-February, Althea UK expects to receive medicinal cannabis import permits from the UK Home Office. The company had also made the appointment of a highly respected UK pharmaceutical Physician with almost ten years of clinical and pharmaceutical experience in pain management to lead a new venture.
Through the integration of Althea’s Concierge medical education technology platform and expert on-the-ground medical representatives, the company expects that they will have patient access to medicinal cannabis across the UK.
The Althea’s Concierge medical education technology platform will streamline the registration process. It will also enable the primary care doctors to refer patients to Althea UK specialist prescribers.
The shares of AGH closed the day’s session at A$0.370, up by 10.448% or 0.350 points. AGH has a market capitalization of circa A$68.11 million.
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