UNB News
News and stories from one of Canada’s top universities

UNB announces cannabis health research chair

Author: Communications

Posted on Aug 9, 2017

Category: UNB Fredericton

The New Brunswick Health Research Foundation and Tetra Bio-Pharma Inc. (CSE:TBP) (OTCQB:TBPMF) are investing a combined $1 million, $500,000 each, over five years to establish a Health Research Chair in Cannabis at the University of New Brunswick.

The chair will focus on the study of biochemistry, medicinal use and pharmacology of cannabis. This research will expand UNB’s commitment to research and innovation in the field of natural product and biomedical, health and life sciences – adding to its reputation as a leader in natural products research.

“The cannabis health research chair – the first in pharmacological sciences - is a key example of the university’s commitment to discovery,” says Dr. David MaGee, acting vice-president (research), UNB. “We believe in the power of research to advance innovation within New Brunswick. With 75 per cent of the province’s publicly funded research taking place at UNB, we’re thrilled to play a central role.”

Potential research areas for the chair include the analysis of existing cannabis literature, in order to understand inconsistencies and identify needs for future research; the biochemistry and medicinal chemistry analyses of cannabis; and preclinical pharmacology studies.

“Health research is instrumental in helping us find better ways to provide patient care in our province,” says Health Minister Victor Boudreau. “This new cannabis research chair will certainly provide crucial and innovative information on the use of cannabis as a medical treatment.”

The recruitment and nomination process will be conducted at the University of New Brunswick for a tenure-track faculty member. Funding for the chair is expected to start in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

“We are honoured to invest with the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation in establishing a research chair at the University of New Brunswick as Tetra Bio-Pharma positions itself as a global leader in pharmaceutical cannabis. Tetra Bio-Pharma has performed the first clinical trial for smokeable marijuana being developed as a prescribing drug. This clinical research has generated a new understanding to the safety of smoking medical cannabis. Tetra Bio-Pharma develops cannabis products according to pharmaceutical drug standard and I am pleased to say that we are now fast tracking the development of PPP001 to launch phase IIII clinical trials. The Tetra Bio-Pharma team has partnered with the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation to help develop innovative cannabis-based therapies and accelerate research to bring medical cannabis to patients,” says Andre Rancourt, chairman of the board of directors of Tetra Bio-Pharma.

Dr. Guy Chamberland, chief scientific officer of Tetra Bio-Pharma added, “Over the past few years, the province of New Brunswick has positioned itself on the forefront as global leaders in the development of cannabis products for health care. The Tetra team has partnered with the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation to help bring innovative cannabis-based therapies to patients.

“We have no doubt that when established, the work of this new chair - being the first of its kind in the world - will contribute significantly to this network by providing crucial information on the safety toward implementing new cannabis based products to practitioners working to help improve the quality of life for patients specifically living with chronic pain.”

This research will expand the university’s capacity to train, mentor and prepare undergraduate and graduate students to work effectively in botanical product research.

“This announcement of a second health research chair in cannabis clearly signifies New Brunswick’s intention to be at the forefront of cannabis research,” says Dr. Bruno Battistini, president, CEO and scientific director of the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation. “This competitive chair will further develop the science toward implementing proven and safe innovative cannabis-based therapies for the chronic treatment of various disorders (chronic pain, PTSD, etc.).”

Media contacts

  • Sonya Gilks, Director of Communications University of New Brunswick (506) 453-4546 sonya.gilks@unb.ca
  • Edward Miller, Vice President, IR & Corporate Communications Tetra Bio-Pharma Inc. (514) 360-8040 Ext. 203 edward@tetrabiopharma.com
  • Bruno Battistini, President, CEO & Scientific Director New Brunswick Health Research Foundation (506) 455-8886 bruno.battistini@nbhrf.com