Marijuana Firm Hopes To Make Medicines – Times Union

But that’s a vision for now years away. On Wednesday, Vireo Health announced exclusive agreements with Ligand Pharmaceuticals to use the California-based company’s Captisol technology to develop medicines based on cannabinoids the chemicals tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) that are derived from a marijuana plant. Captisol is a patented agent that makes drug compounds more stable, easier to dissolve and potentially more efficient, according to Vireo CEO Kyle Kingsley . Vireo Health is the parent of Vireo Health of New York, based in the Fulton County town of Perth, and Minnesota Medical Solutions . Vireo’s goal is to incorporate Captisol into cannabinoid-based medicines to create new, patent-protected, FDA-approved forms for the drugs, so they could potentially be taken by mouth, sprayed through the nose, put on the skin or nebulized. FDA approval could make medical cannabis eligible for prescription drug coverage. The drug is not currently covered by insurance companies because the federal government classifies it as an illegal controlled substance. The development of new FDA-approved medicines would be separate from Vireo’s state-based businesses in New York and Minnesota. Medical marijuana programs are governed by state rules; plants grown or medicines produced may not cross state lines. Vireo will work with academic and international partners to obtain marijuana for researching new medicinal forms, Kingsley said.

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