Stabilizing and improved processing of active compounds

NL: Enabling plant-based medicine

“We wanted to find a solution to current challenges concerning the shelf-life stability, solubility, bioavailability and processing of cannabis-based medicines,” explains Ivo Schefman, CEO and Co-Founder of Stabican. The Dutch start-up company is almost ready to bring their solutions to market, later this year. “Our products and support make it possible to easily develop and produce cannabis-based products that guarantee shelf life, can be better absorbed by the body and can easily be processed into products that improve patients’ lives. No more brown oil with a bad taste of which the composition is usually different from what is put on the label.”

Founders Robin de Bruijn (CTO) and Ivo Schefman (CEO), with Huub Koning (Manager QA/QP/RP) 

Preventing environmental degradation
Schefman explains that during the extraction, formulation and storage of cannabis-based products, the active components are exposed to oxidation, hydrolysis, microbial attack and other environmental degradation which poses a problem of stability to the products. “For example, when Δ9-THC gets in contact with light, oxygen or room temperature it can degrade into CBN, a different active ingredient with a different biological activity. Most cannabinoids also suffer from poor and variable bioavailability. This is the unmet need where our technology foresees in: chemically stable, ready-to-use plant-based active ingredients that fit into the current regulatory system. From now on, pharmaceutical companies can develop products that meet the preferences of patients and increase compliance. Because of the usage of known and accepted ingredients, our product can for example replace pure THC without having to research and register it as a new compound.”

Overall, Stabican’s goal is to make it possible to develop and produce cannabis-based medicines that meet the quality requirements and desires of the medical community. “First of all, we do this by converting the active ingredients from the cannabis plant into a powder that can be used as an ingredient for medicines. Secondly, we help companies understand the composition and quality of their products through various analytical methods. Thirdly, we offer companies help in developing products based on fat-soluble substances and extracts, bringing them from an idea to a commercial product.”

Facilitating the process
Schefman explains that guaranteeing shelf life at room temperature is crucial when developing a medicine. “Your product must always have the same composition that you researched and produced. Also, products based on our ingredients can be better absorbed by the body, leading to lower doses being necessary or a higher effectiveness. With our technique, products can be easily incorporated into, for example, a tablet. At the same time, they are formulated in such a way that they do not create unnecessary research for our customer, as we only use few and known to be safe ingredients. We therefore not only make it easier for our customers to develop products, but also take some of the risk out of the development.”

“At the same time, we have developed a platform that can also be applied to other fat-soluble substances that run into the same stability, bioavailability and processing problems as for example THC. We are looking with partners at applications in the field of fat-soluble vitamins and substances from psychedelic mushrooms such as psilocin , among others.”

But that is not all. “During our development we found that there are almost no analytical laboratory service providers with the suitable knowledge on cannabis and other plant-based substances. This was not just the case for our own development, but we heard the same challenge among our partners. Therefore, we decided to set up our own analytical laboratory with industry experts and market the excess capacity commercially. Because let's face it, the sooner our customers and industry are successful, the sooner we will be too.”

“We know what can go wrong”
According to Schefman, Stabican’s team has extensive experience in all aspects of developing, researching, registering and commercializing medicines. “We know how complicated the whole process is, what can go wrong and how we can reduce these risks for our clients. You can't learn this from a book, and in practice it takes a lot of time and only few people know the whole story.”

The current investments in the company have enabled Stabican to turn their idea into a product. “We have developed and protected our product through strong patents, have hired researchers and set up our laboratory. We are currently in the process of generating our next round of funding. Moreover, we would love to hear from anyone dealing with challenges when it comes to the development of their products, as we want to help as many companies as possible."

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