Israeli multinational corporation Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Israeli startup Syqe Medical have signed a distribution and cooperation agreement to market medical cannabis for pain management with Syqe’s revolutionary selective-dose pharmaceutical-grade medicinal plants inhaler in Israel.

Inhalation is considered the most efficient way of administering medical marijuana for pain relief.  Syqe developed the world’s first inhaler enabling precise delivery of botanicals at the level of safety and precision of conventional drugs, modifying only the physical structure of the plant while preserving its medicinal characteristics. 

Teva, the world’s largest generic medicines producer, will have exclusive marketing and distribution rights in Israel. The pocket-sized product will be available for home use next year to individuals approved by the Israeli Health Ministry. Nurses will provide training for both patients and medical professionals.

Haifa’s Rambam Health Care Campus has been testing the Syqe inhaler over the past year with the approval of the Health Ministry, reportedly making it the first hospital in the world to prescribe cannabis as a standard medical treatment.

“Teva Israel is entering the field of medical cannabis out of a deep commitment to patients coping with pain, which is one of the company’s core therapeutic areas,” said Teva Israel CEO Avinoam Sapir, who also is Teva’s director of Innovation in Emerging Markets.

“State-of-the-art technology and groundbreaking medical devices — such as those developed by Syqe Medical, and which generate tremendous therapeutic value for patients and medical staff alike — integrate perfectly into the strategy of Teva Israel.”

Philip Morris International is among the investors in Syqe Medical, which is based in Tel Aviv and chaired by former Health Ministry Director General Dr. Eytan Hyam. Founder Perry Davidson formerly cofounded the largest medical cannabis production company in Israel.

“This is an unprecedented development for patients who need medical cannabis,” said Hyam. “Thanks to the Syqe inhaler, we are effectively moving from cannabis use to cannabis treatment. For doctors, the inhaler solves the problem of prescribing plants for smoking, and offers a solution for patients in that, for the first time, they will be able to receive a precise dose of medical cannabis.”

The inhaler is manufactured in Israel and was developed using special 3D printers made by Stratasys.