The stock price for shares in Tilray was up sharply Tuesday on news that the Canadian company will export more of a medicinal cannabis drug to Australia. Shares in Tilray, based in Nanaimo, British Columbia, were up 18.5 percent to $118 in mid-day trading on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
After trading ended on Monday, Tilray announced that it had successfully exported cannabis medication to Australia to treat severely ill children. The medicine, CBD 100, is a cannabidiol extract in an oral solution. The company will distribute it to three hospitals in the state of Victoria through its subsidiary Tilray Australia New Zealand. The medications will be sent to Royal Children’s Hospital, Monash Children’s Hospital, and Austin Health with the support of the Department of Health and Human Services of the state of Victoria. The cannabis drug will be used to treat children with severe forms of epilepsy.
Tilray first announced in March that the company had received permission to ship the medicine to Victoria to treat 29 children with intractable epilepsy. At that time, Premier Daniel Andrews said that there was a critical need for the drug.
“This is too important to wait,” Andrews said. “That’s why we’re doing everything we can to make sure those families in the greatest need can access this life-changing treatment for their kids as soon as possible. This is the first time in Victoria kids with severe epilepsy will be able to legally access medicinal cannabis.”
Victoria Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said that it was important to provide legal access to cannabis therapies quickly in order to support families in a time of need.
“We know this medicine can dramatically change the quality of life for some of Victoria’s very sick kids,” said Hennessy. “This means families will no longer have to make the heartbreaking choice between breaking the law or watching their kids suffer.”
Dr. Catherine Jacobson, the director of clinical research for Tilray, said the drug gives physicians a new option for cases of epilepsy that are difficult to treat with traditional therapies.
“We are proud to be able to offer patients-in-need access to high-quality, pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis products,” said Jacobson. “In this case, the government of Victoria has elected to fast-track the introduction of a medical cannabis product containing a specific cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), for the treatment of seizures in children who have not responded to formally approved anti-seizure drugs. We welcome the opportunity to provide this potentially life-saving treatment to patients in need.”
Tilray’s Wild Ride
Tilray also saw a spike in its share price last week based on news that it had received permission from the Drug Enforcement Administration to export medicinal cannabis therapies to the United States. The drugs will be used in a clinical trial to study the effectiveness of cannabis to treat involuntary body movements known as essential tremor. The research is being conducted by the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California San Diego.
After the jump in share price last week, Tilray saw three straight trading days of decline before rebounding Tuesday.