First cannabis inhaler unveiled by Tel Aviv pharma tech co.

The first metered-dose inhaler in the world is launched after 8 years of clinical trials and regulatory approval processes and $83 million.

Sara Rubenstein ,

Laboratory cannabis analysis
Laboratory cannabis analysis

Israeli pharma-tech company Syqe Medical unveiled a metered-dose cannabis inhaler on Thursday, the first of its kind in the world.

The inhaler, a medical device which uses a unique drug delivery technology, can be used to inhale precise dosages of cannabis prescribed by doctors for medical purposes.

The inhaler has been approved by Israel's Ministry of Health and licensed patients in Israel will be able to purchase it, albeit at the steep price of NIS 1,950 ($545). Syqe is distributing the device in Israel before exporting it to other countries, Syqe founder Perry Davidson told the Israel business daily Calcalist.

The product is eight years in the making, as it went through strict clinical trials and regulatory approval processes, and raising $83 million to date. Davidson says that the company is working on gaining FDA approval for the unique device.

Teva Pharmaceuticals, which signed a marketing and distribution agreement in Syqe in 2016, will be the exclusive marketer and distributor of the product in Israel.

"80% of cannabis patients inhale the plant," Davidson said. "For too long, physicians who wish to treat these patients have been without the most basic clinical knowledge on dosing, efficacy and adverse events of cannabis. For 8 years Syqe has been developing proprietary technologies for the administration of raw plants, and through our clinical trials we were able to determine the recommended dosage of inhaled cannabis down to the microgram. This launch marks the beginning of a new chapter in pain treatment, one in which physicians can confidently prescribe precise dosages of cannabis, and patients can reap the rewards, effectively and responsibly."