CANNAINVESTOR Magazine February / March 2017 - Page 28

Q & A with Harry Karelis

What attracted you to the medical cannabis industry?

My background has largely been in private equity investing in the biotech/life-science sector which provides me with a different perspective on what is going on in the global medicinal cannabis sector. Traditional drug discovery approaches have reached the point of diminishing returns where more and more money is being spent with fewer novel drugs being developed.

With cannabis, we have a natural remedy with several millennia of demonstrable human use for a variety of medical conditions. Industry has largely avoided studying the cannabis plant for a variety of well-known reasons.

I and my colleagues have taken a view that this approach is unsustainable and that by investing in further research that novel drugs/treatments can be developed that most importantly will result in effective and affordable medicines for large sections of the community in need.

We established Zelda as a vehicle to bring together world leaders in their fields and provide the resources to quickly build a pipeline of research and therapies. We are hopeful that our rigorous approach to evidence-based treatments will contribute to the pace of uptake by the broader medical community.