Venture x Cannabinoid Science & Innovation? 🧬🤔
More info following our recent podcast with Oskare Capital.
Does it mean something uh? Writers like to substantivize their newsletter readers from the name of their said newsletter, so why not!
In today’s piece, we give a bit of medical, market & legal context about Medical Cannabis and share with you our latest podcast on that topic with Gaetano Insalaco, VC, Co-Founder & Managing Director of Oskare Capital. I am not a particular advocate because of my low knowledge, but I am curious and the space is interesting, because it’s growing & meeting shifting mindsets.
So let’s discover Medical Cannabis. ⤵
There is clearly an untapped therapeutic potential of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), the importance and impact of which is compared to the immune system.
Cannabinoids and other novel molecules can interact with the ECS for a wide scope of treatments in: cancer, pain management, anxiety, epilepsy, sleep, depression, NASH syndrome, ADHD.
The ECS or “Endocannabinoid System”
Discovered in 1992, this system is found in man and all vertebrate species. It has been used as the body's way to create homeostasis and adapt to environmental stress and changes. Modulation of this widely distributed regulatory system appears to have therapeutic (medical) value depending of the disease entity and severity.
Endocannabinoid receptors are
located in areas of the brain
found in the gastrointestinal tract
active compounds in the cannabis plant, which are called phytocannabinoids
synthetic compounds that have also been developed to mimic the effects of the phytocannabinoids.
The European opportunity in Medical Cannabis could be bigger than its North-American counterpart
For a few reasons:
Government backing, enabling to import best practices from North America, while avoiding the pitfalls + dedicated regulatory agencies set up in a number of European countries to specifically deal with Medical Cannabis
Leading R&D with government supported research projects (e.g. Project Twenty21)
On track to become the largest global market: Medical Cannabis, developed in Europe, exported Globally was a EUR 300M market in 2018 and is expected to grow to EUR 2.8bio in 2024 then to EUR 15bio in 2029.
Generally, Medical Cannabis could be a 15x investment, thanks to a culmination of factors in Europe that are now creating a tipping point for this industry (of course there is no guarantee of performance and it is a very risky space still in its infancy!).
Medical Cannabis investment areas
Creating outcomes and solutions to unmet needs and unrealized opportunities within healthcare and the medical cannabis sector has to be enabled through targeted investments in companies developing new molecules and combination products for specific medical conditions in human and animals, as well as the needed technologies and infrastructure related to realize the opportunities presented by the cannabinoids.
Three blocks could be identified:
Cognitive & behavioral outcomes
for the elderly and those suffering from dementia
to improve concentration for those suffering from attention disorder
to reduce anxiety
to reduce Down’s syndrome
cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure
inflammatory eye disease
Lifestyle / Quality of life
anxiety of seniors living in care facilities
improving sex drive
Why VC are interested in this space?
Oskare Capital is aiming to raise EUR 150M for its first-time fund that will mostly invest in Europe and in Pharmaceutical & Medical Cannabis, including this above-mentioned new area targeting the endocannabinoid system. To a lesser extent will Oskare invest in comsumer goods / wellness / CBD while avoiding ❌ recreational cannabis.
In this episode, you will discover:
✅ Gaetano’s career path, who happened to be CFO & Partner at Truffle Capital, where he also met his current Co-Founder Alexandre Ouimet-Storrs about 10y ago
✅ the genesis of the idea of Óskare Capital
✅ the need to attract high profiles from the field including Olivier Brandicourt ex-CEO of Sanofi & Bruce Linton, founder of Canopy Growth
✅ how to create a very technical, expert core-team
✅ the opportunity in therapeutic cannabis in Europe (already mentioned above but much more detailed)
✅ Oskare Capital's investment thesis & investment topics, its LPs, its first deal
✅ psychological barriers & legal framework...
… and many more topics!
Enjoy the episode and as usual, let us know your thought!
Sources: Oskare Capital