A California life sciences company named Biomedican is drawing significant attention for the rapid progress it’s made in patented, low-cost methods of biosynthesizing rare cannabinoids.
The company uses a proprietary strain of yeast named Yarrowia lipolytica to extract pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoids that are chemically identical to those extracted from cannabis plants. Aside from producing these cannabinoids at scale, Biomedican is raising eyebrows around the scientific and investor communities by growing high-value compounds that have no toxins or contaminants, and by doing it at a fraction of the usual cost.
This fall, Biomedican announced it had successfully biosynthesized CBG/CBGA, non-psychoactive cannabinoids that promise to have broad anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant functions. The known health benefits of the cannabinoid include counteracting pain and nausea, as well as slowing the growth of cancer cells.
More recently, the company said it had also biosynthesized THCV/THCVA, two other minor cannabinoids, which have potential to treat a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and osteoporosis. THCV also shows an ability to activate CB2 receptors, while blocking CB1 receptors, something researchers say holds promise for delaying the progression of Parkinson’s disease, as well as improving symptoms associated with the disease.
“The global demand for rare cannabinoids is growing astronomically,” said Biomedican CEO Maxim Mikheev. “We are fully confident we will have the highest quality and lowest cost product in the market.”
Mikheev said his company expects to produce CBG/CBGA for less than $1/gram, while the current market is about $20/gram. The company also anticipates producing THCV/THCVA for about 90 percent less than the current wholesale cost.
The biosynthetic cannabinoid market is expected to reach $10 billion by 2025.
Biomedican anticipates it will begin shipping its CBG/CBGA by the fourth quarter of 2021, while Mikheev said, “We are in discussions with pharmaceutical companies pertaining to using Biomedican’s THCV/THCVA in upcoming trials.”