A joint venture collaboration has been signed with CBDerma Technology Limited to explore the application of Futura’s advanced proprietary transdermal drug delivery technology, DermaSys® for delivery of cannabidiol.

Derived from both the Hemp and Marijuana plants, cannabidiol is one of the 113 cannabinoid compounds found within the cannabis family. Cannabidiol has no effect on one's consciousness or lucidity. It is generally regarded as non-addictive and non-psychoactive, making it ideal for consideration as a topically delivered molecule for local or regional (non-systemic) use.

In recent years there has been significant interest in cannabidiol as more data is emerging on its potential benefits in a wide range of conditions particularly pain and epilepsy but also in a range of other conditions including skin conditions, multiple sclerosis, migraines, arthritis and cancer side effects.

Cannabidiol’s market potential

The market for cannabidiol products is growing rapidly. A report by Reports and Data forecasts that the market for cannabidiol products is forecast to grow from US$1 billion in 2018 to US$16 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 27.7%, during the forecast period. The market is primarily driven by the increase in the usage of cannabidiol in medical application, supplements, beverages and skin care.

A recent independent report commissioned by Futura to provide market insights into the cannabidiol market estimates the European market to be worth €1.4 billion in 2020 of which between one-quarter and one-fifth of the total European market are made up of the topicals market.

Awareness of cannabidiol and market penetration are increasing and vary by region, in large part depending on the regulatory framework of the country. Consumer surveys from New Frontier Data suggest that use rates are lowest in France, Spain and Portugal, all three of which have restrictions of some kind on cannabidiol in their national markets. Awareness of cannabidiol is highest in the UK at 78% and lowest in France at 36%. Consumption of cannabidiol varies also greatly by country in Europe from 7% in France to 33% in Austria.

DermaSys® cannabidiol formulation

DermaSys® may be able to provide a rapid and targeted local delivery of cannabidiol through the skin to the required site of action with a high level of safety and more effectively than other cannabidiol products. It is a versatile and bespoke technology that we are currently seeking to tailor and adapt for the specific requirements of cannabidiol.  We are developing our formulation to pharmaceutical standards in order that any future product could potentially be sold as a cosmetic or potential pharmaceutical product although, in the case of the latter, it is likely to require significant clinical development.

Development joint venture

A joint venture collaboration has been signed with CBDerma Technology Limited to explore the application of Futura’s advanced proprietary transdermal drug delivery technology, DermaSys® for delivery of cannabidiol. All Intellectual Property will be owned jointly by the Company and CBDerma Technology Limited.

CBDerma Technology is a company that has been established and funded to specifically exploit the therapeutic potential of cannabis. The company’s management, backers and advisors have extensive knowledge, expertise and investments in plant derived product manufacturing.

Completion of initial laboratory and optimisation work

As part of a robust formulation process using strict pharmaceutical development principles, Futura carried out extensive DermaSys® cannabidiol formulation work and initial in vitro tests on human epidermis. The studies demonstrated highly efficient penetration of cannabidiol into and through the skin, superior to an established, marketed, comparator product. Additionally, cannabidiol is known to be unstable with many common excipients. CBD100 was specially formulated to minimise this issue and has shown encouraging early stability work, which is expected to ensure potency is retained during shelf-life.

An intellectual property filing has now been made covering various unique aspects of the CBD100 gel formulation.

A gel that has been formulated using strict pharmaceutical development principles with strong delivery characteristics, stability and high quality could be a very attractive commercial proposition when compared to current market incumbents in either cosmetic or more traditional pharmaceutical markets for cannabidiol such as pain and inflammation. Both options are being examined.

In conjunction with its joint venture partner Futura is exploring the commercial potential of CBD100. External advisors with a strong commercial track record, experience and credentials in the cannabis-derived active ingredients market have been appointed. A structured process is ongoing for validating and understanding CBD100’s market potential, where the best commercial opportunity lies and then development requirements prior to planning and execution of further work.