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  • Creso Pharma’s recent milestone acquisition has made the company a first-mover in the lucrative and novel medicinal psychedelics market
  • The nimble play to purchase Canadian life sciences company Halucenex is set to catapult Creso to market leader status, becoming the first psychedelic treatment company listed on the ASX
  • As public perception towards alternative mental health treatments shift and scientific research builds, psychedelic medicines are being taken far more seriously
  • Studies have shown Psilocybin, the chemical compound found in some mushrooms, can improve negative mood outcomes and symptoms of depression and help sufferers connect with underlying issues
  • With an expertly-backed board, mounting scientific evidence and a broadening public mindset, Creso’s acquisition could redefine the mental health industry

Creso Pharma’s recent milestone acquisition has made it a first-mover in the lucrative and novel medicinal psychedelics market.

Acquiring Canadian life sciences company Halucenex, Creso is now about to enter the emerging world of psychedelic medicinal treatments, an industry tipped to be worth up to US$100 billion (roughly A$128.5 billion).

This nimble play will make Creso the first ASX-listed company to have formal exposure to the psychedelics market and secure its foothold in a market that could redefine the mental health treatment industry.

Public perception towards plant-based medicaments is shifting — something which was earlier solely associated with recreational and often illegal use is now recognised as a major advancement in the mental health industry. Now, it has the science to back it up.

Whether an initial response is one of confusion, doubt or a jesting reference to magic mushrooms, psilocybin is set to prompt big questions for investors fixated on the alternative therapies game and those with concerns for the future of our mental wellbeing.

Who is Halucenex Life Sciences?

Halucenex is a Canadian psychedelics life sciences treatment company with a particular focus on supporting veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It’s centred on the research and development needed to push psychedelics into the commercial space and provide alternative and complementary treatments for anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD and other mood-related disorders.

The company’s ethos references the growing body of scientific literature supporting the medicinal properties of psychedelic medicine that, when partnered with traditional psychotherapy, has the potential to outperform currently approved medications for depression and PTSD.

Halucenex is also on the cusp of receiving its licence in Canada to hold and administer psychedelics for medicinal purposes. This includes MDMA, LSD and, most intriguingly, psilocybin, the chemical compound broadly found in species of mushrooms.

In most recent developments, the company appointed True North Clinical Research to head up its proposed phase two clinical trial to test the efficacy of psilocybin as a treatment of treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans and first responders.

From mushrooms to medicine

The company’s work is only set to grow in relevance.

Almost half of us are expected to experience some form of mental health issue in our life, according to the Australian Department of Health.

Antidepressants and other typically prescribed pharmaceutical medicines are available and prescribed to those who need them, but there still remains a push to better help and treat those with mental health issues by expanding and improving the current options available.

As a result, the market for alternatives treatments is gaining traction, and it’s backed by more than hopes of investors looking to identify the next market darling.

There was a time when the mere thought of medicinal marijuana as a consumer product was a pipe dream. A nearly unfathomable prospect for a substance that was previously recognised as a purely recreational pursuit.

Public perception has now gone from one of scepticism towards one of understanding. The sector underwent major research and development to explore its capabilities as a treatment for a range of health issues.  

The story for psychedelics is similar; a treatment that could potentially redefine the mental health industry.

While research is currently ongoing to determine the science behind how psychedelics actually affect our brain, clinical trials indicate highly promising findings for psychedelics.

The Australian Drug and Alcohol Foundation reports psilocybin treatments act as a serotonin activator and can help patients connect and identify the underlying issues affecting their mental health.

A recent meta-analysis completed at Western Sydney University’s National Institute of Complementary Medicine Health Research Institute also found medicinal psychedelics can help improve negative mood outcomes and symptoms of depression when tested against a placebo.

As scientific discoveries continue to mount and social attitudes towards mental health treatment move to one of understanding, it’s arguably only a matter of time before discussions surrounding legislation enter the fore in Australia.

A familiar success story

While the movement is in its infancy in Australia, the Canadian market has already seen and experienced success stories of its own in the medicinal psychedelic space with the fellow science-backed disruptor Mind Medicine.

The company made its debut on the NEO Canadian-exchange in March last year as the first psychedelic company to go public.

It seeks to offer a mixture of breakthrough medicines and technology to compassionate therapy for patients with addictions, ADHD and anxiety.

The market response near enough speaks for itself.

Since listing on the NEO exchange, Mind Med’s share price has grown from C$0.60 (roughly A$0.62) to C$3.73 (approximately A$3.86), experiencing a high point of C$5.60 (about A$5.79) only three months ago.

Both Creso and Mind Medicine share the experience of Bruce Linton – Bruce is a Director of Mind Medicine and is also the Founder and ex-CEO of Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC), one of the largest cannabis companies in the world. Bruce oversaw the company’s growth from startup to a public company worth over US$15 billion (around A$19.18 billion) prior to his departure.

Bruce joined Creso Pharma as Strategic Advisor in October 2020, bolstering the Creso Pharma team with an unrivalled level of expertise and relationships in both the cannabis and psychedelics sectors.

The prologue for the emerging world of psychedelics in Australia bares many similarities.

A winner-takes-all market

It’s important to note that the long-term benefits and effects of psychedelics treatments are still relatively unknown.

However, with far more stringent regulations surrounding its administration, it’s highly unlikely patients will be able to administer psilocybin without guidance from medical practitioners.

With this in mind, Creso is setting itself up to become the most dominant player for supplying psilocybin. When the time comes for hospitals and clinics in Australia to seek out suppliers, CPH will have done the most groundwork.

With the potential to corner the market on hospitals and mental health clinics, there’s no telling where Creso might take this lucrative opportunity.

Psychedelics is a winner-takes-all market.

With its expertly-backed board and a breakthrough acquisition in the works, Creso is arguably leading the psychedelics revolution taking place in the mental health industry — and Creso believes it’s only a matter of time before investors catch on.

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