Incannex Healthcare (NASDAQ: IXHL, ASX: IHL) has completed the share sale and purchase agreement to acquire APIRx Pharmaceuticals, which will form “the world’s largest portfolio” of patented medicinal cannabinoid (CBD) drugs and psychedelic treatments.
Under the deal, APIRx stakeholders will receive almost 218.17 million Incannex shares at AUD$0.573 each once the acquisition has been officially completed, which is scheduled for next month.
The acquisition shares are escrowed for 12 months.
“The acquisition of APIRx presents us with clear long and short-term opportunities for significant value growth,” Incannex managing director Joel Latham said.
He noted several of APIRx’s drug candidates have “shortened regulatory pathways” in areas of patient need – representing “very large global markets”.
“These candidates are our initial development priority,” he said.
Mr Latham added the company’s strong cash position, which is about $40 million, enabled it to pursue these development opportunities, while also remaining focused on its existing combination drug candidates.
“Once the acquisition of APIRx has been finalised, Incannex will have many diverse projects under development, the progress of which we will update the stock exchanges ongoingly.”
APIRx has a portfolio of 22 active clinical and pre-clinical development projects that have a total addressable market of US$400 billion per annum.
These are underpinned by 19 granted and 23 pending patents.
APIRx’s drug candidates target irritable bowel syndrome, addiction disorders, spasticity, pain in multiple sclerosis, nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy, inflammatory bowel disease, periodontal disease, gingivitis, skin and ophthalmic conditions, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, restless legs syndrome and others.
Two of these projects, Medchew Dronabinol and MedchewRx, only require a bridging clinical trial for a new drug application, which could fast-track to a commercial launch.
Patented ‘CanQuitO’ to beat opioid addiction crisis
APIRx’s patented chewing gum CanQuitO, combines cannabinoids with opioid agonists and/or antagonists, is a planned prescription medication aimed at the opioid addiction crisis.
The annual market size for treatments for the opioid crisis in the US alone is expected to reach US$64 billion by 2028. A simple chewing gum product to combat opioid addiction (think nicotine gum but to prevent opioid cravings) has the potential to help solve this growing problem.
APIRx has multiple patents for cannabinoid chewing gums designed to treat addiction to different drug classes – opioid, nicotine and cannabis addictions.
The company says the gum is a useful dosage method because it provides sustained delivery of the medication (for a long-lasting effect) and the act of chewing has an anti-anxiety effect, and aids neuroprotection, which should also assist to suppress cravings.