Tilray, a global leader in medical cannabis research and production, today announced the formation of the Tilray Medical Advisory Board, an internationally recognized group of researchers and physicians who are committed to facilitating groundbreaking advancements in the emerging field of cannabinoid science. The Board will meet regularly to evaluate opportunities for medical cannabis research and serve as a strategic resource for Tilray as the Company establishes partnerships with world-leading hospitals and universities to conduct clinical trials evaluating the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabinoid-derived medicines globally.
“As public interest in cannabis-derived medicines continues to grow, we need objective, valid data about the potential risks and benefits of medical cannabis gathered through clinical trials and the scientific method,” said Orrin Devinsky, Chairman of the Advisory Board. Dr. Devinsky was the lead investigator for the first study approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to evaluate the efficacy of a cannabis-based drug in epilepsy in children.
“Clinical research is critical to furthering our understanding of how patients might use cannabinoid-based medicines to treat a range of symptoms and conditions, including pain, epilepsy, and symptoms associated with cancer. Early research has also indicated potential therapeutic value in rheumatoid diseases, slowing certain cancer growth and dermatological conditions,” said Tilray Clinical Research Director Catherine Jacobson. “The Medical Advisory Board consists of experts in these fields, and we are excited to partner with them to advance scientific knowledge of medicines consisting of extracted cannabinoids.”
Inaugural members of the Medical Advisory Board include:
- Orrin Devinsky, MD, Chairman, is Director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at the NYU Langone Medical Center. His research interests include the use of cannabinoids and other medications to treat a variety of epilepsy syndromes. He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Epilepsy Society, the Epilepsy Foundation and the Epilepsy Therapy Project, as well as the Scientific Advisory Boards of numerous disease organization. Dr. Devinsky has been an invited speaker at international epilepsy and neurology conferences for more than 20 years, and has authored over 400 peer-reviewed scientific articles and 20 books and monographs.
- Praveen Anand, MD, is Head of the Centre for Clinical Translation and Professor of Clinical Neurology at Imperial College London. His research focuses on pathophysiological and molecular mechanisms in the human sensory neuropathies and chronic pain syndromes. As Head of the Centre for Clinical Translation, he oversees the research and development of novel therapies for neurological diseases. Dr. Anand has worked extensively with pharmaceutical companies enabling translational research that has guided the recent success of 3 novel drugs from the laboratory to Phase II trials for chronic neuropathic pain, and one for chronic itch. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles in journals including Nature, Nature Medicine, Nature Genetics, Science and The Lancet.
- Abraham Chachoua, MD, is Associate Director of Cancer Services at the NYU Langone Perlmutter Cancer Center and the Jay and Isabel Fine Professor of Oncology at the NYU Langone Department of Medicine. He specializes in the treatment of cancers that affect the lungs and chest. He has been involved in a number of clinical trials for the treatment of non small cell lung cancer. Dr. Chachoua has a particular interest in the study of novel targeted therapies, earlier intervention in disease and integrates multiple modalities for the treatment of locally advanced lung cancer.
- Elizabeth K. Hale, MD, is a Clinical Associate Professor of Dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center and the co-Founder of CompleteSkinMD in New York City. She specializes in laser surgery and cosmetic dermatology. Dr. Hale has extensive experience in the field of skin cancer and is a senior vice president of the Skin Cancer Foundation. She has been named a “Best Doctor in Dermatology” by New York Magazine and a “Super Doctor” by the New York Times for the last 5 years. Dr. Hale has been an invited lecturer at international conferences focused on skin cancer and its treatment. Dr. Hale has authored over 40 peer-reviewed articles and more than 10 text books and chapters.
- Catherine Lord, PhD, is Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry and founding Director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain (CADB), at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in collaboration with New York Collaborates for Autism. She is internationally recognized for her work in longitudinal studies of children with autism as well as for her role in developing the autism diagnostic instruments used in both practice and in research worldwide today.
Tilray currently supplies pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis products – including whole flower, oils and capsules – to tens of thousands of patients, physicians, pharmacies, hospitals, governments and researchers around the world for commercial, compassionate access and research purposes.
Tilray became the first medical cannabis producer in North America to be certified in accordance with the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards in December 2016. GMP certification is the most rigorous standard that manufacturers of pharmaceutical products must meet in their production processes, and it provides regulators and health care providers in countries new to medical cannabis with certainty that Tilray products are the safe and smart choice.
GMP certification is enabling Tilray to expand international distribution of its products for commercial, clinical research and compassionate purposes. In 2016, Tilray made history by becoming the first company to legally export medical cannabis products from North America to Australia and the European Union. In 2017, the company is focused on expanding distribution of its products to additional countries in Europe and Latin America.
Tilray is committed to advancing the science and safety of medical cannabis products by supporting clinical research. The company is currently partnering with hospitals and universities to supply three clinical trials focused on pediatric epilepsy at Toronto SickKids Hospital in Canada, post-traumatic stress disorder at the University of British Columbia in Canada, and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting at the University of Sydney in Australia.