Stevia Corp. (STEV), an international farm management and healthcare company focused on developing products that support a healthy lifestyle, recently announced the filing of a provisional patent application with the USPTO for the treatment of pain using acetaminophen and cannabidiol (“CBD”). The provisional patent provides “first-to-file” advantages to deter others from filings similar patent applications in the future.
“We believe the application that we have filed with the USPTO allows the Company to pursue a strategic and broad business strategy to legally market and sell a product that can be sold as an OTC healthcare product,” said George Blankenbaker of Stevia Corp. “Alternatively, we are exploring the possibility of partnering with a large pharmaceutical company that has extensive experience in either the pain care market or experience with acetaminophen.”
Acetaminophen has a long history of effective use as a non-opioid analgesic pain reliever traded under a variety of brand names like Johnson & Johnson Inc.’s (NYSE: JNJ) Tylenol. In fact, these products have been some of the best selling over-the-counter drugs in the world, generating billions of dollars for shareholders. The drugs also have well-established safety profiles, which makes potential drug development much easier.
Cannabidiol isn’t as widely known as acetaminophen, but the medical benefits of the compound are being quickly realized. With no psychoactive effects, like its cousin THC, CBD has already shown tremendous promise in treating serious medical conditions like childhood epilepsy. Researchers are also studying the compound for its effects in treating everything from arthritis to schizophrenia to Parkinson’s disease, among others.
After filing the provisional patent, the company receives a “patent-pending” status and has up to 12 months to file a nonprovisional patent application. The patent-pending status enables the company to discuss the idea more freely, although shareholders probably won’t be privy to the full details of the patent application until a non-provisional patent is filed and accepted. Management hopes to make that filing within the next year or so to comply with the deadline.
Shares of Stevia Corp. jumped 12% in early trading following the news release on Thursday, January 15, 2015.
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