The Green Fund sits down for an exclusive interview with Dr. Sud Agarwal to discuss his career, his company and his recent appointment to Impression Healthcare.
It’s been a mammoth year for Impression Healthcare Limited (ASX: IHL), after the company recently announced the unveiling of its cannabinoid drug discovery brand, Incannex Pharmaceuticals.
Incannex is set to release four novel cannabinoid formulations targetting obstructive sleep apnea, Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, Gingivitis, and Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussion.
Though perhaps just as exciting as the trials themselves, is the partnership that they’ll be conducted under. IHL scored the snag of the century in March, when it appointed the internationally recognized key opinion leader in cannabinoid medicines, Dr. Sud Agarwal, as the company’s Chief Medical Officer and Non-Executive Director.
Dr. Agarwal not only has a stellar resume, but also serves as the CEO of Cannvalate, one of Australia’s leading medicinal cannabis companies.
To find out more about Dr. Agarwal and his role in IHL, The Green Fund Founder and CEO, Mark Bernberg, sat down for an exclusive interview with the esteemed doctor.
Dr. Agarwal began his career studying medicine in the U.K at the University of Bristol, before immigrating to Australia in 2001 to specialize in anesthesia. Over the next 15 years, Dr. Agarwal went on to build an impressive track record, commercializing several healthcare companies while becoming a successful property developer.
It wasn’t until 2016 that the cannabis industry would catch the eye of Dr. Agarwal.
“It’s 2016, and the cannabis industry is really kicking off. At this point, I’m a specialist anesthetist, and I’ve had almost 10 years of practice as a specialist,” he said.
“I’ve now completed seven property developments and become relatively comfortable with deal structuring and financing.”
Dr. Agarwal’s reputation landed him an advisory role on the board of Cann Group, a developer and supplier of cannabis, cannabis resin, and medicinal cannabis products.
Cann Group was the first Australian company to secure the necessary licenses and permits required to cultivate and research cannabis for human medicinal purposes. This gave Dr. Agarwal valuable insight into the inner workings of the cannabis industry, and sparked his interest in starting something of his own.
“I was very much interested in the late value-chain of cannabis. So not the cultivation, not the extraction, but everything that happens once you’ve got a product,” Agarwal said.
:How do you get a physician to prescribe it? How do you get the product to a patient? How do you get the right product to the right patient, validated and tested at the correct dose? That information wasn’t easily available in Australia back in early 2017.”
This interest to bridge the gap between cannabis companies, doctors, and patients within the cannabis industry came to a head for Dr. Agarwal, when he was asked to speak at a Cann10 Conference in 2018. Little did he know, this would serve as the birthplace for his company Cannvalate, and was where he would meet his co-founders.
“I was invited to speak at the Cann10 conference, which basically finds niche entities that want to set up and scale within an industry and acts as a kind of cannabis accelerator. That’s where I met Darryl Davies and Asaf Katz.”
“We assembled a meeting and realized there was a big potential in creating the late value chain of medical cannabis because no one had successfully done it. The numbers of patients getting prescribed… it was barely, 10 to 80 patients. And so we thought, you know, there’s a solution to this,” Agarwal said.
And so, in May 2018, Cannvalate was born.
Please read the full interview here.