Panag Pharma Inc., which is developing cannabis-based pain treatments, has received a $500,000 loan from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Business Development Program.

The funding comes eight months after Panag was purchased for as much as $27 million in cash and stock by Ontario’s Tetra Bio-Pharma.

The biotechnology company is creating a family of both over-the-counter and prescription cannabinoid-based products that provide non-addictive pain management. The treatments act directly on the pain receptors in the body and are used for wound healing, treating irritated skin and relieving cold sores, among other applications.

“Today’s announcement reminds me of the expression that it takes a village,” said Bill Cheliak, the Halifax-based Chairman of Tetra Bio-Pharma. “With the ingenuity and innovation of our life sciences group Panag, the marketing expertise of Tetra Natural Health, the licensing skills of Tetra Bio-Pharma, assistance with facilities from Dalhousie University and the generosity and confidence of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, we are able to showcase what collaboration can accomplish and it is something we should all be justifiably proud of.”

Based in the Ottawa suburb of Orleans, Tetra is a drug discovery company that specializes in developing treatments based on cannabinoid-based drug discovery. The company, which is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange, last November bought Panag to develop more natural healthcare products and sell them worldwide.

The Panag Team – which is led by healthcare professionals Mary Lynch, Melanie Kelly, Bill Cheliak, Orlando Hung  and Christian Lehmann – continues to conduct research into cannabinoid-based treatments for Tetra. It will receive full payment from the takeover contract if it hits specific milestones.

Panag Pharma is working on its first product, AWAYE, an over-the-counter medication for the temporary relief of various forms of muscle and joint pain. The product, which is manufactured in New Brunswick, has already been approved by Health Canada and has a Natural Product Number. It is currently undergoing clinical trials and will be available through online distribution, over the counter in pharmacies, and by prescription.

Panag said other treatments for cold sores, hemorrhoids, interstitial cystitis and corneal ulcers are in development.

Disclosure: ACOA is a client of Entrevestor.