Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE:TEVA) is on track to begin marketing the world’s first inhaler for medical cannabis. Teva partnered with Syqe Medical to develop the device. In a statement, the companies said that the device was the first inhaler in the world capable of delivering botanicals at the level of safety and precision of conventional drugs.
Under the agreement, Teva will be the exclusive marketer and distributor of the inhaler in Israel.
Syqe Medical will manufacture the inhaler and disposable cartridges. Pending Health Ministry approval, the inhaler will be sold in pharmacies. Home use is expected to begin in Israel next year. If the trial in Israel is successful, the companies will seek permission to export the devices to other countries.
For many patients, cannabis cannot be prescribed as a standard medical treatment because of the absence of precise dosing. The main problem facing doctors and researchers is an inability to estimate the amount of cannabis administered through smoking, vaporization or consuming edibles. The quantities of active ingredients inhaled from cannabis cigarettes are generally unknown. The effects of eating foods with cannabis could be compromised by what you ate a few hours before. This makes it impossible to provide reliable or accurate doses.
Syqe Medical claims that the inhaler will “revolutionize the field of medical cannabis.” According to the latest data, about 26,000 patients are currently licensed to use medical cannabis in Israel, with the number expected to double over the next two years. Syqe Medical chairman Dr. Eytan Hyam said, “Thanks to the Syqe inhaler, we are effectively moving from cannabis use to cannabis treatment.” Worldwide, roughly 90 percent of medical cannabis consumers inhale medical cannabis.
Syqe’s team has been working on the development of the inhaler for more than five years. It partnered with Teva, one of the ten leading pharmaceutical companies in the world and the world’s largest generic drug company, to ensure the widespread marketing and distribution of the devices. Pain management is one of Teva’s core therapeutic areas. The price of the inhaler and cartridges have not yet been disclosed.