SETEK Acquires Genetic Specialist for Medicinal Cannabis Development

Medicinal Cannabis company SETEK today announced it has acquired Whanganui- based industrial hemp breeder Southern Hemisphere Botanicals (SHB).

SETEK’s Co-Chief Executive David Pearce said that SHB’s expertise would significantly accelerate SETEK’s product development capability and help it to quickly scale outdoor cannabis production.

“Consistent, high-quality raw cannabis compounds are critical to the successful development of therapeutic products. SHB, with its ability to create new medicinal cannabis and nutraceutical cannabinoid compounds from locally developed and grown stock, will provide SETEK with the in-house capability to achieve this.

Mr Pearce said SHB and its principal Brad Hutchinson bring significant expertise to SETEK, both in the selective breeding of hemp (a plant closely related to cannabis) in New Zealand, knowledge and experience in breeding medicinal cannabis overseas and growing industrial scale outdoor crops.

“The company’s intellectual property includes a library of industrial hemp cultivars which are suited to local growing conditions and offer concentrations of phytocompounds that are highly sought-after by the nutraceutical industry.

SHB founder Brad Hutchinson said the company had achieved a number of hemp breeding successes in New Zealand, including the development of phenotypes of legally imported hemp cannabis varietals.

“These phenotypes offer beneficial characteristics such as increased biomass; winter cropping; mould and pest resistance; and high concentrations of specific phytochemicals. The phytochemicals include terpenes and flavonoids that are believed to influence the action of CBD, THC and other cannabinoids and deliver sought-after therapeutic benefits.

“This expertise is already directly applicable to medicinal cannabis and nutraceuticals, and there is a further, natural crossover to medicinal cannabis plants. We see a real opportunity to develop unique, pharmaceutical-grade compounds from which targeted pain relief and insomnia therapies can be developed for SETEK,” said Mr Hutchinson.

Mr Pearce said the acquisition, coupled with the earlier-announced MoU with AFT Pharmaceuticals, propels SETEK into a unique position in the emerging medicinal cannabis sector. The company now has in-house cannabis breeding and husbandry expertise as well as partnerships for the development, clinical trials, commercialisation and distribution of medicinal cannabis products.

“Bringing SHB into the company will play a pivotal role for SETEK in achieving its ambition to be a market leader with its GMP grade, 100% New Zealand organic medicinal cannabis products and nutraceuticals.

“With the medicinal cannabis licences soon to be granted, we are in a strong position. We are led by a board and senior management with strong technical expertise and a deep understanding of the new regulatory regime. We now have in place the skills
and partnerships to take the development of medicinal cannabis growing and manufacturing facility from a blueprint to a reality.”

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About SETEK Ltd

SETEK is a New Zealand owned bio-science company which aims to cultivate, process, manufacture and market pure organic, pharmaceutical-grade, cannabinoid-based medicines and cannabis-infused cosmetics to pharmacies, clinics and other outlets throughout Australasia, the Asia Pacific region, and beyond.

Our goal is to be New Zealand’s lowest-cost provider of organic, pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis and cannabis-infused skincare products.

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