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Portuguese Army will produce cannabis compounds at the National Medicines Laboratory

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The National Medicines Laboratory, which integrates the Army of Portugal and is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Defense, the production of medicines, substances and preparations based on cannabis may soon begin, possibly with a view to meeting the needs of Portuguese patients. The public entity signed a contract worth around 183.000 euros for the construction of clean rooms for handling medicinal cannabis, in August 2023. LNM has also participated, since 2020, in a research consortium for the development of functional cosmetic formulations and aromatherapy.

Portuguese patients may be closer to seeing their prescriptions filled with cannabis products produced by the Portuguese Army. This is because the National Medicines Laboratory (LNM), which succeeded the former Military Chemical and Pharmaceutical Products Laboratory, in operation in the country since 1918, contracted the construction of clean rooms for the handling of medicinal cannabis, in August 2023. contract, worth 149.499,44 euros (plus VAT of 34.384,87 euros), provides for a contract execution period of 144 continuous days and was awarded to the industrial consultancy TypeSolution S.A., through the prior consultation regime. You can read the contract in full at the end of the article.

A TypeSolutions is a company dedicated to the advice and sale of laboratory and industrial equipment and offers clean room design and supply services, among many other services. This company has several clients operating in the medical cannabis sector, such as Tilray, CannPrisma or LabialFarma, among others.

Although Portuguese legislation establishes that LNM can contribute to the production of medicines, preparations and substances based on the cannabis plant, it is not clear whether the manipulation of cannabis will be used to produce solutions that alleviate the burden of the Portuguese State with authorizations. of exceptional use (AUE) and the especially high acquisition costs of medicines such as Epidyolex or Sativex.

Cannareporter contacted LNM to obtain clarification regarding the characteristics of the infrastructures that are being developed and what their specific objectives are, but no response was received at the time of this publication. We also did not know if the Laboratory intends to develop specific medicinal cannabis products and what, or if there is any relationship with the “SkanAbility” project, which has now ended. 

SkanAbility: Research Consortium for functional cannabinoid products 

Since 2020, LNM has participated in a research consortium aimed at developing formulations for functional cosmetics and aromatherapy. This project, called “SkanABility”, will have already ended, and aimed to “develop formulations for functional cosmetics and aromatherapy, with the incorporation of cannabinoids and terpenes, in creams, emulsions or tonics and/or enriched oils”. Cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted from dried flowers or leaves and purified to a high degree of purity.


The consortium created for SkanAbility began in July 2020 and included EXM Ceuticals Portugal, Lda, COSMETEK, Lda., Vinideas, the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Lisbon, the University of Minho and the National Medicines Laboratory. LNM was responsible for the task of “planning and designing a biological and data biobank for comprehensive characterization and storage”.

The task, categorized as “T106” intended to create a cannabis biobank, through the use of biological samples and recording of the characterization data obtained. According to what Cannareporter was able to determine, the planning and design of the support structure have already been carried out, and the physical infrastructure is being implemented.

LNM also assumes that it has already carried out the task of “Planning and creating a quality management plan for the handling of biological samples – namely the safety, transport, storage and traceability of the associated processes and procedures for the correct preservation and handling of samples” , with the development of a digital registry dedicated to managing the database being underway.

Despite Cannareporter's efforts, it was not possible to obtain any reaction from LNM.

Contract for the construction of clean rooms for the handling of medicinal cannabis:

2055345-3

 

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[Disclaimer: Please note that this text was originally written in Portuguese and is translated into English and other languages ​​using an automatic translator. Some words may differ from the original and typos or errors may occur in other languages.]

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