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ASX small-cap AusCann Group ramps up cannabis research

Cannabis-related research and development is booming at the moment as companies rush to capitalise on its gradual legalisation.

AusCann Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: AC8) has established a Perth R&D facility in a $5.25m acquisition that it hopes will strengthen its product pipeline. The site will focus on the development of ‘innovative formulations and dose forms’ for pharmaceutical applications.

The move shows AusCann is making moves to bolster its pharmaceutical development program, which it says sets itself apart from other Australian cannabis producers.

Fully funded by cash-on-hand, the facility will also require an additional $6 million of capital investment to get it up and running by the end of the year.

AusCann interim CEO, Dr Paul MacLeman said: ‘The acquisition of the research and development site is a major stepping stone for AusCann as it allows the creation of a fully integrated, state of the art facility for medicinal cannabis.’

The company is also gearing up for the launch of its hard-shell cannabinoid capsules this year, with production planned to begin in the middle of the year.

Meanwhile, medical dermatology company Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: BOT) is also making headway on its clinical study for the treatment of atopic dermatitis with its BTX1204 product.

Botanix focuses on the application of cannabidiol for pharmaceutical applications. The company currently has four products in the pipeline which utilise its proprietary Permetrex™ technology for direct skin delivery.

The company announced this morning that it had completed its Investigator’s Meeting for the BTX1204 clinical study.

The 12-week study will involve approximately 200 patients in dermatology clinics around the US and Australia. Participants for the study are expected to be fully recruited by the third-quarter of calendar year 2019.

The AusCann share price is up 2.4% this morning while the Botanix share price has fallen 2.3%.

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Motley Fool contributor Cale Kalinowski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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