Kava plant company partners on drug development with contract research organization Nutrasource

Kelai Pharmaceutical’s goal is to identify drug candidates in botanical plants to develop pharmaceuticals.

Kelai Pharmaceutical LLC, a U.S.-based company specializing in the kava plant and its derivatives, has hired contract research organization Nutrasource Pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical Services (Guelph, ON, Canada) to support and strategically manage Kelai’s early-stage drug development program. Kelai’s goal is to identify drug candidates in botanical plants to develop pharmaceuticals.

A company press release states: “Botanicals represent unique pharmaceutical opportunities because they start out as very complex endogenous compounds, and many different aspects of the plant might produce the eventual drug candidate. Navigating this journey in a very targeted manner is mission critical. Although the medicinal properties of botanicals are often well known, they have not been developed in a pharmaceutical context, which is both a challenge and an opportunity.”

On the partnership between companies, Kelai Pharmaceutical CEO Jacqueline Jacques, PhD, said in a press release: “Navigating the regulatory pathway for a new drug is no simple task. Kelai is happy to have an FDA regulatory partner with significant expertise in both natural compounds and pharmaceuticals to support us in plotting this course. This will let us be laser-focused on the most important tasks—minimizing our risk and optimizing our efforts from the earliest stages of development.”