Startup Raises $50 Million for Synthetic Cannabinoid Research and Development

CBD’s legalization sparked an influx of investors and researchers, and this upward movement may just be the beginning. 

The escalating demand for medical and recreational marijuana has catapulted it into the spotlight, and startup companies such as Demetrix are deriving huge gains. 

Demetrix is founded by U.C. Berkeley researcher Jay Keasling and spearheaded by past Amyris executive Jeff Ubersax. They are a cannabis research company focused on extracting, isolating, and brewing cannabinoids, the primary chemical components in cannabis that contain medicinal properties. In the most recent round of financing their continuing research, the startup company managed to raise $50 million from investors. 

The money came from a Hong-Kong based investor Horizons Ventures, a firm backed by billionaire Li Ka-Shing, and Tuatara Capital, a private equity firm focused on the legal cannabis sector.

Ubersax outlined that the exclusive Keasling brand of research, including his unique techniques and technology, provide Demetrix an unparalleled ability in extracting and isolating cannabinoids, and developing them for various medical and commercial uses. 

Ubersax also said that Keasling’s Berkeley research procedures result in high-quality products with low-cost processes. 

“We’ve assembled a team of industry veterans, built a scalable technology platform, and are working with global regulatory organizations to quickly commercialize,” remarked Ubersax in a statement.

Furthermore, Ubersax commented that they are excited to partner with world-renowned investors Horizons and Tuatara, and that their investments would bring Demetrix one step closer in helping the world benefit from the innovative cannabinoid products the firm will offer in the future. 

The money would be used to finance its operations and commercialize its first 100 cannabinoids which they believe can be used for medicinal and recreational purposes.

A 2016 Ackrell Capital research cited that the global cannabis market may grow up to $100 billion by 2029, and Demetrix is riding the rising wave.

The company has raised $61 million to date from repeated rounds of financing. 

The usage of yeast to brew cannabinoids is not exactly a breakthrough, but since the U.S Food and Drug Administration sanctioned the production of a drug based in CBD, interest in the creation of pharmaceutical products from the plant has expanded.

As the body of research grows, rarer cannabinoids are found in cannabis plants. While it is just cheaper to use existing extraction methods, using advanced technology on the active chemicals in cannabis is found to look more effective and appealing in brewing the rarer cannabinoids. 

Its most common use is the relieving of chronic pain, which is especially prevalent in people as they age. Cannabidiol (CBD) component of marijuana has little to no intoxicating effect and is the safer choice when compared to opiates. It is also an excellent alternative to NSAIDs when patients have kidney or liver problems.

Researchers have also found it is a successful relaxant of muscles, used to manage vomiting and weight loss, a treatment for glaucoma, and is a wonder in easing the pain because of multiple sclerosis and nerve damage.