Cannabinoids in the spotlight: dsm-firmenich and Brains Bioceutical partner to support early-stage cannabinoid-based drug development

By: dsm-firmenich Pharma Solutions Editors

dsm-firmenich recently announced that it will be taking its first steps into the cannabinoid API market via a commercial partnership with global pioneer in cannabinoid APIs, Brains Bioceutical. Enabled by Brains Bioceutical’s leading portfolio of naturally-sourced cannabinoid actives and extensive expertise in the field, this exciting venture will see dsm-firmenich create a platform for early-stage drug development to unlock new cannabinoid-based products that benefit global patient health. 

Watch our interview with Kelsey Achenbach, Senior Director Pharma and Medical Nutrition, dsm-firmenich, to learn why the company is extending its pharmaceutical portfolio to include high-quality cannabinoid actives, and how this is creating opportunities for Rx pharmaceutical manufacturers to expand into new therapeutic fields by innovating with cannabinoids. 


The cannabinoid-based drug market is growing rapidly, with global sales of approved cannabinoid pharmaceuticals estimated at USD 798 million in 2020 and a CAGR of almost 20% expected between 2020 and 2024. This is largely due to increasing recognition of the therapeutic potential of these ingredients, as a result of mounting evidence across more than 160 clinical trials showing benefits in pain disorders, cancer, CNS (Central Nervous System) diseases and more. 

The science for cannabinoid APIs is building for CNS diseases in particular – a broad category of neurological conditions including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke. Neurological disorders are increasingly recognized as one of the most prevalent disorders worldwide with a high burden to patients, their families, and society at large. Epilepsy, for example, is estimated to affect 50 million people globally.1 With as many as 70% of these individuals having the possibility to live seizure-free if properly diagnosed and treated, cannabinoids represent an exciting opportunity for pharmaceutical manufacturers to expand treatment possibilities. 

Brains Bioceutical: a pioneer in cannabinoid actives 

Brains Bioceutical is the global leader in GMP-certified cannabinoid actives for the pharmaceutical, wellness and veterinary markets. The privately held company, founded in 2010, is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. As well as being one of only nine companies globally that has the commercial capabilities and EudraGMDP certification to produce and securely supply standardized CBD API, it was also the first organization of its kind to receive confirmation from a WADA-accredited laboratory for ingredient purity. This makes Brains Bioceutical an ideal partner for dsm-firmenich, with its strong commitment to offering customers a sustainable and secure supply of quality ingredients. 

dsm-firmenich Venturing, the corporate venture arm of Royal dsm-firmenich, acted as lead investor in a USD 31.9 million capital raise recently completed by Brains Bioceutical. The landmark investment and strategic transaction solidify the position of Brains Bioceutical as one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the CBD sector and will allow it to take advantage of strategic partnerships that dsm-firmenich has developed.

Unlock new cannabinoid pharmaceuticals with dsm-firmenich

As a purpose-led partner in the pharmaceutical space, dsm-firmenich helps to build future-proof, agile, and safe therapeutic innovations that help keep the world’s growing population healthy. The partnership with Brains Bioceutical will see dsm-firmenich extend its capabilities as an innovation partner in the pharmaceutical market – applying its scientific expertise and marketing competencies, combined with a deep understanding of patient needs, to help customers tap into the full potential of cannabinoid APIs. Together with Brains Bioceutical, dsm-firmenich will bring quality cannabinoid APIs, with the potential to manufacture custom cannabinoids, to the market; enabling customers to enter this emerging space with patient-driven, science-backed pharmaceuticals. 

The announcement comes following dsm-firmenich’s recent move into the cannabidiol (CBD) nutraceutical space too, via a strategic partnership with leading CBD ingredients and finished products manufacturer, Mile High Labs (MHL). The partnership will allow for the development of science-backed CBD premixes and market-ready solutions for dietary supplement, food and beverage and other nutritional products. 

For more information on how dsm-firmenich and Brains Bioceutical can help you bring purpose-led cannabinoid pharmaceuticals to market, contact PartnerWithDSM.

Published on

30 June 2021


4 min read

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