- Medical Professionals are Beginning to Use Psychedelics to Treat a Host of Mental Disorders
- Champignon Brands is Growing a Vertically Integrated Psychedelic Drug Company
- Other Major Competitors Are Using Different Drugs to Treat Different Disorders, Leaving Champignon More Room to Operate
The never-ending quest of medical researchers seeking treatments for mental disorders has led them to, of all things, psychedelic drugs. Recent studies have shown these types of drugs have serious potential to treat common ailments like addiction, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Companies are starting to take notice of this multi-billion dollar opportunity and are beginning to develop drugs and perform widespread clinical studies, with the goal of bringing doctor-prescribed medications to market. One company that got its start in the functional food industry is making the leap into a full-blown drug developer.
Champignon Brands (CSE: SHRM) (OTC: SHRMF) (FRA: 496) completed its IPO earlier this year. The company’s mission is “pursuing the development and commercialization of rapid onset treatments capable of improving health outcomes, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as substance and alcohol use disorders.” The company intends to develop novel medications, run them through clinical trials and then receive regulatory approval to have them prescribed to patients in the U.S. and beyond.
While the end goal is to develop a novel medication, Champignon Brands got its start selling non-psychedelic, mushroom-infused consumer packaged good (CPG) products. Their first product was their Vitality Superteas. The company claims that the teas, which come in a variety of flavors and formulations, can assist with sleep, stress, and cognitive function.
Champignon is also partnering with a coffee company to develop a cold-brewed coffee product with many of the same infusions as their teas. Once finished, the product will be sold at the coffee company’s cafe, as well, through Champignon’s online platform. Having the product available in a cafe will allow the company to better market the product and spread awareness through word of mouth advertising.
These are just the first of many products that management has in the pipeline. The company strongly believes in the functional food market and for good reason: the global functional food market is estimated at over $160 billion. Management intends to use the proceeds from their CPG division to help fund the R&D necessary to bring their psychedelic medicines to market.
To fast track their drug development pipeline, Champignon acquired Tassili Life Sciences Corp. Tassili has been partnering with the University of Miami to conduct research on using Psilocybin to treat PTSD and traumatic brain injuries. The partnership allows for Tassili to keep any of the intellectual property developed from the studies. The company has thus far filed four provisional patent applications as a result of the research. The real money in this industry will be derived from patent-protected medications, so Champignon’s acquisition of a company led by scientists familiar with developing medical intellectual property is crucial.
In order to save on costs and conduct more efficient research, the company intends to become as vertically integrated as possible. Their first step was acquiring craft mushroom grower Artisan Growers Ltd. The purchase gives Champignon a production facility capable of growing a variety of mushroom types in large quantities. The company intends to use this facility to produce feedstock for both its CPG products and their medicinal formulations. Having the growing facility in-house will give management better control over their product specifications, lowers costs, and gives researchers direct access to the product at all stages of the production process.
Champignon next decided to purchase Novo Formulations Ltd. Novo has developed proprietary drug delivery systems that better allow psychedelic drugs to interact with the human body. Champignon intends to use the systems to expand on its Psilocybin drug development efforts. This should allow the company to achieve similar results while using less of the active ingredients in their medications, which will help margins down the road.
Most recently, Champignon acquired AltMed Capital Corp., which develops new drugs and operates a ketamine clinic. AltMed is led by Dr. Roger McIntyre, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Toronto. Dr. McIntyre is widely regarded as one of the preeminent psychiatrists in the field of mood disorders. This move by Champignon gives it not only a leading world-renowned researcher but also someone who is actively using a psychedelic drug to treat people with mood disorders. Look for Dr. McIntyre to take a leading role in Champignon once AltMed is fully incorporated.
MindMed (NEO: MMED) (OTC: MMEDF) (FRA: BGHM) has been getting much fanfare recently for attracting investments from cannabis pioneer Bruce Linton and celebrity investor Kevin O’Leary. The psychedelic upstart’s primary focus is its drug MC-18, a derivative of ibogaine. MindMed is currently performing clinical studies on using the drug to treat opioid addiction and opioid withdrawal. The company is also performing clinical studies on using microdoses of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) to treat ADHD.
Revive Therapeutics (CSE: RVV) (OTCPK: RVVTF) (FRA: 31R) has been exploring possible medical uses for cannabis and recently hopped on the psychedelic bandwagon. While MindMed and Champignon are focusing on mental disorders, Revive is focused on using psilocybin and cannabidiol (CBD) to treat infectious diseases such as influenza and coronavirus.
While both of these companies are looking to use psychedelics as medicine, they’re either using different drugs, treating different conditions or both. Champignon is establishing itself as the largest player in its own niche within the psychedelic medicine industry.
Federal Regulation: Psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs are still heavily regulated by the DEA, with many of them listed under Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act. This scheduling severely limits the availability of these drugs to be studied for medical benefits and makes it much more difficult for a drug that is found to have medical benefits to be approved and accepted by the medical establishment. Investors should be aware that the psychedelic medicine industry will be hamstrung as long as these drugs are listed under Schedule 1.
Trading Volatility: Champignon Brands is both a micro-cap stock (market cap of between $50 million and $300 million) and a penny stock (stock price under $5 per share). Both of these labels are considered negative for many investors as these types of companies are inherently more risky than larger companies. These types of companies tend to have a lower trading volume, leading to higher volatility. Potential investors should be prepared for large swings in share price, sometimes with no obvious catalyst.
New Company: Champignon is essentially a start-up. They’ve only just begun to assemble the pieces they will need to accomplish their goals. At a current valuation of around $70 million (and growing, after the most recent acquisitions), Champignon comes at a hefty price tag for a company with little history or financial data to go on. MindMed, the largest company in the space, carries a market cap of over $150 million, thanks to its celebrity investors and a drug closer to the market. Whether either of these valuations is justified is largely based on where one thinks the science is going to lead. As of now, all signs are pointing to psychedelics having serious medicinal potential.
The story of medicinal psychedelics is still in its first chapter, and there’s still a long way to go until these drugs are being prescribed by doctors to treat specific ailments. The companies that will be successful when the industry matures will be those that have built a strong foundation, backed by proven products.
Champignon Brands is entering the market with a plan to develop life-changing medicines. Their focus on vertical integration and bringing in the best scientists in the field as well as the establishment of their CPG division, making them an interesting option for less risk-averse investors seeking to capitalize on the burgeoning psychedelic medicine industry.
Article Source: As originally seen on Seeking Alpha
Author: Bay Area Kid | Click here to follow him and read more of his articles
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