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DBJ backs Medicanja for clinical trials of cancer drug

The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and Medicanja Limited signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on Monday, December 3, that will see the DBJ provide Medicanja with $7 million in funding for clinical trials of a new cannabis-based drug, referred to as ‘Drug X Version 2’. The drug is expected to advance palliative care of cancer patients.

The memorandum of agreement will likely have significant implications for cannabis research for cancer.

“The DBJ is happy to be the first to invest in what we know will not only amount to wealth creation in Jamaica, but position Jamaica as a global leader in innovation and research,” said Managing Director Milverton Reynolds. The DBJ is the first local financial institution to invest in the medical cannabis industry.

Medicanja CEO Dr Henry Lowe said the DBJ grant may be the first step in establishing Jamaica as a leader in clinical trials that have, until now, been accessible only to larger companies elsewhere. He hailed Reynolds as “a believer” and said better funding for science can contribute substantially to Jamaica’s growth.

Lowe, who has been researching the medicinal properties of cannabis for decades, also lamented the missed opportunities for development from the lack of funding in the science and medical industry.

Reynolds explained that as the world changes, the DBJ has had to shift its focus from traditional industries to include newer ones such as the creative industries, energy, information and communication, and the medical industry. As a result, he explained, the criteria for eligibility for DBJ assistance has changed

Published in the Jamaica Observer
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