The merger between Zelira, formerly Zelda Therapeutics, and Ilera is set to create a global medicinal cannabis company.
The two companies along with the new name bring together a portfolio of revenue-generating medicines and products undergoing clinical development that are expected to enter the market from 2020.
Zelira’s ‘launch, learn and develop’ model will be deployed to rapidly commercialise products targeting large addressable markets such as pain, sleep and anxiety.
Global medicinal cannabis market launch
Zelira founder and chairman Osagie Imasogie said: “We are very excited to commence our launch, learn and develop model across Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom to add to our USA footprint.
“Ilera Therapeutics and Zelda are an excellent and natural fit, given our respective clinical development strategies and operational expertise.
“Both companies have successful track records of creating substantial value for shareholders and, together, we will retain and further build on this focus.
“Our ability as a merged company to immediately capture growth opportunities in the rapidly expanding global medicinal cannabis market will be significantly enhanced.”
Direct access to the world’s cannabis market
With operations in Australia and the USA, Zelira will have a strong platform to access global medicinal cannabis markets.
The company will have direct access to the USA, the world’s largest medicinal cannabis market, with over four million registered patients, as well as other markets including Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom.
The merger brings together long-term supply and distribution relationships with pharmaceutical-grade manufacturers in Europe (via HAPA pharm BV) and the USA (via Terrascend/Ilera Healthcare and Advanced Biomedics LLC.) ensuring access to large scale quantities of pharmaceutical-grade medicinal cannabis to supply large and growing patient populations.
“Rich pipeline of products”
Zelira founder and deputy chairman Harry Karelis said: “This merger will create one of the world's leading medicinal cannabis companies with a rich pipeline of clinically validated products.
“Autism is already a focus of Zelda and the HOPE® franchise complements our overall strategy, making Ilera Therapeutics a natural strategic fit with us.”
Karelis added: “Jointly, this will enable the newly-formed Zelira Therapeutics to accelerate plans that will disrupt the medicinal cannabis and pharmaceutical markets globally in the world's largest and fastest emerging industry.”
Following the completion of the acquisition, Zelira has appointed Osagie Imasogie as chairman, Lisa Gray as a director and Oludare Odumosu as another director with Harry Karelis taking up the role of deputy chair.
Mara Gordon and Stewart Washer have resigned as non-executive directors with Mara Gordon to remain with the group as she joins Zelira’s Medical Advisory Board.