Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH)
Medical marijuana company Creso Pharma has just entered the emerging $100 billion global market for psychedelic medicine with the acquisition of Canada-based Halucenex Life Sciences.
Halucenex is focused on developing novel psychedelic molecules to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and other mental illnesses.
Halucenex — which operates a 6,000 square feet (557 square metre) medical clinic in Windsor, Nova Scotia, located next to an emergency hospital — is working on beginning a phase 2 clinical trial this year evaluating the use of psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”) to alleviate treatment-resistant depression.
The company is focused particularly on treating military veterans, who suffer from a higher rate of PTSD than the general population.
The Canadian government has budgeted over $C25 million ($25.7 million) over the next decade to support research on veterans’ health.
With interest in psychedelic-assisted medicine exploding, Halucenex will have an early advantage with a Controlled Substances License currently pending. The License will allow it to research psychedelic drugs including Psilocybin. The company is also one of about 11 with a supply agreement with Psygen Industries, one of Canada’s only pharmaceutical-grade psychedelics manufacturers, for a supply of synthetic psilocybin for use in clinical trials.
‘A major milestone’
The “transformational” acquisition also makes Creso the only 100 per cent owned psychedelic medicine company on the ASX. “This is a major milestone for Creso Pharma and marks our evolution into a broader based pharmaceutical business,” says Creso non-executive chairman Adam Blumenthal.
“Creso will now sell its trusted cannabis products and progress the commercialisation of a range of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy treatments. Our entry into this market provides the Company with another lucrative vertical and an additional near-term revenue stream.
“Mental health and PTSD are becoming detrimental to our society and this has been highlighted in the last 12 months. These conditions have been exacerbated by COVID-19 and the available treatments are shown to have limited effectiveness and many side effects. Psychedelic-assisted therapy is a new alternative route, which has considerable promise.”
Creso strategic advisor Bruce Linton, the founder of Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC), the world’s largest cannabis company, said while he was first interested in Creso because of its hemp oil animal health products for pets, he’s also very excited about this latest acquisition.
And if a company gets in early enough, people start using your brand name to describe the solution, rather than the ingredient, Linton said.
“So there’s this massive opportunity that’s both backwards and upside down, and I thought that they really nailed how to look at it and work on it, and the more you dig in, there’s an aggressiveness of the company, looking to win. So those are good combinations.”