MMJ to be highlighed on Innovations

BY ALEXIS MONTEITH
Observer writer

Friday, February 01, 2019

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MMJ International Holdings, a medical sciences research company based in the United States and Jamaica, will take part in an upcoming episode of the award-winning television documentary series, Innovations . MMJ has gained attention through its innovative work with leading scientists around the world in advancing the science of medical marijuana through patient clinical research.

MMJ also announced this week that their lead drug, MMJ-002, which is being developed for the treatment of Huntington's disease, has been awarded for “Orphan Drug Designation” by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This designation means that is has demonstrated its promise for the diagnosis and/or treatment of rare diseases or conditions and now qualifies for various development incentives of the Orphan Drug Award, including tax credits for qualified clinical testing.

The company is registered in Jamaica as Medical Marijuana Jamaica Ltd and was founded by Duane Boise, an American Florida-based entrepreneur. Boise is also the founder of EMed which provides comprehensive emergency medical evacuation services across Jamaica, the Caribbean, Central and South America.

The segment of the upcoming Innovations episode in which MMJ is to take part, will focus on breakthroughs in FDA medical marijuana research and clinical trials. Boise further elaborated that it “will focus on the science of medical cannabis and how FDA research on cannabidiol or CBD, will help people manage symptoms associated with Huntington's and other diseases”.

The popular documentary series is hosted by well-known American actor and director, Ed Begley Jr, who is also an environmentalist. It is a 30-minute show that features various issues facing society and the “practical solutions” to these challenges that are being advanced in the areas of business, health, renewable energy and other fields.

“MMJ is extremely excited to have been invited to be part of the Innovations documentary series.” Boise enthused. “Our company has always been an advocate for creating awareness where the science of medical cannabis is concerned.”

MMJ is currently developing drugs derived from the cannabis plant to offer therapeutic relief of spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis and chorea in Huntington's Disease. They also have a significant impact on pain. According to the organisation's website, the company has additional clinical stage cannabinoid and other natural botanical product candidates targeting particular neurological conditions.

Regarding MMJ's involvement with Jamaica, Boise stated that the company has many specific interests in the country at this time that are proprietary in nature. The future will see further expansion and development.

“As I am sure you will understand, we are at a very sensitive stage of our operations so I can't say much at this time,” he explained. “However, I can tell you that we are actively pursuing potential partnerships and collaborations with local stakeholders to manufacture Pharma Grade medication.”

The founder of the medical sciences research company was also full of praise for the efforts being made by Jamaica to reap the rewards of the cannabis industry.

“When MMJ decided that we were going to be a truly international company, Jamaica was naturally on the radar,” he said. “There is a lot to be attracted to in Jamaica if you are in the business of medical cannabis research and FDA-approved medicines. We applaud Jamaica for the bold steps it is taking to maximise on the benefits of cannabis. We believe that Jamaica has a lot to offer and is a great place to do business.”

Boise believes that in bringing greater awareness of the science of cannabis to the public, the upcoming episode of Innovations can help to eliminate a lot of the stereotyping caused by lack of accurate information.

“We immediately realised that our participation in the segment would go a long way in educating members of the public on the groundbreaking strides taking place in the cannabis biopharmaceutical world.” Boise explained. “That's what we tried to emphasise during the interviews with our team of scientists and researchers. We zeroed in on technological advancements, scientific discoveries, research findings and our vision for helping humanity.”

Speaking about the award for "Orphan Drug Designation" that was designated to their drug being developed for the treatment of Huntington's Disease, Boise stressed the value placed by MMJ on proper procedures of research and development.

“MMJ's Orphan Drug award is another milestone that the company has met as we continue to set industry standards. MMJ has established a leading position in the development of plant-derived cannabinoid therapeutics through its proven drug discovery and development processes, intellectual property portfolio and regulatory and manufacturing expertise.” he insisted. “However, with this Orphan Drug award, the most significant benefit is to the patients with Huntington's disease since our development process can be advanced quickly.”

In addition to educating the public about the science of cannabis and eliminating stereotypes, this emphasis on proven and tested processes is central to the information Mr Boise would like to communicate through his company's participation in the Innovations TV series.

“The key message in all of this though is that in the cannabis world, knowing what is real medicine and what isn't, is essential,” the MMJ founder explained. “The bottom line is that the FDA recognises real science, and science has to lead the way, not politics or subjective anecdotal patient evidence. MMJ decided very early that we would be developing an FDA-approved pharma grade medicine putting real science and proper quality controls in place to prove efficacy.”


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