After Champignon Brands Inc. (CSE: SHRM) went public last month, the psychedelic medicine company made its first acquisition to bolster research capabilities in the expanding field.
Vancouver-based Champignon said last week it acquired AltMed Capital Corp., which runs the only Health Canada approved psilocybin — the psychoactive agent in popular varieties of hallucinogenic mushrooms — clinic in the country to treat addiction, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety.
AltMed also owns a 75 per cent stake in the Canadian Rapid Treatment Center of Excellence, an Ontario-based ketamine clinic that has been in operation for a year and a half.
The CRTCE clinic is licensed by the College of Physicians and Surgeons Ontario to administer ketamine — a medication used for starting and maintaining anesthesia, as well as a popular club drug — for treating depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and PTSD.
AltMed CEO Roger McIntyre is widely known as the world’s most recognized mood disorders psychiatrist and has published over 600 articles on the topic, according to Champignon.
McIntyre is a full-time psychiatry professor at the University of Toronto, and a clinical professor in New York, California, South Korea and China. He also is the executive director of the Brain and Cognition Discovery Foundation in Toronto.
The psychedelics company said it plans to leverage McIntyre’s experience to connect with the pharmaceutical, insurance and health care industries across Canada, the U.S. and further abroad.
The idea behind the CRTCE was spearheaded by McIntyre, who envisioned developing Canada’s first rapid onset treatment centre for mood disorders using new research and psychedelic medicines.
With the acquisition, Champignon will be conducting a total of three clinical trials and three preclinical trials in 2020, as well as securing seven patents for ketamine or psilocybin medical formulations.
Champignon CEO Gareth Birdsall said the companies plan to replicate the CRTCE model stateside with the roll out five unique ketamine clinics across Florida, California and the Eastern Seaboard.
“Founded and operated by Dr. McIntyre, the CRTCE has the human capital and unmatched R&D capabilities, with respect to rapid onset treatments such as ketamine, to revolutionize the treatment of depression, PTSD and substance use disorders,” Birdsall said in a statement.
AltMed, Champignon backed by major weed extractor
AltMed’s board of directors is led by Pat McCutcheon, CEO and co-founder of cannabis extractor MediPharm Labs (TSX: LABS).
Before McCutcheon helped build MediPharm into a top-five Canadian revenue-generating cannabis company, he spent years launching new medical products for Johnson & Johnson, Champignon says.
Now McCutcheon says he sees a bright future in the world of psychedelic medicine.
“Together with Champignon’s existing novel ketamine delivery platforms, associated patents/intellectual property and now advanced clinical infrastructure, we will look to deliver approved, point-of-care psychedelic treatments in clinics throughout Canada and the United States,” he said.
“Ketamine, psilocybin and MDMA have all been fast-tracked by the FDA and Health Canada with respect to R&D in (substance and alcohol use disorders), and we will look to monetize our capabilities and human capital within this domain.”
Shares in Champignon have climbed 59 per cent to $0.88 since its debut on the Canadian Securities Exchange on March 13, 2020.
Top image via Champignon Brands