Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH) has entered the psychedelic medicine space through its acquisition of Halucenex Life Sciences.
As the prevalence of conditions such as depression and suicidality continue to rise, so too does the necessity of therapy. This is especially the case amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the isolation that has accompanied it.
Importantly, a growing number of studies are now beginning to suggest that psychedelic-assisted therapies may provide additional aid to those suffering, beyond that of traditional therapy.
In fact, many outlets have even gone as far as to suggest that psychedelic medicines may be the "future" of medicine, particularly within psychotherapy.
Early evidence suggests that psychedelics may assist conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, substance abuse, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, all of which combine to create a very lucrative global psychedelic medicine market.
This is precisely why Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH) has just acquired Halucenex Life Sciences Inc., an established psychedelics company focused on developing treatments for Treatment Resistant Depression in individuals suffering from PTSD, and other mental health illnesses.
Halucenex is a Nova Scotia-based life sciences development company that focuses on researching, developing and licencing novel psychedelic molecules for the global pharmaceutical and nutraceutical markets.
Creso will advance Halucenex $250,000 as a loan for the sole purpose of funding Halucenex's operations prior to settlement, in addition to $1,000,000 in the 12 months following the settlement.
Halucenex is currently progressing clinical trials to research the efficacy of psilocybin, commonly known as "magic mushrooms" to treat and alleviate Treatment-Resistant Depression in individuals suffering from PTSD and other mental illnesses.
This acquisition makes Creso the first ASX-listed company to wholly own a psychedelic medicine company, adding to their existing range of cannabis and cannabinoid-derived medicine range.
Creso's purchase of Halucenex provides the company with a 6,000 sq. ft. medical treatment facility in Nova Scotia, Canada, located next to the Hants Emergency Hospital, with a Controlled Substances laboratory, and 18 treatment rooms dedicated to providing psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
Halucenex has a supply agreement with one of Canada's only pharmaceutical-grade synthetic psychedelics manufacturers, Psygen Industries Inc. to receive over 11 grams of synthetic psilocybin for use in Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials.
Halucenex is awaiting receipt of its Controlled Drugs and Substances Dealer's license, which will allow the company to possess and conduct research, development and clinical studies on psychedelic substances including LSD, psilocybin and MDMA. This will also allow the company to commence its phase 2 clinical trial, which is expected to begin in Q3 2021.
Additionally, Halucenex has an affiliation with Veterans Affairs Canada via its Strategic Adviser David Fraser, which will assist the company in providing Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy (PAP) to veterans.
It's well documented that veterans have a significantly higher prevalence of PTSD than non-veterans, which is why the Canadian government has allotted over C$25m over the next decade to support research on veteran health.
Creso's acquisition of Halucenex brings psychedelic medicines and research into the fold of CPH's existing portfolio of cannabinoid medicines for humans and animals and positions the company nicely to capitalize on the growing interest surrounding these medicines.
The acquisition of Halucenex will strengthen our presence in Canada, as well as provide a number of opportunities in drug development which will inevitably lead to further new market entries and commercialization opportunities.Adam Blumenthal, Non-Executive Chairman at Creso Pharma
Adam Blumenthal, the Non-executive Chairman at Creso Pharma said of the acquisition that "Creso will now sell its trusted cannabis products and progress the commercialization 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."
Blumenthal continued to say that "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 treatment route, which has considerable promise."
The founder and CEO of Halucenex, Bill Fleming, stated that "Halucenex is excited to be acquired by Creso and looks forward to levering its strategic relationships and expertise in the pharmaceutical industry."
"Halucenex has an early advantage in that it has applied for the Controlled Substances License, it has a laboratory for research on psychedelic compounds and a medical clinic to conduct micro and macro dose trials."
"Our ability to design a clinical protocol and fast track a phase 2 Treatment-Resistant Depression clinical trial will allow us to be one of the first companies to demonstrate the efficacy of psilocybin in Canada," Fleming concluded.
Creso's Strategic Advisor Mr. Bruce Linton added:
"Public policy towards psychedelics is rapidly shifting and we are witnessing a massive regulatory wave which will change the way that mental health and wellness is achieved and maintained. Through this acquisition Creso is directly and immediately in the search for science-driven outcomes."
Vision and discipline came together in making this acquisition. Bruce Linton, Strategic Advisor for Creso Pharma
"Following this acquisition, Creso will have the ability to provide varied combinations and outcome-centric approaches that have the potential to considerably benefit individuals that are suffering from a range of debilitating illnesses," Linton concluded.
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