Avricore Health and Molecular You Announce Launch of myCannabisPGx Genetic Test for Safe Medical Cannabis Use
Avricore Health Inc. (TSXV:AVCR, OTCQB:AVCRF) (“Avricore Health”) has signed a distribution agreement with Molecular You Corporation (“Molecular You”) to provide its newly developed genetic medication response test myCannabisPGxTM, which is designed to ensure safe and effective use of medical cannabis in a community pharmacy setting.
During this launch phase, Avricore will offer myCannabisPGx initially through seven pharmacy locations in the Greater Toronto Area, with the objective of securing up to 30 locations by summer 2019. Consumers will receive an easy-to-read report that’s clear to understand so they can take action on their health choices.
The test will be offered in conjunction with a pharmacist consultation and will be delivered through the HealthTab platform’s customer interface. The myCannabisPGx test from Molecular You analyzes an individual’s genetics to show how they may respond to the two key active ingredients of cannabis: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). This information is useful in selecting a cannabis product best suited to the individual. myCannabisPGx will also evaluate over 40 commonly prescribed medications and assess which drugs would not be safe to take together with medical or recreational cannabis.
Avricore’s HealthTab™ platform, which supports a variety of testing and genetic data options, empowers patients and healthcare teams with better data for better health decision-making. Avricore seeks to strengthen community pharmacy, helping these vital healthcare centres offer leading-edge health technologies with the personalized support customers value.
A Safer Alternative to Opioids
In the midst of the opioid crisis, health providers are looking for safer alternatives to manage pain. With the legalization of cannabis, practitioners and patients are looking for evidence and guidance prior to committing to this new treatment option. Medical cannabis is a valid option for many people, but individual genetic variation can influence patient response to the active components of cannabis. It is also important to evaluate potential interactions between cannabis and other medications. myCannabisPGx was developed to meet this need.
The Market for Medical Cannabis
The medical cannabis market is estimated to be C$770 million to $1.79 billion in 2019 and is predicted to grow to C$2.35 billion in 2025. Health Canada reported there were more than 340,000 registered medical cannabis users by the end of September 2018.*
The most common use of medical cannabis is for cancer pain and mitigating the side effects of chemotherapy. It is also indicated for chronic pain management in arthritis and for spasticity.
“We are all different in how we process medications. While cannabis is considered a safe substance, some people can be sensitive to normal doses and experience unwanted side effects that can be avoided through our genetic analysis,” commented Rob Fraser, CEO of Molecular You. “People also need to be aware of the potential dangers of taking cannabis products with other prescription medications,” explained Fraser. “We are excited to be working together with Avricore in delivering safe and effective solutions to cannabis users through community pharmacies.”
myCannabisPGx is a genetic test that looks at the body’s response to the active ingredients in cannabis: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). It is a simple, cheek swab test, designed for people who are considering taking medical cannabis, who need to know if they have genetic variants indicating sensitivity to the active components of cannabis. Unlike other cannabis tests, the product offers an all-in-one medication response test showing 1) Individual genetic response to cannabis 2) Interaction between cannabis and existing medications 3) Genetic response to other medications and 4) Drug-to-drug interactions associated with the use of cannabis and other medications. Individual results are delivered through a visual dashboard and printable report for discussion with healthcare providers.
Integration with Avricore’s HealthTab Platform
Offering the Molecular You pharmacogenomic test through the HealthTab platform will provide customers unparalleled access to personalized information on cannabis use, along with clinical guidance from their trusted community pharmacist. They will be an indispensable resource in empowering new medical cannabis users to safely integrate cannabis into their more traditional prescription regimens.
Bob Rai, CEO of Avricore Health commented, “When Avricore Health set out to become the leader in pharmacy-based health technologies, we knew our platform had to be open to collaboration. This partnership with Molecular You demonstrates our ability to integrate HealthTab with other platforms and scale its offerings to meet consumer demand. And, it means that consumers can now benefit from a personalized approach to healthcare from a wide range of tests, including safe and effective cannabis analysis.”
Robert Sindelar, Professor and Former Dean, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia and Member of the Board, Avricore Health, noted that “Coupling state-of-the-art genomic science with the trust and expertise of your community pharmacist will reshape the safe and effective medical and recreational use of cannabis products and empower patients and users to make the best decisions for their health and well-being.”
Professor Sindelar is a strong advocate for the expanded role of pharmacists and increased collaboration between pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. He added, “Community pharmacists are ideally suited to offer medication response testing and interpretation of results.”
About Avricore Health
Avricore Health Inc. is committed to becoming a health innovator and applying technologies at the forefront of science to core health issues at the community pharmacy level. The Company’s goal is to empower consumers, patients and pharmacists with innovative technology, products, services and information to monitor and optimize health.
About Molecular You
Molecular You is a personalized digital health company with a mission to deliver true precision health on a single platform that empowers individuals to take control of their health. The company’s flagship AI-driven digital health platform, MY Health IntelligenceTM, generates personal health assessments and Lifestyle Action Plans through a visually intuitive dashboard based an individual’s multi-dimensional data. MY Health TrackerTM is the company’s smart phone app that helps customers conveniently track their progress and stay engaged with their Lifestyle Action Plans on an ongoing basis.
Bob Rai, Director and CEO
Director Communications, Molecular You
Deloitte, A society in transition, an industry ready to bloom 2018 cannabis report, https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/ca/Documents/consulting/ca-cannabis-2018-report-en.PDF
Statista, Medical Marijuana in Canada, Statistics and Facts
Health Canada, Cannabis for medical purposes
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Avricore Health’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Avricore Health generally uses words such as “outlook,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “might,” “remains,” “to be,” “plans,” “believes,” “may,” “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “estimate,” “future,” “plan,” “positioned,” “potential,” “project,” “remain,” “scheduled,” “set to,” “subject to,” “upcoming,” and similar expressions to help identify forward-looking statements. In this press release, forward-looking statements include statements regarding: the integration of Molecular You’s service offerings with the HealthTab platform; the unique features that the HealthTab platform offers to pharmacists and patients; the emergence of pharmacist managed health initiatives and the potentially lucrative opportunities in connection therewith; the opportunity for pharmacists to play a key role in helping patients achieve nutritional and dietary objectives; and the anticipated benefits of the HealthTab/Molecular You combination to pharmacists and patients. Forward-looking statements reflect the then-current expectations, beliefs, assumptions, estimates and forecasts of Avricore Health’s management. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based upon information available to Avricore Health as of the date of this press release. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Avricore Health and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations, including without limitation: failure to negotiate and enter into a definitive agreement with Molecular You; failure to meet regulatory requirements; changes in the market; potential downturns in economic conditions; and other risk factors described in Avricore Health’s public filings available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Accordingly, readers should exercise caution in relying upon forward-looking statements and Avricore Health undertakes no obligation to publicly revise them to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as required by applicable law.
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