Cannabis For The Aegis: Feature Interview With founder and CEO Amy Berliner

by Michael Scott

Here at Coinstructive, we’re excited about our pursuit of new intersections between Bitcoin, Blockchain and the rapidly growing Cannabis industry. With this it gives us great pleasure to introduce Amy Berliner, founder and CEO of Aegis Biotech.

Aegis is a research and development company that specializes in Cannabinoids, an emerging treatment for Pediatric Brain Stem Glioma’s in Children. Given the terminal and inoperable nature of this disease, Cannabinoids offer a treatment protocol that is not invasive, potentially extending or increasing the patient’s quality of life.

Aegis is focused on this small demographic as well as veterinary patients equally diagnosed with the same type of Glioma tumors. The company is working with several Pediatric Neurosurgeons that are interested in the protocol with a focus on finding treatments that can enhance the quality of life for the most affected and vulnerable population, children.

Below is a brief interview with Berliner about her journey in founding Aegis, the company’s vision, and the potential role that the Bitcoin | Blockchain community can play in advancing the cause.

Tell us a little about you, your professional background and what led you to launch Aegis Biotech?

I am a huge advocate of medical cannabis along with my work as an entrepreneur. My professional journey includes more than two decades of Senior Executive experience which includes senior-level CEO/COO/CMO positions  in manufacturing, research, product development and technology.  I studied at the University of Maryland and the LSU affiliate to Loma Linda University, in addition to being enrolled at the Medical Cannabis Institute for Continuing Education. The Society of Cannabis Research, Society of Cannabis Clinicians, International Cannabinoid Research Society, and the International Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine are among the many organizations I’ve been a part of.

All of this was the impetus with Aegis and our dedication to research and development for Pediatric Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).   

Where did Aegis BioTech’s mission ensue from?

Aegis Biotech’s mission in many respects was born from my own personal experience. Despite being committed to a healthy lifestyle throughout my life, in 2012 I was diagnosed with Melanoma.  After consultation with my doctor, and further research into alternative, nutraceutical approaches to treating my condition, I discovered a set of Cannabinoid related intellectual property owned by the Federal Government. After further research I found that it had a positive effect on cancer cells and reducing tumor mass. I then set out with a Chemist to develop Cannabis based formula, of which I treated myself with for over eight months, to get on the other side of my diagnosis.

What about this work is currently driving you?

I’m particularly motivated to bring the company’s nutraceutical formula to children suffering from DIPG, having been personally exposed to the challenge of a child and their family and the lack of treatment options available to ease the suffering.  I believe there is a huge opportunity to make a powerful clinical impact in these situations merely by offering up our therapeutic option. It’s here where I believe we will be the first to institute a treatment modality not yet brought to market, fueling further awareness to the power of this incredible plant.

And the broader research?

Research is only research if we continue to study and investigate therapeutic values or lack thereof. To ignore the impactful values of Cannabis is nothing short of negligent research, particularly when something has demonstrated such promise. So our research matters!

So in your view, how can the bitcoin and blockchain community better support the advancement of cannabinoid research and development?

Honestly, I would ask the larger community to strongly get behind Medical Cannabis Research by funding and advocating financial support behind such meaningful and life changing research for the most innocent of all, our children. With only 4% of Federal Funding applied to Pediatric Cancer, what we do in private research and funding is critical to furthering the discoveries still yet to come.   We all together can change innovation in tandem by birthing real change together.  I would love to see both industries have a chance at true sustainability.

What emerging trends do you believe we’ll see in the broader cannabis movement over the next 12-18 months?

I believe Cannabis is moving into pharmaceutical workflow processes, as it relates to the genetics and testing, adding further barcoding pedigree in the logistics.  As consumption becomes more accessible for Medical patients, the integrity of the product and the process in route matters to each patient who orders. So I feel a 3PL business model that offers less touch points for Cannabis with a larger distribution channel with less handling, would ensure more transparency and leveraging greater controls.

What is your long-term vision and hope for Aegis BioTech?

My long term vision and hope is for every 1 of 165 children who are diagnosed with DIPG, has a chance like any other person does to survive.  Our mission is to see that whatever a child may have to overcome, in his/her life, that it is not their childhood.  And because this is our mission, what we do at Aegis matters. Because with this illness there is no cure. So anything we do forward is significantly impactful.  

We aspire to bring to market a treatment protocol and application for Pediatric patients that is globally recognized for its therapeutic benefits and efficacy.  As well our hope is to be the first US Biotechs to capture and protect largest data collection of International Medical research and patient observational, clinical reporting.  Our data will matter!

Finally, what sort of footprint do you hope to forge globally?

Presently we are connected to Israel and Spain as it relates to Cannabis Studies.  We imagine a 2020 where those who took a chance on us, find a Microsoft moment when they realize how invaluable our data and research is in terms of making a global health impact to suffering children worldwide.  We see our innovation coming to market in third quarter of 2017, and that is so exciting to us, yet it’s only the beginning of what we do. So the product we promote today helps put money back into our research. We have great hope for the future, that’s for sure.

Michael Scott is a journalist specializing in emerging digital economy trends and is CoinStructive’s resident blogger.