How Tilray Is Branching Out Its Business

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Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) shares dipped on Monday despite the cannabis firm announcing that it would be branching out and supporting two new clinical studies: one involving pediatric patients with severe behavioral problems (SBP) and intellectual disabilities (ID), and the other on immune activation in people living with HIV.

Specifically, one of these is a pilot study led by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of cannabis extract as a form of treatment for reducing SBP in pediatric patients with ID. The second is a study with McGill University Health Centre’s Division of Infectious Diseases and Chronic Viral Illness to examine the effectiveness of medical cannabis on immune activation in people living with HIV.

Over 50,000 youth in Australia today have ID with SBP, such as irritability, aggression and self-injury. If this study should post favorable results, Tilray could see a huge windfall as the firm supplied the medical cannabis products used for the trial. The trial commenced in early 2019, and the results are expected to be published in 2020.

As for the other study, the use of medical cannabis to potentially benefit people living with HIV has been largely unexplored due to regulatory restrictions that impeded its thorough evaluation in the past decade. The changing regulatory environment and access to high-quality pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products has allowed researchers to begin generating critical data in support of this patient population, living with a number of difficult-to-treat conditions.

The trial led by McGill University is expected to contribute to a growing body of evidence in support of medical cannabis as treatment option for people living with HIV and provide important data on the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabinoids. This trial is expected to begin in the second half of 2019. More information about the trial will be shared in the coming months.

Philippe Lucas, vice president of Global Patient Research and Access, Tilray, commented:

Tilray is at the forefront of clinical research in the medical cannabis field and we’re very proud to support two groundbreaking studies that have potential to identify more indications in which medical cannabis can benefit patients in-need. We are committed to advancing cannabinoid-based science to further understand the potential benefits of medical cannabis as a treatment option among these critical patient populations. There is a serious need for more clinical data in our field, and we are proud to support research like this around the world.

Shares of Tilray were last seen down about 3% at $63.71, with a post-IPO range of $20.10 to $300.00. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $108.50.


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