According to the Australian Department of Health, half of us will experience some form of mental illness in our lifetime. Treatment is somewhat limited to prescription medications and psychotherapy. However, the current mental health crisis has seen researchers and practitioners alike wondering- is there a better way to approach these frighteningly common conditions? Enter psychedelics, the alternative treatments that have performed surprisingly well in clinical research and pose exciting curative potential for mental illness.
Psychedelic medicine specialist Creso Pharma (ASX: CPH) is the first ASX-listed company to have formal exposure to the lucrative and novel psychedelics market. The Company has today announced the signing of a letter of intent with Vancouver-based biotech company Sixth Wave Innovations. Sixth Wave is a leading nanotechnology company specialising in Molecular Imprinted Polymers (MIPs) which are utilised to capture and extract target substances. Use of this patented system results in efficient extraction, higher yields and a purer product. Creso has identified this as a sustainable method of extraction allowing for the use of real plant extracts as opposed to synthetic molecules which offers better clinical benefits.
The partnership between Creso and Sixth Wave coincides with legislative progress to decriminalise psychedelics in California. Last week the Senate Public Safety Committee approved Senate bill 519 which makes a range of psychedelic substances legal to use and possess for adults over the age of 21. The bill also expunges prior criminal offences related to these. The legislative change is a step forward in progressing the use of psychedelics as alternative treatments for a range of mental health conditions.
The current mental health crisis has prompted a shift in the public perception of drugs that were previously seen as recreational. The growing field of research and the unique pressures of 21st century life make the $100 billion medicinal psychedelics market a potential gold mine for any biotech company up for the challenge… and Creso are well equipped.
The earlier acquisition of Halucenex, a life sciences company with a focus on the treatment of PTSD in veterans, has greatly expanded the resources available to Creso. The Company’s expert backed board includes Bruce Linton, the founder and ex- CEO of Canopy Growth, one of the largest cannabis companies worldwide. Linton oversaw Canopy’s rise from startup to public company worth over US$15 billion. It’s safe to say, Linton’s wealth of knowledge and industry expertise makes him well suited to the role of Creso’s Strategic Advisor which he assumed in October 2020.
Creso is now setting itself up to corner the alternative medicines market with firm foundations in research, development and commercialisation of psychedelics. With the financial burden of mental health in Australia alone totaling $10.6 billion per year and an average annual increase in per capita cost of 1.5%, there is serious market potential for a new player and Creso could be just that.