Novartis’ Sandoz unit is expanding its six-month-old Canadian partnership with Tilray into a global collaboration focused on researching, commercializing, and distributing medical cannabis, Tilray said today.

The expanded collaboration—whose value was not disclosed—comes six months after Tilray and Sandoz Canada agreed to make available eight co-branded non-combustible medical cannabis products to the 270,000 Canadian patients using medical cannabis through Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). The eight products included cannabis capsules and ingestible oils.

Under the new global collaboration, Sandoz agreed to support the global commercialization of Tilray’s non-smokable/non-combustible medical cannabis products, while both companies agreed to co-brand certain non-smokable/non-combustible products.

Tilray and Sandoz agreed to collaborate in the development of new innovative medical cannabis products. Both companies also agreed to partner to educate pharmacists and physicians about medical cannabis products by applying “best-in-class” knowledge.

In addition, Tilray agreed to supply non-smokable/non-combustible medical cannabis products and license rights to and from Sandoz in relation to such products.

“This agreement represents a major milestone in the movement to provide access to safe, GMP-certified medical cannabis to patients in need across the world,” Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy said in a statement. “Tilray is a global company and we’re thrilled to build upon the success and momentum from our existing agreement with Sandoz Canada by taking our partnership global.

Tilray and Sandoz announced the initial Canadian strategic alliance on March 19. When that partnership was finalized on June 19, Sandoz said it would not operate in Canada’s recreational combustible cannabis market, which was legalized on October 17. Sandoz Canada trumpeted the original partnership with Tilray as the first instance of a Canadian affiliate of a global pharmaceutical company entering the country’s medical cannabis market.

Canada is among areas where Tilray has operations worldwide; the others are Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Portugal, and Latin America. The company sells its products in Canada and 11 other countries on five continents.

In February, Tilray closed on a C$60 million ($44.7 million) Series A financing marking the first time that outside investors had invested directly into a portfolio company of billionaire Peter Thiel’s Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm that invests exclusively in legal cannabis. Tilray said the financing was designed to position the company to operate and finance its growth independent of Privateer Holdings.

Tilray was North America’s first licensed medical cannabis producer to obtain cGMP certification in accordance with European Medicines Agency standards.

“Sandoz AG will be a valuable partner as we work together to improve access to the highest quality medical cannabis products in countries all over the world,” Kennedy added.


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