FastForward Innovations unveils investment in medical cannabis business

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FastForward Innovations Ltd (LON:FFWD) said it invested A$1mln in a placing undertaken by Little Green Pharma Ltd (ASX:LGP), a medicinal cannabis business that supplies the Australian and overseas markets.

The AIM-listed company said the investment, which it expects will give it a 0.9% stake in LGP, will further develop its exposure to the medicinal cannabis industry and that LGP’s A$22mln total fundraise left the business “well capitalised for future growth”.

READ: FastForward Innovations higher after liquidity event for investee company

FastForward also said that LGP had achieved record sales in its December 2020 quarter, with revenues up 90% at A$2.45mln.

The company said LGP had made “significant recent progress” in establishing offshore channels in countries including the UK, Germany and New Zealand.

“As an experienced medical cannabis company investor, we have a very good understanding of the market opportunity, the international regulatory landscape and a team’s ability to deliver”, FastForward chief executive Ed McDermott said in a statement.

“Having been aware of their progress we are delighted to now support LGP, which ticks all the boxes; it has great assets, strong management, is well capitalised, and continuously delivers on its forecasts in a market where many do not. Furthermore, having engineered excellent European growth, we are confident that it will have further success internationally and deliver strong newsflow in the coming months and we look forward to supporting LGP and its management wherever we can”, he added.

Portage Biotech announces 2021 development goals

In a separate announcement late on Thursday afternoon, FastForward said another company in its portfolio, Portage Biotech Inc, has announced its research and development goals for 2021.

The goals include the advancement of three of Portage’s pipeline assets through clinical trials over the coming year. These include PORT-3, an invariant natural killer T-cell agonist (iNKT) co-formulated with an NY-ESO-1 vaccine to target certain cancers, PORT-2, another iNKT agonist for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer and melanoma, and PORT-1, focused on patients will difficult-to-treat cancer tumour types including breast, squamous cell, bile duct, pancreatic, colon, liver and sarcoma.

Portage also announced it received approval from the NASDAQ Capital Market to list its shares on the Nasdaq exchange and expects to commence trading on February 25.

“Moving the first two programs from our iNKT platform into the clinic represents a huge milestone for our team,” “Many patients with difficult-to-treat tumours fail to respond to checkpoint inhibitors, but PORT-2 and PORT-3 may prime the immune system and enable a robust anti-cancer response, expanding potential therapeutics for this population”, Portage chief executive Ian Walters said in a statement.

“Portage is one of our investments that has shown particular promise over the past year and it is very welcome news to hear that is has received approval to list on NASDAQ, an exchange that is well known for the success of its biotechnology companies”, McDermott said.

“Along with Portage’s pipeline of products which are targeted for clinical testing in 2021, it supports a number of subsidiary companies showing significant promise and we look forward to providing further updates as its portfolio continues on its growth trajectory”, the CEO added.

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