Israeli medical cannabis company selected for exclusive French pilot

Panaxia was selected as one of only four main suppliers for the pilot, along with its European partner, Neuraxpharm.

Medical cannabis sublingual tablets from the Naxiva-Panaxir line by Panaxia and Neuraxpharm. (photo credit: PANAXIA)
Medical cannabis sublingual tablets from the Naxiva-Panaxir line by Panaxia and Neuraxpharm.
(photo credit: PANAXIA)
Israeli medical cannabis giant Panaxia Pharmaceuticals has continued to widen the gap between itself and the rest of the country's medical cannabis sector, after it was selected in a tender along with its European partner, Neuraxpharm, as one of only four suppliers for a first-of-its-kind pilot program by the French government and the French National Agency for Medicines and Health Products (ANSM). 
Along with Panaxia, three of the world's leading medical cannabis companies were selected as main suppliers for the pilot: Canada's Tilray, Aurora and the Australian Little Green Pharma.
The pilot, which is expected to begin in early March of this year, will include 3,000 patients and will last about two years.
As part of the pilot, physicians, nurses and pharmacists will be selected to undergo special training in registering and issuing medical cannabis prescriptions to patients according to the list of contraindications compiled by the ANSM, which includes diseases such as cancer, certain types of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, palliative care (supportive care for improving the quality of life of patients with incurable diseases) and pain that does not respond to conventional treatment.
As part of the tender, four products developed by Panaxia under the Naxiva-Panaxir brand which it shares with Neuraxpharm were selected for the pilot, all of which meet the ANSM's stringent regulatory requirements. 
Panaxia, as a head-supplier, will provide two types of medical cannabis-based oils which feature different doses of THC and CBD. In addition, as a secondary supplier, Panaxia will provide two types of sublingual tablets, also featuring different doses.
At the end of the pilot, a decision will be made by the French government on whether Panaxia will receive a permit for the use and sale of medical cannabis products.
Initial shipments of the products are expected to be shipped to France in the coming weeks, subject to the receipt of import and export permits as required in the export of narcotics products.
Though the companies do not receive payment for their participation in the pilot program, Panaxia claims the cost is irrelevant next to the high potential earnings the company would likely receive after receiving a commercial permit to France, once the pilot is done.
France famously has some of the strictest regulation in the Western world when it comes to medical cannabis use. The population of France currently numbers about 67 million people, and it is estimated that there are about 700,000 relevant patients who meet the criteria and would likely be eligible to receive a prescription for medical cannabis treatment.
Dr. Malgorzata (Gosia) Meunier, VP of Innovation at Panaxia and director of the project, said that she had "a personal connection with France," and that she was "particularly proud that Panaxia will participate in this prestigious trial and address the dire needs of many patients in France. 
"Beyond that, it is an amazing regulatory achievement for us and another mark of excellence that indicates the unique and uncompromising quality of the products that Panaxia produces," she added.
Dr. Jorg-Thomas Dierks, CEO of Neuraxpharm, said that the company was “pleased to have been selected together [with Panaxia] for this pioneering study on the evolving use of medical cannabis in France." 
"We are confident that France will lead the way for other countries to adopt medical cannabis use in the coming years," he added.
Last year, Panaxia became the first, and so far only, medical cannabis company to receive a permit to export medical cannabis commercially outside of Israel before Israel's government dispersed, leaving them a long period to widen the gap as other Israeli companies continue to be limited domestic sales alone.