Since the 1920s, research and development of cannabis-based products has been largely restricted or banned. Frankfurt-based Farmako plans to catch up on this research backlog of almost 100 years. Just founded in 2018, the pharmaceutical startup has received a seven-digit seed funding round from the German health tech platform Heartbeat Labs.
Medical cannabis has many therapeutic applications, including treating chronic pain and improving the lives of cancer and AIDS patients, and governments around the world are becoming increasingly open to it. Farmako is active in all European markets that have so far created a legal basis for cannabinoid therapies, conducting research and developing cannabis-based products. The company plans to release information about its first patent in early 2019.
With the investment, Farmako plans to accelerate its research and development, as well as its European growth. The market for medical cannabis in Europe is expected to increase from €59.3 million in 2018 to €55.2 billion by 2028. This year Canada was the first of the G7 nations to open its market for medical cannabis for recreational and occasional use, paving the way for more global markets to follow suite.
Niklas Kouparanis, co-founder of Farmako, said: “The European market is becoming more professional. Farmako wants to drive change as a research-based pharmaceutical company. With the investment of Heartbeat Labs, we have a strategic partner to help us make that change in the healthcare industry.”
Eckhardt Weber, founder and CEO of Heartbeat Labs, said: “The market for alternative medicines is a very relevant and rapidly growing area of pharmaceutical healthcare. Farmako complements our portfolio and we’re continuing continue to establish Heartbeat Labs as the leading platform for modernizing the healthcare sector.”
Sebastian Diemer, co-founder and investor of Farmako, said: “We want to become European market leader in medical cannabis. With Heartbeat Labs, we have the ideal partner for health disruptions on board.”