Halucenex agreement to give CPH another leg up in psychedelics

By Jonathan Jackson. Published at Mar 31, 2021, in ASX Biotechs

Creso Pharma’s (ASX:CPH) pending acquisition of Halucenex Life Sciences should prove to be an astute move, with Halucenex continuing to rapidly move towards its goal of developing and licensing psychedelic compounds for the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical markets.

Halucenex is focused on progressing clinical trials to research the efficacy of psilocybin to treat and alleviate Treatment Resistant Depression in individuals suffering from PTSD and other mental illnesses.

Its clinical trials will explore the efficacy of psychedelic molecules on a range of mental health conditions such as depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Finfeed recently reported that Halucenex was preparing for PTSD clinical trials.

Today, the company has entered into an agreement with medical and recreational extraction specialists, Advanced Extraction Systems Inc. (AESI) for the purchase of a custom-made CO2 Supercritical Extraction System for the purpose of producing consistent, high quality psychedelic extracts from psilocybin mushrooms.

AESI is based in Charlottetown, Canada and specialises in the design, engineering and fabrication of supercritical fluid CO2 extraction systems with a specific focus on the medical and recreational cannabis and hemp industries.

Halucenex will spend approximately 6-8 weeks designing and installing the CO2 Supercritical Extraction System at its onsite laboratory for an approximate cost of $70,000.

The extraction system is being built in preparation for the receipt of its Dealer’s License.

The Dealer’s License from Health Canada, will enable Halucenex to apply for a License Amendment to allow the production of botanical psychedelic extracts from psilocybin mushrooms for use future research and development of a range of different delivery methods including tinctures, lozenges, nasal sprays and capsules amongst others.

The licence amendment is expected to be received 45 days after receipt of the Dealer’s License.

“This agreement with AESI is a major development for a number of reasons, Halucenex Founder & CEO Bill Fleming said.

“Firstly, the ability to extract psychedelic compound concentrates will allow us to progress the development of a number of delivery methods with broad applicability, including capsules, sprays, tinctures and lozenges amongst others, which may result in a higher standard of treatment.

“Additionally, the extracted product will allow us to analyse, characterise and compare the major components in various psilocybe mushroom strains through our established laboratory setting, leading to initial research and the potential entourage effects of psychedelic compounds.

“Further, we anticipate that considerable future research will be undertaken between synthetic and botanical psilocybin to fully understand the benefits it can offer. Having the extraction system in place and the ability to produce solvent-free distillate in-house will be key for future comparative bioactivity studies.”

Extraction system is a major move forward

The agreement with AESI is a major development for Halucenex and provides a pivotal building block for future product development initiatives.

It also gives Halucenex increased security over the future supply of psilocybin. This means that Halucenex will be less reliant on third parties for in- demand psilocybin supply.

Further to this, it allows Halucenex to have better control over the timelines for research and product development.

Subject to the receipt of its Dealers License, and subsequent License Amendment, Halucenex will use the Supercritical Extraction System to breakdown the various psychedelic compounds of botanical psilocybin for future product development.

It will also explore the efficacy of extracted distillates or concentrates in various delivery mechanisms to explore faster compound onset, more effective dosing which can lead to a better patient experience and more positive treatment outcomes.

The accumulation of intellectual property and understanding of various psychedelic compounds in this under researched, but growing space is critical for de-risking the path to commercialisation.

Understanding the various psychedelic compounds which can be extracted from psychedelic psilocybin mushrooms also paves the way for patenting both the compound, and the way in which it is used to deliver desired patient outcomes.

Halucenex will not, at this stage, use the new extraction machine to produce its own naturally derived psilocybin in its upcoming clinical trials, as currently Health Canada prefers the use of synthetic active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) due to the fact that natural psilocybin has yet to be fully certified in a GMP environment.

However, through the use of the extraction system, Halucenex is looking to create a GMP certified extract, which it then intends to use in future clinical trials to provide a naturally extracted product for safe, evidence-based psilocybin-assisted psychotherapies and optimise psilocybe mushrooms in order to standardise extracts, thereby increasing efficacy.

It is very pleasing to see Halucenex make such significant progress in a short period of time, Non-executive Chairman Adam Blumenthal said.

“The agreement with AESI and subsequent fabrication of a leading extraction system will provide Creso and Halucenex with a first mover advantage in terms of psychedelic product and delivery methods, which could in turn lead to a number of revenue generating and treatment outcome opportunities.

“The Company has a number of growth initiatives planned in the near term across North America and Europe and we look forward to providing ongoing updates to shareholders.”

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