FAST-growing Lithuanian business Sanobiotec aims to be a leading global player delivering on the potential of the many ‘minor’ cannabinoids, as Co-Founder Rytis Vincentas Urbonas explains.
WITH revenues expected to top €3m this year and treble to €9m next the limits on Sanobiotec’s progress and ambition appear to be purely logistical.
“The main limiting factor for our revenue growth is our production capacity, which we are rapidly scaling due to the demand.
“Due to an explosive growth of the companies developing and using minor cannabinoids in their products as well as additional markets opening up, we are now entering the fast-paced growth stage and expect it to last many years to come,” explained Co-Founder Rytis Vincentas Urbonas.
Based in Vilnius, Lithuania, Sanobiotec was formed in 2018 By Mr Urbonas, Renaldas Rimkus and Petras Sabalys.
Over 30 Staff
The company has grown quickly and currently has 31 staff with dedicated professionals in all key areas, including R&D, quality control, manufacturing and top management.
Its current focus is on producing four cannabinoids at scale, namely: tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC) and cannabidivarin (CBDV).
Mr Urbonas said: “All of these compounds are produced with the quality as the core value, ranging from in-house testing throughout the production process to third-party accredited lab testing adhering to the European Pharmacopoeia standards.”
Looking ahead it believes there are countless opportunities in its chosen field, he continued: “Minor cannabinoids are gaining more attention than ever and interest in them will definitely increase.
“There are more than 500 clinical trials completed or in-progress with CBD and THC as drug candidates, yet there are only a dozen clinical studies with minor cannabinoids such as CBN, THCV, or CBDV.
“I believe that we are on the verge of understanding the scope of possible applications of these molecules and that this class of drugs has the potential to replace at least part of the opioid market, which has caused a lot of damage to our society, both socially and economically.
“Moreover, the fact that the endocannabinoid system is one of the most densely developed biological signalling systems in the human body and plays a role in many functions, such as memory, appetite, stress response, sleep, and others, suggests that we are far from utilizing the full potential of cannabinoid-based medicines.
“I believe that we will see at least a few new cannabinoid-based drug molecules, other than CBD, approved by the EMA (European Medicines Agency) and/or FDA (The US Food and Drugs Administration) in the next 10 years.
Synthetic Or Natural
One key area of development for Sanobiotec is delivering on the potential of synthetic cannabis compounds.
He continued:” At the molecular level, there is no difference whatsoever between a synthetically produced and a natural cannabinoid.
“However, the quality and yield of the synthetic cannabinoid are more reproducible and aren’t subject to seasonal changes. With natural cannabinoids, companies may have to wait until the plant is in bloom during its season before gaining access to the cannabinoid.
“Synthetic cannabinoids are created in the lab, thus, we can have access to it at any time.
“Additionally, the most common environmental pollutants bearing the greatest impact on human health are relevant to agriculture. Cannabis plant processing is responsible for a significantly higher carbon footprint than synthetic cannabinoids.
“Thus, synthetic cannabinoids do not have such a negative impact on the environment and can be manufactured on a large scale, beginning with cheap and straightforward chemicals, which means labour and land-intensive planting stages are eradicated.”
While its focus is on minor cannabinoids it is delivering on the opportunities in the cannabidiol (CBD) space with an application for Novel Food status as a member of the European Industrial Hemp Association consortium.
With the foundations now laid its ambition is to become a global leader in the minor cannabinoids over the coming years.
Fundraising Set To Begin
Mr Urbonas continued: “Our team is constantly growing due to the increased interest in cannabinoids and a growing demand for minor cannabinoid research and production.
“We are the experts of minor cannabinoid development and production, so the main support we are looking for right now is strategic partners for sales and distribution in the key markets around the globe.
“As the business matures in the coming months we expect to begin fundraising to support the expansion of the current business and develop some very exciting new areas that will strengthen our position as a global minor cannabinoid industry leader.
“In the future our aim is to validate the most promising rare cannabinoids through preclinical trials.
“We see Sanobiotec becoming the global leader in minor cannabinoids, from research and development to production and compound validation.
“Due to an explosive growth of the companies developing and using minor cannabinoids in their products as well as additional markets opening up, we are now entering the fast-paced growth stage and expect it to last for the years to come.”