Tagged with "startup"
Top Healthcare Startups Are Leading the Market Tags: healthcare startups marijuana mmj medical marijuana

The healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing, most sustainable industries in our economy today. Due to recent changes – and despite some uncertainties – there are more people seeking healthcare services than there were a few years ago. The growing market has also fueled a series of new companies, brands and startups whose aim is to provide better healthcare solutions to providers and patients alike. Research in genomics is one of the most exciting fields today, with companies such as the Beijing Genomics Institute leading the charge.

According to studies compiled by Northeastern University and its AACSB online MBA department, there are also other startups currently affecting the market. Medisafe, for instance, is a cloud-based app that has been really popular on the market. The app acts as a reminder and connects close friends and relatives of a patient like never before.

You can learn more about the best startups leading the current healthcare market from the full infographic below.


Northeastern University’s Master of Business Administration Online Program

Here's What You Need to Start a Cannabusiness Tags: cannabusiness business startup mmj

A cannabusiness is basically a company within the cannabis industry. You will be working on making money from cannabis that can be used to help people medically in a variety of ways, and you will give people the safe recreational marijuana they want. If you want to get a glimpse into what is necessary to actually start this type of business, continue reading for a few helpful tips.

First Off, You Need to Have Business Know-How

You can’t run any kind of business, including a cannabusiness, without the right background and education in business. While getting your bachelor’s degree in business administration will definitely set you on the right track, if you really want to succeed as a leader of your own company, it is a great idea to enroll in an MBA program. There are plenty of careers for MBA graduates, and loads of MBA jobs available, but this degree will really help you if you want to run a unique business that truly stands out. So invest in your education first and then start your business once you are ready.

Know the Laws Surrounding Cannabis Use

Before you start your own cannabusiness, you need to become familiar with the laws surrounding the use of cannabis in your area. Regulations and markets will vary dramatically, and what is totally legal in one state might not be allowed at all in another state, so you really need to do your research before deciding upon where you will open up your company.

Many times, entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry will have to learn how to navigate a lot of legal roadblocks that can become really frustrating really quickly. Knowing the regulations and laws thoroughly will help you be prepared, and it will also help you find the right people to collaborate with so you can guarantee your success.

Determine the Specific Path That You Will Take

The cannabis industry is actually quite vast, and you can open up a cannabusiness in a variety of different niches. You might, for example, have a farm where you will grow the cannabis and then sell it legally. Or you might have a storefront where people can purchase cannabis accessories, such as vaporizers or glass pipes.

Put simply, before you open up your cannabusiness, you will need to figure out exactly what path you will take. Then you can write up the appropriate business plan that you can follow to meet your short-term and long-term goals.

Become an Investor Instead

Do you have enough money to invest in a startup that’s already going strong in the cannabis industry? Then consider taking this route instead of starting your own company. You won’t have to deal with any of the legalities of running a cannabusiness, and you might find it easier to be involved without actually running the company on your own.

Opening up a cannabusiness can be really exciting, and it is definitely something different. If you want to take this direction for your career, start by getting the right education so that you can be fully prepared to meet all of the challenges—including the legal challenges—of running this type of company.

Startup Blazes New Trail for Marijuana Research Tags: Startup Blazes New Trail for Marijuana Research

by John Harrison

Kevin McKernan envisioned a more powerful marijuana—for medical purposes, that is—and today his startup edged one step closer to that reality.

Medicinal Genomics announced this morning that it has successfully mapped the entire genetic sequence of the cannabis plant, in what the company calls a major step toward understanding and improving marijuana’s medical potential. The Massachusetts genetic research firm will make the information public later this fall.

The ganja genome, comprised of 131 billion components, can now be used to develop drugs that maximize the plant’s therapeutic benefits (particularly treatments for cancer, pain, and inflammatory diseases) and weed out compounds linked to psychoactive effects. For instance, the blueprint can be used to grow a plant that produces more of certain compounds, like cannabidiol, which have shown promise in shrinking tumors.

“One in three people are going to get cancer, and one in four are going to die with it or from it,” McKernan, the company’s founder, told Bloomberg. “So any compound, as preliminary as this may be, that’s nontoxic and shows hope there, we should be all over. The only way I knew how to do that was to sequence the genome.”

McKernan previously led a genome-sequencing team at California-based Life Technologies Corp. and, before that, worked on the Human Genome Project from 1996 to 2000. He left Life Technologies roughly one year ago to start his own company from his house in Massachusetts after several friends with cancer forwarded studies to him concerning medical marijuana.

The genome-mapping project cost about $200,000, and the company plans to extend its research to more than a dozen other species of cannabis. Medicinal Genomics will start rolling out the genome information to regulators, government agencies, and pharmaceutical companies in the coming months for continued research on the plant’s medical potential.

Marijuana DNA Sequenced by Startup in Search for Medical Uses Tags: Marijuana DNA Sequenced by Startup in Search for Medical Uses

Kevin McKernan was leading Life Technologies Corp. (LIFE)’s Ion Torrent DNA-sequencing research when a new business opportunity caught his eye: marijuana.

A year later, McKernan, 38, has quit his job, formed a startup run from his house in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and announced today that the company had sequenced the entire genome of the cannabis plant.

The project, which cost about $200,000, may lead to the development of treatments for cancer, pain and inflammatory diseases, he said. McKernan’s company, Medicinal Genomics, is making the data public using Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)’s EC2 cloud- computing system. McKernan called the work a “draft assembly,” and it hasn’t yet been published in a peer-reviewed academic journal.

“This is the beginning of a more scientific approach to the genetics of the species,” Richard Gibbs, director of the Human Genome Sequencing Center at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said in a telephone interview yesterday. “This is not really about marijuana; it’s about pharmacology.”

An important step to find a species’ potential utility is to map its DNA, the building block of life, according to Gibbs, who said he has known McKernan for more than 15 years.

McKernan worked on the Human Genome Project from 1996 to 2000, and started a commercial laboratory with his two brothers called Agencourt Bioscience, which was sold to Beckman Coulter Inc. in 2005. A spin-out of Agencourt that made sequencing technology, called Agencourt Personal Genomics, was acquired by Applied Biosystems Inc., which combined with Invitrogen Corp. in 2008 to become Carlsbad, California-based Life Technologies. Life Technologies bought Ion Torrent last year for $375 million in cash and stock.

Open Access

McKernan said his company’s goal is to allow researchers to find ways to maximize the cannabis plant’s therapeutic benefits and minimize its psychoactive effects.

“These pathways can be optimized in the plant or cloned into other hosts for more efficient biologic production,” Medicinal Genomics said in a statement. “It may be possible through genome directed breeding to attenuate the psychoactive effects of cannabis, while enhancing the medicinal aspects.”

The plant makes chemical compounds called cannabinoids, a class that includes tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive substance in marijuana. Another such compound called cannabidiol, or CBD, has shown promise in shrinking tumors in rats without the psychoactive effects, McKernan said.

Medical Uses

“That one has been predominantly bred out of the plant as it’s been bred for recreational use,” he said. His company’s business model is to develop assays to enable regulators, government agencies or pharmaceutical companies to research cannabis’s gene pathways.

Donald Abrams, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, who has done research into medical cannabis since 1997, said scientists have been able to study the plant without knowing the genome.

“We know what the active ingredients of the plant are already,” Abrams, chief of oncology at San Francisco General Hospital, said in a telephone interview. “You don’t need the genome; you need the plant.”

Companies such as GW Pharmaceuticals Plc (GWP), based in Salisbury, England, have developed cannabis-based medicines. GW sells Sativex for muscle spasms related to multiple sclerosis, using THC and CBD.

McKernan said he was initially convinced to pursue the research after seeing papers published in academic journals including Nature on the plant’s tumor-shrinking effects in rats.

“One in three people are going to get cancer, and one in four are going to die with it or from it,” he said. “So any compound, as preliminary as this may be, that’s nontoxic and shows hope there, we should be all over.

“The only way I knew how to do that was to sequence the genome.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Meg Tirrell in New York at mtirrell@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net.

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