Andrés Galofe
Co-founder and VP of Business Development
KHIRON
/
View from the Top

Alternative Medical Solutions to Change People’s Lives

By Miriam Bello | Mon, 04/20/2020 - 17:13

Q: How will KHIRON’s products make a difference in Mexico’s healthcare sector?

A: KHIRON is a Colombian company born from the opportunities that came with regulatory changes related to cannabis in Colombia in 2016. Our product revolutionizes patient treatment through medicinal cannabis. The opportunities we saw in Colombia at the time allowed us to grow and to think of a long-term participation in a new market with global opportunities. Right now, we are based in Canada as our search for investment has put us there but our main operation is established in Colombia. The company went public with the purpose of raising its safety protocols to guarantee the highest quality processes.

In 2018, we looked at countries like Mexico that were trying to change the regulations on cannabis, just like Colombia had done a couple years back. Against this backdrop, we set the goal of becoming the leader in developing and commercializing CBD products in the region. Our advantage was having the experience of being a Latin-American country and knowing our region, which would take more time for multinational companies. We decided to apply the same formula we used in Colombia in other Latin American countries implementing the same regulatory changes.

In Mexico, the government of Enrique Peña Nieto strongly pushed the cannabis initiative and even articulated plans with COFEPRIS by the end of 2018. By that time, our own understanding about the market had evolved. First, education is key to opening the door. The medical community needs to understand where we are coming from and where we are going if they are to trust KHIRON and its products. Second, in terms of regulatory standards, taking the long route is always better that cutting corners because we always need to work from a stable legal standpoint. The clearer the regulations, the greater the likelihood that we will dabble in that market. Third, the sale of the product must always consider the benefit for the patient and making their healthcare processes easier. This factor is KHIRON’s key differentiator because we work toward the main goal of improving people’s quality of life.   

This company has an interdisciplinary team, with a pharmaceutical lead, working to understand Mexico and its dynamics. We see Mexico as the epicenter of many operational plans for KHIRON in the future and always respecting the regulatory framework.

Q: Once CBD products are legal in Mexico, what barriers does the company foresee in the Mexican market?

A: KHIRON has four business lines: Health Services, Pharma, Wellbeing and Research & Development, each of which addresses different global challenges that have presented in Mexico as well.  

The biggest challenge we have identified in Mexico is regulation. The market opportunity is huge, as well as the strategic alliances that we could form with distributers, pharmacies and the clinical market. We have also divided the country by state and region and this has given us a very clear panorama of the Mexican market. However, all of this will be for naught if the regulatory ground remains unclear and nothing goes forward.

Q: What is KHIRON’s strategy to promote the benefits of CBD and THC products?

A: For this we need to put the patient as the center of the equation. KHIRON is based on providing the option of a better life for those who suffer serious conditions, such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain, anxiety or multiple sclerosis. When these patients see an option that can potentially improve their quality of life, it is no longer taboo. We are talking about a medicinal product that is going to be under the legal spectrum and comply with regulatory oversight. Medicinal cannabis includes a long list of products that have worked to the benefit of patients. This is not a new science. It is proven to relieve people’s pain.

It is challenging to introduce these products but many countries like Colombia have done it and others lie Peru and Germany are rapidly on their way. The key is to never confuse these products with the recreational use of cannabis, which is an entirely different thing.

Q: What are KHIRON’s goals and priorities for the Mexican market in 2020?

A: I have high hopes that the current government in Mexico will finish the regulatory process for cannabis. The initiative has been on the radar and Congress has talked about it. I am hoping to have a concrete date soon but I have high hopes for how the company will be received in the market.

There are many challenges in terms of investment, legal matters, marketing and transportation, but KHIRON has been able to overcome these challenges and to implement a clear strategy for each corresponding area. We are also investing in research to generate alternative solutions that can change people’s lives.

 

 

KHIRON is a Canadian company that develops and commercializes over 20 THC and CBD products for a variety of medical conditions through its Kuidal cosmeceuticals and Aceso Hemp brands

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst