Incannex Healthcare to acquire APIRx Pharmaceuticals for 22 projects and big patent portfolio

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By Imelda Cotton - 
Incannex Healthcare ASX IHL APIRx Pharmaceuticals USA clinical stage pharmaceutical company medicinal cannabis psychedelic medicine therapies

APIRx has 22 active clinical and pre-clinical research and development projects.


Incannex Healthcare (ASX: IHL) has announced it will acquire APIRx Pharmaceuticals USA in an all scrip (share consideration) deal to affirm its position as a global leader in the fields of cannabinoid, psychedelic and combination pharmaceuticals.

APIRx has 22 active clinical and pre-clinical research and development projects for a range of promising therapeutic candidates targeted at treating conditions such as pain, dementia, gastrointestinal disease, periodontitis and addiction disorders.

The candidates are underpinned by an extensive intellectual property portfolio, which includes 19 granted and 23 pending patents.

Key patents relate to sustained oral mucosal delivery of cannabinoids and cannabinoid combinations through chewing gum; oral care cannabinoid compositions; cannabinoid ophthalmic solutions; topical compositions containing cannabinoids; and cannabinoid extraction technologies.

Market leader

The acquisition of APIRx is designed to strengthen Incannex’s position as a market leader at the forefront of cannabinoid and psychedelic treatment development.

It will add a large portfolio of intellectual property and expand Incannex’s addressable market size and reach by over $500 billion per annum.

The acquisition will also expand the company’s drug delivery capability to include APIRx’s patented and novel technologies such as medicated chewing gum, which is finding favour within the medical community due to its potential applications and after the success of products such as Nicobate nicotine craving cessation gum.

A focus of the combined APIRx-Incannex group will be the ongoing development of APIRx’s CheWell, CanQuit and CanQuit-O cannabinoid combination medicated chewing gums to treat cannabis, nicotine and opioid addictions. Incannex reported in its announcement that the opioid addiction market in the United States was valued at US$64 billion in 2021.

APIRx history

APIRx projects have been conceived since 2003 and came together as a corporate entity in the Netherlands to amalgamate the intellectual property assets of clinical researchers and APIRx co-founders Dr George Anastassov and Mr Lekhram Changoer.

Together, the partners have developed the world’s largest privately-held patent portfolio pertaining to pharmaceutical cannabinoid inventions.

They previously licenced their technology to US-based AXIM Biotechnologies, and were part of the lead management team overseeing a peak market capitalisation in 2017 of approximately A$1.62 billion prior to the assets being privatised by APIRx.

Dr Anastassov and Mr Changoer will be employed fulltime by Incannex following the acquisition and will continue to drive the development of APIRx projects.

Mr Changoer said the new Incannex-APIRx entity would create a global leader in cannabinoid, psychedelic, and combination pharmaceuticals space.

“When combined with Incannex’s existing intellectual property, our new drug delivery technologies will result in a state-of-the-art, industry-leading cannabinoid and psychedelic platform,” he said.

“The drugs developed utilising this broader portfolio of technologies will give us the opportunity to develop, in the clinic, a diverse range of innovative products addressing significant unmet medical needs.”

Bolstering its position

Incannex managing director Joel Latham said the US$93 million acquisition would bolster the company’s position in the medicinal cannabinoid sector.

“With sizeable addressable markets and intellectual property spanning a multitude of unmet medical needs, we are positioning to be a significant player in the pharmaceutical sectors of the future,” he said.

“I am excited by this acquisition opportunity on multiple fronts and look forward to working with the APIRx team to deliver on our vision of providing treatments which will make genuine differences to the lives of millions of people.”