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Sanity Group

Endosane: International scientists team up with Sanity Group in a joint-venture aiming to develop a new generation of “game changing” psychiatric drugs with significantly reduced side effect profile​

Berlin, October 5th, 2021 – Sanity Group, a health and life-science company focused on natural compounds and cannabinoids, and an international team of scientists are now jointly developing pharmaceuticals for the treatment of neuropsychiatric and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia or anxiety disorders. This collaboration is based on the systematic research and targeting of the body’s endocannabinoid system. The newly founded company, Endosane Pharmaceuticals GmbH (www.endosane.com), will build on decades worth of research by the scientists involved while resuming advanced clinical trials (Phase II) with a potential schizophrenia drug.

By founding Endosane Pharmaceuticals GmbH, Sanity Group successfully implements another of its visions: Fueled by the successful financing round in summer of 2021, the Berlin-based company is joining one of the world’s leading research and development projects for finished pharmaceuticals specifically targeting the endocannabinoid system for therapeutic use. Endosane’s development pipeline already contains several psychiatric drugs for the treatment of neuropsychiatric and psychiatric disorders, in particular schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. Developments around schizophrenia are the most advanced. With Phase II studies already completed and two ongoing, approval is forecasted for as early as 2025. 

Decades of research by a renowned team of scientific experts

The scientific basis for Endosane is laid in years of research by an international team led by the renowned German neurologist and psychiatrist Prof. Dr. F. Markus Leweke (University of Sydney). Prior to his current engagement, Prof. Leweke led the Center of Excellence for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Research at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim at the Ruprecht-Karls University in Heidelberg, where he and his research group are still scientifically active today. As early as the mid-1990s, Prof. Leweke started to engage in the systematic research of the endocannabinoid system and its role and therapeutic  potential in psychiatric disorders.

In collaboration with Dr. Cathrin Rohleder, a neurobiologist and long-time colleague, he collected data indicating a clear connection between various psychiatric disorders and the endocannabinoid system. Based hereon, the possibility of drug treatment for selected indications – especially schizophrenia- began. While most conventional psychiatric drugs primarily target the “visible” symptoms of psychiatric disorders, this treatment aims to readjust the endocannabinoid system disturbed in many symptomatic patients.. “Figuratively speaking, we are treating these disorders, i.e. schizophrenia in particular, much closer to the cause than current drugs,” says Prof. Dr. Leweke. Even more important, according to Prof. Leweke, is that such use of the endocannabinoid system would be a much “gentler” intervention in the molecular neurobiology of patients than currently available drugs. “If the clinical data collected so far is confirmed in the further course of phases II and III, we would be in a position to offer a drug with a significantly improved side effect profile,” said Dr. Rohleder, who is coordinating the clinical development. “This would be a huge step in quality of life for affected individuals.” 

Endosane is a key building block in realizing Sanity Group vision

Sanity Group’s approach to systematically exploit the potential of the endocannabinoid system always included the development of finished drugs. Therefore, the set-up of Endosane fits perfectly into Sanity Group’s vision to improve people’s quality of life through the use of cannabis and the utilization of the endocannabinoid system. Sanity Group already develops and distributes medical cannabis in various pharmaceutical forms; in addition, the company offers over-the-counter cannabinoid-based consumer goods such as CBD oils and cosmetics. “Our goal is to explore and harness the full potential of the endocannabinoid system. We are glad to have found partners in Prof. Dr. Leweke, Dr. Rohleder and their team with whom we can realize our long-term vision also with regard to the development of finished drugs in the field of psychiatric drugs,” said Finn Hänsel and Fabian Friede, founders and managing directors of Sanity Group.

Combination of scientific excellence with the agility and mindset of a start-up company

In addition to the scientific management of the company, which is comprised of Prof. Dr. Leweke as Chief Medical Officer and Dr. Rohleder as Chief Scientific Officer, Max Narr completes the Endosane management team as Managing Director coming from Sanity Group. Narr is a fully qualified lawyer from the pharmaceutical and biotech practice of an international law firm. He subsequently assumed management roles in a public German medium-sized chemical company,  where he was responsible for strategy and M&A.  Before joining Sanity Group, he was in charge of restructuring a company delivering into the pharmaceutical supply chain and integrating it into a larger group. Narr joined Sanity Group in October 2020 and has been responsible for the new business and strategy. In this role, he finished the development of the concept of Endosane together with Prof. Leweke and Dr. Rohleder. “Dr. Rohleder, Prof. Leweke and I quickly realized that our prior experiences and skill sets complement each other very well. With Endosane, we have a huge opportunity to not only be commercially very successful, but to directly help people who are currently suffering the burden of serious adverse effects of their medication,” said Narr. To be able to meet the immense challenge of pharmaceutical development, Endosane will, in the future, draw on the infrastructure and expertise of Sanity Group. In addition, Endosane’s management is supported by an experienced advisory board, which includes members from academia as well as seasoned industry leaders. 

 

About the Sanity Group

Sanity Group has set itself the goal of improving the quality of life of people through the sensible use of cannabinoids and the use of the endocannabinoid system. In addition to pharmaceuticals, it also focuses on wellbeing and cosmetic products based on cannabinoids. In parallel, Sanity Group is working and researching new medical products, innovative dosage forms as well as  technological products and services to further develop the infrastructure. Sanity Group was founded in 2018 by Finn Age Hänsel and Fabian Friede and now employs a team of over 100 people at its headquarters in Berlin-Mitte and its research site near Frankfurt am Main. Sanity Group brands include Vayamed (pharmaceuticals), VAAY (CBD products) and This Place (functional cosmetics). More information at www.sanitygroup.com.

About Prof. Dr. F. Markus Leweke

Prof. Dr. Leweke is Professor at the University of Sydney and Chair in Youth Depression Studies at the Brain and Mind Centre. For many years he was Head of the Center of Excellence for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Research, Central Institute of Mental Health Mannheim at the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg. As a practicing psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Prof. Dr. Leweke has over 25 years of experience in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. In the mid-1990s, he was one of the first to engage in research on the endocannabinoid system and its role and therapeutic potential in psychiatric disorders. He is an Associate Editor of the scientific journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

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Sanity Group

Liqui-Patch: Sanity Group and epinamics launch strategic partnership for transdermal cannabinoid applications

Berlin, September 22, 2021 – Berlin-based health and life science company Sanity Group and Berlin-based tech company epinamics are launching a strategic innovation partnership: Sanity Group will receive exclusive usage and marketing rights for epinamics’ patented Liqui-Patch® technology for all cannabinoid market segments and markets in the EU, UK and Switzerland.

Liqui-Patch® is an innovative, film-forming spray solution for the transdermal application of active ingredients. A team of researchers around epinamics founder Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kehr developed the technology over several years and spun it off as a management spin-off from Bayer-Schering. Based on the Liqui-Patch® technology, the Sanity Group will break new ground in the transdermal delivery of cannabinoids. Products are planned in the medical field as well as in the wellbeing and sports sector.

“With Liqui-Patch® transdermal technology, we are pushing open the door to the cannabis market of the future: smart, innovative products with high therapeutic benefits make medical cannabis a strong option for entirely new patient groups,” says Thimo V. Schmitt-Lord, Director Market Development & Sector Innovation at Vayamed, the pharmaceutical subsidiary of Sanity Group. “Liqui-Patch® also represents Vayamed’s brand vision in a special way: medicine from nature, tailored for patient well-being.”

Active ingredient patch for spraying

Compared to conventional dermal or transdermal applications, Liqui-Patch®, which is sprayed onto the skin as a transparent film with a pump spray, offers far-reaching advantages: The spray is transparent, dries quickly on the skin and does not smear; skin irritation, such as that caused by the adhesive strips of conventional solid patches, can be avoided by the technology. In addition to high bioavailability, it also provides a constant release of active ingredients over many hours. Furthermore, it offers a safe alternative to the use of gels containing active ingredients, where there is always a risk of active ingredient transfer. Last but not least, the Liqui-Patch® enables more efficient use of active ingredients for almost all disease areas compared to conventional methods.

“Anyone who has ever worn an active ingredient patch for several days knows the problem: the skin is irritated and painful. Active ingredient patches, which transport drugs through the skin into the bloodstream, have become established. However, they have some disadvantages, often leading to restricted freedom of movement and painful skin reactions. We were looking for an alternative to this and were able to develop it in the form of the Liqui-Patch®,” says epinamics Managing Director Prof. Dr. Kehr.

For more information on the Liqui-Patch, visit www.epinamics.com.

 

About the Sanity Group

The Sanity Group has set itself the goal of improving people’s quality of life through the sensible use of cannabis in Europe. In addition to pharmaceuticals, the focus is also on consumer health products based on cannabinoids. In parallel, Sanity Group is also working and researching new medical products, innovative dosage forms, and technological products and services to further develop the infrastructure. Sanity Group was founded in 2018 by Finn Age Hänsel and Fabian Friede and now employs a team of over 100 people at its headquarters in Berlin-Mitte and its research site near Frankfurt am Main. Sanity Group brands include Vayamed (pharmaceuticals), VAAY (CBD products) and This Place (functional cosmetics). The company is supported strategically and financially by Redalpine, HV Capital, Calyx, Navy Capital, Bitburger Ventures, SevenVentures and various business angels such as Casa Verde founder Karan Wadhera, music producer Will.i.am, TV presenter Klaas Heufer-Umlauf, professional soccer player Mario Götze and model Stefanie Giesinger. More information at sanitygroup.com.

About epinamics

Berlin-based epinamics GmbH is a specialised and globally oriented development company in the field of advanced drug delivery. The owner-managed company focuses on the Liqui-Patch®, a patent-protected platform technology for dermal and transdermal delivery of active ingredients. The Liqui-Patch® can be conveniently and safely applied to the skin and forms an invisible film within 90 seconds from which the respective active ingredient is released. The procedure replaces the currently prevailing patch technology (i.e. plastic stick-on patches), as it is lighter, gentler on the skin and completely inconspicuous to apply.