Creso Pharma’s (ASX: CPH) acquisition target Halucenex Life Sciences Inc has signed an agreement with Canadian pharmaceutical research firm Nucro-Technics to provide microbiology and chemistry test work for a salient delivery solution using synthetic psilocybin.
The two companies will work together to test the stability and shelf life of psilocybin liquid formulations for use in phase II clinical trials into the efficacy of psilocybin on treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Halucenex will formulate and test the bio-availability of the synthetic psilocybin compound and its ability to handle control substances for formulations of current delivery solutions and potential future methods which may have a faster onset.
The agreement will allow Halucenex to develop and validate methods for potency, component identification and microbiology for botanical psilocybe mushrooms it may grow in the future.
Nucro-Technics partners with pharmaceutical and medical device companies across the world to assist with their research and development initiatives.
The group has been in operation for nearly 50 years and employs over 170 scientific support personnel in a state-of-the-art 5,500 square metre facility in Toronto.
Nucro-Technics will be paid a fee of approximately $40,000 for the scope of services defined under the agreement.
Halucenex has the right to cancel at any time upon written notice and payment of costs, plus a fair and reasonable cancellation fee to be agreed by the parties.
Active magic mushroom ingredient
Psilocybin is the active ingredient found in magic mushrooms and is converted in the body to psilocin, which is the chemical with psychoactive properties.
Synthetic psilocybin appears as a white crystalline powder which can be processed into tablets or capsules, or dissolved in water.
Halucenex is awaiting receipt of a controlled drugs and substances dealer’s licence from Health Canada, which will allow it to possess and conduct research and development and clinical studies on psychedelic substances including psilocybin, LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) and MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine).
Once the licence is granted, Halucenex will apply for authorisation to begin clinical testing.
The proposed single-arm, open-lab phase II trial will enrol up to 20 individuals who suffer from PTSD and ultimately determine the feasibility of future trials of psilocybin for this indication.
It is hoped to provide valuable information on the efficacy of synthetic psilocybin as a medicine in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
Creso non-executive chairman Adam Blumenthal said the trial could unlock significant value in the lead-up to the $10 million Halucenex acquisition announced in March.
“Halucenex is continuing to progress trial initiatives and we expect to achieve a number of regulatory milestones in the near term,” he said.
“The receipt of a dealer’s licence will provide another considerable competitive advantage in what is becoming a large and lucrative vertical.”