BPH investee signs JV with cutting edge cannabis researcher

By Jonathan Jackson. Published at Jan 28, 2020, in ASX Biotechs

BPH Energy Limited (ASX:BPH) investee Patagonia Genetics SpA has entered into a joint venture agreement with Israeli based research group Bio-Sciences Pharma Ltd (BSP).

BSP is a subsidiary of Impact NRS (NRS) and is at the forefront of medical cannabis research in Israel. The company specialises in a Cannabis Cell Transformation Platform that combines cutting edge gene editing tools with advanced breeding technologies.

It owns over 1000 square meters of growing facilities comprising approximately 10,000 seedlings at all times, and over 200 square meters of state-of-the-art laboratories supporting metabolomics and tissue culture research, containing cutting-edge chemical and analytical equipment and tools.

The agreement will see BSP and Patagonia expedite the cultivation, testing and cataloguing of Patagonia’s genetic collection, as well as the commercialisation of any genetics that show unique medicinal properties.

BSP will conduct an 18 month study, with Patagonia supplying BSP with 94 cultivars for testing.

The study is designed to determine how each of more than 100 active compounds found in cannabis can interact within the Cannabis plant.

Once individual compounds and their effects have been characterised, gene expression in plants can be modified to produce the desired cannabinoids as well as negate any negative side effect.

Genetic samples will be propagated under BSP's cannabis cultivation license in Israel. A Certificate of Analysis (CoA) will be produced for each cultivar quantifying the cannabinoid and terpene profiles, including THC and cannabidiol CBD.

Once the study has been finalised, Patagonia and BSP will review the results with a view to co-commercialize any cultivars of interest.

"This is a landmark deal for Patagonia Genetics, Patagonia's in-country manager Miguel Serrano said.

“We will finally be able to explore the potential of our unique genetic collection. With up to 94 cultivars to be propagated and lab tested this deal saves Patagonia several years in research and development and significant capital expenditure.

“Patagonia considers Israel is the leading authority on medicinal cannabis research and is excited to collaborate with BSP in delivering a designer cannabis product. Having a catalogue of up to 94 lab tested cultivars will position Patagonia as one of the most diversified seed banks in the cannabis and hemp space.”

Patagonia has been busy over the last couple of months

In early December, Patagonia acquired the rights to a rare high CBD hemp strain known as the Carmangola Italian Hemp strain mainly grown for fibre production as well as for Cannabidiol (CBD) oil extraction and resin.

Carmagnola is a phenotype that carries a cannabinoid profile of 18.4% CBD and 0.11% THC.

Patagonia recently completed due diligence on Gibraltar-based Calpernia Planters Limited, which holds various licenses which permit it to import and export hemp and cannabis related genetic material, but with a limit on THC content of 0.3% or less.

Through an agreement with Calpernia, Patagonia can immediately begin selling this newly discovered genetic phenotype under Calpernia's hemp license.

It is expected to supply the market with genetic cuttings or clones of this phenotype by Q1 2020 and feminised seeds by Q3 2020.

Read: Rare CBD hemp strain found

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