Colombian-based Khiron Life Sciences is a global cannabis company that has developed a reputation as a Latin American industry leader. In March 2020, Khiron made history by becoming the first company to develop and commercialize a medical cannabis product in Colombia. Since then, the company has achieved many other milestones to empower their place in the global cannabis industry.
CEO Alvaro Torres and VP of Business Development Andrés Galofre, launched Khiron in 2017 with a focused mission to improve people’s quality of life, change how medical cannabis products were seen and present their application as an effective treatment option for common health conditions such as anxiety and chronic pain, as well as more specific illnesses including Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.
With core operations in Latin America, along with activity in North America and Europe, Khiron continues to be a leader in the development of medical cannabis in a highly regulated industry across Latin America. This is largely due to their “seed to patient” operation, which serves as a source for research, development and innovative health models.
“The medical cannabis industry is still in its formative years in Colombia and across Latin America,” Torres said. “Regulatory protocols are expected to evolve and with firms such as Khiron leading the path forward on issues from compliance to innovation, the region will undoubtedly play a pivotal role as the multi-billion global cannabis industry matures.”
In 2018, shortly after becoming the first Colombian cannabis company to trade globally, Khiron began acquiring clinic networks in Colombia, including facilities that treat neurological and nervous system pathologies.
The company now owns and operates two ILANS clinics and recently opened Zerenia, an integrated medical care facility that also specializes in the prescription of medical cannabis for neurological diseases, pain and mental health conditions.
In the last couple of months, while the world was mostly paused due to COVID-19, the company signed distribution deals with big pharmacy retailers in the region such as Locatel in Colombia and Farmacias Universal in Peru, where Khiron recently obtained licenses to import and commercialize medical cannabis products.
In addition to production of medical cannabis, Colombia’s regulations also allow for the commercialization of CBD cosmetic products. Khiron has tapped into this opportunity to market a CBD-based skincare line called Kuida which is sold in Colombia, the U.S. and UK.
From Seed to Patient
Khiron’s leadership team knows that in order to guarantee a successful “seed to patient” process, educating health professionals and investing in research and development are key:
- Khiron is partnering with two of the main Latin American Universities (Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico and Cayetano Heredia in Peru) to develop high-quality education programs that will train more than 1500 doctors in the applications of medical cannabis and its safe and ethical prescription.
- Khiron is developing the first Latin American study regarding cannabis and dermatological conditions.
- In 2019, Khiron was invited to become the exclusive Latin American medical cannabis provider for Project Twenty21, Europe’s largest ongoing medical cannabis study, which is enrolling over 20,000 patients to create the largest body of research on medical cannabis. The project will study treatment options for conditions such as chronic pain, epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, PTSD, Tourette’s Syndrome, anxiety and substance abuse issues.
As countries around the world grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, Khiron has remained operational under a government exemption. While strictly respecting health and safety guidelines, its cultivation and lab facilities are active, and their clinics continue to support patient needs.
TELL US, what do you know about medical cannabis in Latin America?