Autism is a lifelong development disability characterized by impairments in social communication and interactions.
The global market for autism diagnosis and treatments is expected to grow to US$412.7 million by 2019.
Zelda will work together with Chilean non-profit patient advocate group Fundación Daya, leveraging their clinical experiences with autism patients.
Harry Karelis, executive chairman, commented: “Our investment into conducting a rigorous and controlled clinical trial paves the way for product registrations next year significantly improving patient access to a novel form of treatment.
“Our intention would be to replicate this trial in other key jurisdictions to rapidly improve patient access in other jurisdictions.”
The legal framework in Chile recognises the importance of medical cannabis, allowing its production under strict regulatory controls for the treatment of medical conditions.
The country also provides a cost-effective location for Zelda to conduct clinical trials.
Fundación Daya has extensive experience over a number of years in using medical cannabis to treat patients diagnosed with autism.
This clinical experience demonstrates solid anecdotal evidence of positive quality of life outcomes using cannabinoid-based therapy.
Subject to regulatory approvals being obtained, Zelda expects the trial will commence in the second half of 2017, with trial protocols already being developed.
Zelda expects the trial to be conducted over a period of 3-6 months.
Well-funded pathway to revenue
Zelda’s recent $6.0 million capital raising provides it with increased flexibility to pursue new opportunities and diversify such as this.
Successful results will allow Zelda to immediately commence the product registration process to sell clinically approved products in the Chilean market.
This provides a clear pathway to potential revenue generation from Chile and other South American markets as early as 2018.