Shares of Evogene (NASDAQ
The medical cannabis industry has been going through a steady stream of innovations in recent years, bringing a ray of hope to patients suffering from chronic pain, PTSD, and even cancer.
With more and more governments warming up to this alternative medicine, its demand is growing almost exponentially. In fact, a recent study conducted by the financial group Frontier has revealed the global medical cannabis market to be valued at approximately $13 billion. The group has further predicted this value to hit the $24 billion mark by 2025.
However, this sudden, rapid growth of the medical cannabis market also necessitates a steady, sustainable supply of the product – an issue that could cripple the market if not handled right away. To that end, Israel-based plant genomics firm Evogene has recently announced their decision to set up a subsidiary organization, focused on improving both the quality and yearly yield of medical cannabis.
Canonic Ltd., the subsidiary, will put to use mathematical algorithms already developed by Evogene to discover genes that make plant seeds resistant to harsh environmental conditions and efficiently consume soil resources. Canonic hopes to use the extensive knowledge base of Evogene to develop high-yield cannabis seeds. Plans to develop seeds designed for patients with specific conditions is also in the pipeline for Canonic, as per a statement recently issued by Evogene.
Speaking on this major step taken by Evogene, Ofer Haviv, CEO and President of the company, stated that medical cannabis falls well within the scope of plant genomics research and advancements made in human therapeutics by Evogene. He also expressed hope that Canonic would prove to be instrumental in advancing the development of highly improved medical cannabis products within a short time. The value addition to the cannabis market by the subsidiary is expected to be substantial, he added.
Israel has been at the forefront of medical cannabis research ever since Prof. Raphael Mechoulam of the Hebrew University discovered tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in 1964.
THC is the dominant psychoactive compound present in cannabis and is the source of most therapeutic qualities that the plant possesses. With the founding of an organization dedicated to the development of better variants of cannabis, the country is likely to dominate the global market for the product in the near future.
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