Warren Everrit on GMP Certification and Future Growth in Asia-Pacific - MediPharm Labs
(Warren is CEO for Asia-Pacific MediPharm Labs, based in Australia. The new Australian facility, which covers 10,000 square feet, is located in Victoria state, just outside the town of Wonthaggi, on Australia’s south-eastern coast.)
Exactly where are you in the facility’s building progress right now?
At this point in time, construction at our facility has been completed. The lab is now fully outfitted as well.
Is the plant in production yet, doing extraction and distillation?
We have just been granted our GMP Certification and Licence to Manufacture Therapeutic Goods, a key milestone in the advancement of our global supply chain strategy and a catalyst for revenue generation in Australia. Recently, we signed two white-label supply agreements for the export of finished products to the medical cannabis market in New Zealand and a supply agreement for white label pharmaceutical-quality (GMP certified) cannabis oil products with Burleigh Heads Cannabis. Shortly, we’ll be bringing material into Australia from our Canadian parent plant in Barrie under their TGA GMP certification. Then our team will do some further manufacturing and release the product into the Australian market. This will be the first revenue stream for us. The product will include resin and cannabis-infused oil bottles (sublingual drops).
What does GMP Certification mean to MediPharm Labs Australia?
As a GMP-compliant company situated in the emerging Asia-Pacific cannabis market, this is a milestone achievement and essential licence that clears the way for MediPharm Labs Australia to further accelerate supply opportunities, at home and abroad, and begin fulfilling our pipeline of customer orders for finished, formulated products. This Licence is also emblematic of the tremendous duty of care we took in building our capabilities to the high standards required of GMP. MediPharm Labs Australia can now serve as a key link in the Company’s international GMP-compliant supply chain complementing our state-of-the-art GMP certified facility in Canada.
Will the supply coming from Canadian MediPharm Labs plant be processed product, or raw material?
Both. First we’ll bring in raw material and finished product. We’ll be manufacturing the cannabis oil bottles ourselves in Australia, for example, but to start we’ll do some of the initial bottle fulfillment in Barrie as well. This will help us avoid delays in fulfilling orders, because if we only bring in raw material there’s a time element issue, due to packaged sublingual drop mixture having to be put into stability studies. Finished bottle product we bring in, on the other hand, will already have acquired stability data which means it will also have an applied shelf life which is required for distribution into international markets.
Where will your products, cannabis oil bottles and resins, be sold?
They’ll be sold in international markets. Canada at the moment doesn’t require medicinal cannabis to be GMP manufactured and certified, but most other international pharmaceutical markets do. Manufacturing products in Australia gives it increased credibility, because of the mutual recognition agreements Australia has in the international pharmaceutical world. Coming through Australia gives us the advantage of being able to sell our product not only in Australia, but in New Zealand and Europe and Asia.
What kind of response have you had from people who have toured the new facility or read about it on your website?
Well, if you look at the video on our website yourself, you’ll understand the response we’ve had right away. Everyone has just been blown away by the plant. We had the luxury of building our facility using the base plant in Barrie as a model, and then optimizing that for our location. Everything here is brand new, including the equipment. That’s one advantage we have. Another is that most of the other Australian cannabis companies that were early out of the gate were focused on cultivation. Given we have completed the facility, we will support a large portion of the industry in the region. On top of that, the feedback on the plant has been amazing.
Is the new facility an Australian-wide news story?
I think awareness of it and the company has reached a lot of the country, largely because the attitude towards medicinal cannabis is becoming more accepting in Australia. There’s a recognition that this is a truly global industry now. And in the town of Wonthaggi itself, and the surrounding region, the beauty of our situation is that we’re one of the biggest companies hiring here. You get the entourage effect, people touring the plant and then communicating with other townfolk as to what they’ve seen. There’s a lot of learning and education going on locally, with regard to what we’re doing here.
How many people are employed by the MediPharm Labs’ plant in Australia?
About 35 right now. That number should probably double by the time we get into the swing of production.
When do you see that happening? At least when do you see the first orders being filled from the Australian facility.
Probably June. It’s something we’re all looking forward to.
Learn more about MediPharm Labs Australia https://www.medipharmlabs.com/australia