Murdoch signs industry alliance for medicinal cannabis research

May 24, 2016

Professor Mike Jones will help build the knowledge base to improve medicinal cannabis lines

Professor Mike Jones will help build the knowledge base to improve medicinal cannabis lines

Murdoch University has announced a new five year research alliance with AusCann Group Holdings Ltd (AusCann), intended to lead to the development of projects in the field of medicinal cannabis.

The strategic research and development alliance will enable world leading research in the cultivation and development of medicinal cannabis strains for the effective treatment of various medical conditions, and which are also suited to Australian growing conditions.

“We are particularly proud to have Murdoch University as a partner, given their research into plant breeding is truly world renowned,’’ said AusCann chief executive Elaine Darby.

“Professor Michael Jones, who is the Foundation Director of the WA State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre and Professor of Agricultural Biotechnology at Murdoch University, has made a notable impact in improving crop resilience, breeding and yields here and overseas.’’

“Having such experienced research partners involved in the formation of a new medicinal cannabis industry is a key step for us,’’ said Ms Darby.

Professor Jones is also a co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of the trait development company, NemGenix.

Professor Jones is an internationally recognised expert in agricultural biotechnology and has been involved in significant breakthroughs including the development of molecular diagnostic tests for the grains industry, pioneering the use of marker-assisted selection for wheat and barley in Western Australia, and more recently developing gene silencing technology to control crop pests.

“I am really looking forward to working with AusCann and to help build up the knowledge base in developing improved medicinal cannabis lines,’’ said Professor Jones.

“The recent changes to the Narcotics Drug Act have provided a pathway to permit cannabis for medicinal product manufacture, to be grown in Australia.”

Murdoch’s Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation Professor David Morrison said the overarching agreement with AusCann will capitalise on a wide range of Murdoch expertise, which could lead to the involvement of more researchers across a broad range of research fields.

“Murdoch University places a great emphasis on collaborating with industry partners like AusCann,” said Professor Morrison.

“Our demonstrated expertise in translational research enables us to forge strong industry partnerships, allowing us to align with the federal government’s innovation agenda.

“Murdoch will, as usual, apply its strict code of compliance and ethics to all research projects resulting from the collaboration. This process normally includes community and expert consultation to actively consider the production processes, the benefits as well as any resultant ethical issues that may arise.”

Under the agreement AusCann will solely own and exploit any intellectual property developed from the research.

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