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New York, New York--(Newsfile Corp. - February 9, 2021) - PCG Digital - Chris Bunka is a happy man. As CEO of Lexaria Bioscience (NASDAQ: LEXX) since 2006, he's battled to legitimize cannabinoids as a mainstream medical solution. This week, his dream is coming true. Jazz Pharmaceuticals, a major player with $2.3 billion in annual revenue, has entered the fray.
The deal went down on Wednesday, February 3rd. Jazz completed an acquisition of GW Pharmaceuticals, developers of Epidiolex, the first cannabinoid-based medical solution to be approved in the United States. GW reported $500 million in sales of the drug last year.
Epidiolex was approved in 2018 for the treatment of childhood-onset forms of epilepsy. Previous treatments for the condition had been inconsistent. Use of the drug has since been expanded to cover a wide range of seizure-related illnesses.
Portfolio managers for cannabis ETFs immediately weighed in on the deal. Dan Ahrens at AdvisorShares summed it up best. "Cannabinoid products are rapidly gaining acceptance in the public eye," he said. "The news is a surprise, but the opportunity and price are not."
Lexaria Stock Surges Following News Release
The entrance of mainstream pharma into the cannabis market has already created a ripple effect in the space. Lexaria (NASDAQ: LEXX) share prices rose 32% overnight, giving them a total net gain of 74.4% over the past five days, with an average daily volume of over 1mm shares traded.
Chris Bunka is not surprised. "We have an upcoming human clinical study focused on cannabinoids for hypertension and are exploring applications for central nervous system disorders," he explained. "The hypertension market is ten times larger than GW's seizure market. This can be massive for LEXX."
Lexaria has already received granted patents in the EU and Australia to use its technology to treat heart disease. The company effected a reverse stock split on its common stock in January, concurrent with an $11m capital raise, earning them a timely listing on NASDAQ.
LEXX opened at $7.60 on Thursday, up from their NASDAQ entrance price of $4.05 on January 12th. It was at $4.84 on February 2nd, so the majority of that growth has come since the Jazz/GW deal was announced. It's no surprise that company execs are smiling this morning.
Advanced Drug Delivery Technology with Lexaria DehydraTECH
With a current market cap under $50 million, on a comparative basis Lexaria appears to be undervalued. Their proprietary drug delivery technology, trademarked as DehydraTECH, is one of the main reasons why.
This disruptive technology was developed to improve the way that active pharmaceutical ingredients enter the bloodstream. It can be applied to drugs and vitamins to increase absorption rates and deliver more powerful dosages in a smaller time frame.
Lexaria is employing the use of DehydraTECH to develop cannabinoid medical solutions and safer nicotine consumption products, but it can also be applied to consumer-packaged goods and most products that come in capsule, pill, tablet, or topical application form.
The technology is available to be licensed by manufacturers. According to Lexaria's website, there are companies with operations in over one hundred countries examining DehydraTECH for possible use to more effectively deliver their products.
Lexaria CBD DehydraTECH Hypertension Studies
Beginning with an early human clinical study in 2018, Lexaria has been researching the effects of their patented DehydraTECH oral capsule on hypertension and the resulting heart disease that inevitably follows that condition. A confirmatory second human clinical study completed design last Fall and is expected to begin the dosing phase in upcoming months.
Both studies focused on showing evidence of lowered blood pressure, higher blood flow to the brain, and faster and more effective delivery onset of CBD into the bloodstream. The 2018 version utilized a 90mg dosage of DehydraTECH processed CBD which did lower blood pressure, whereas an equal dose of generic CBD did not. The 2021 study is a human trial with a 300mg dosage.
"Positive results in the new study are expected to be of particular interest to the antihypertensive products sector, which is valued at over $22 billion," stated CEO Chris Bunka. "According to the CDC, hypertension affects over one billion people worldwide."
The results of the study, should they prove to be positive, could accelerate the uptrend in Lexaria share prices. According to Chris Bunka, positive results will "strengthen the company's value proposition pursuant to its intention to seek out pharmaceutical industry partners."
Lexaria's Commitment to the Treatment of COVID-19
Lexaria believes that it is possible to use DehydraTECH technology to facilitate an oral application of anti-viral drugs currently being administered by injection. This group includes medications for HIV, hepatitis, influenza, and coronavirus.
They're not referring to vaccines. Forty-eight million people were infected with COVID-19 during the pandemic of 2020. Many of them will have long-term health issues resulting from their exposure, even if symptoms are no longer visibly apparent.
According to the company's researchers, "Vaccines help prevent the transmission of viral diseases. They don't actually treat symptoms and are only effective 50% to 80% of the time. Anti-viral drugs will always be needed to treat people who become infected."
This is good news for a world where the fallout from COVID-19 is still uncertain. It's great news for investors eyeing Lexaria as a money-making opportunity in 2021. The antiviral drug market is currently estimated at $52 billion and expected to top $75 billion by 2027.
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