Optimi Health Corp. (CSE: OPTI) has secured its first international psychedelics supply agreement in Australia.
The Canadian company announced the milestone on Wednesday and will be providing its psilocybin and MDMA manufactured in British Columbia to Mind Medicine Australia (MMA), a charitable organization dedicated to improving collective mental health in the country.
Optimi will begin exporting its GMP-certified psychedelics to the country once Australia’s authorized prescriber scheme takes effect. Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) recently reclassified psilocybin and MDMA as substances with therapeutic uses and psychiatrists will be able to prescribe the drugs for the treatment of certain mental health conditions starting in July.
The supply agreement’s duration and monetary value has not been specified by Optimi, but the company’s CEO Bill Ciprick believes the new agreement will drive up the price of Optimi’s shares.
“I think that it’s going to be more than that. I mean, investors are an interesting group, and especially when you’re with the exchanges that we’re on, they look for this constant flow of announcements,” said Ciprick in an interview with Mugglehead on Thursday.
“So we’ve made the announcement and now it’s really about running water through the pipes and being able to show that we are actively scaling up and starting to produce revenue.”
The company has not specified the size of the initial tranches being sent to Australia. Ciprick says it’s going to be a cautiously slow but steady ramp up in shipment size.
Our new long-term relationship with @MindMedicineAU makes us nothing less than the largest pure-play distributor of psychedelic medicines in the world, and further positions us the primary supplier to a jurisdiction of tens of millions of people #MDMA #psychedelics $OPTI.C $OPTHF
— Optimi Health (@Optimi_Health) March 1, 2023
Optimi hopes the agreement will put pressure on global regulatory agencies
Optimi and MMA want to ensure Australians with PTSD have access to medical grade MDMA and citizens with treatment resistant depression have a safe supply of psilocybin capsules.
The MDMA formulation that will be supplied to MMA, OPTI-MHCL, was recently developed by Optimi and yielded a 99 per cent purity level through in-house testing. The company is currently verifying its results through a third-party laboratory.
“The part that we’re proud of is the fact that it’s very efficient and inexpensive the way that we’re able to do it, it produces very little waste,” said Ciprick on Thursday.
Optimi produces its psilocybin and MDMA at two cultivation facilities spanning 20,000-square-feet in Princeton, B.C. and does not believe it will outgrow that space anytime soon.
If it were to outgrow, Ciprick says that would be a “fantastic problem” to have. He also says the facilities have a level of cleanliness higher than what you would see in an operating room.
Optimi submitted a clinical trial application for OPTI-MHCL to Health Canada in early February and expects to have that process wrapped up by the time Australia’s prescriber scheme takes effect.
“I’m optimistic that it will be wrapped up by then, and Health Canada has been pretty good in terms of their turnaround times for adjudicating clinical trial submissions, we’re working through the process as we speak,” said Ciprick.
New agreement will set global standard
Ciprick believes the new agreement will set a global standard, which will put pressure on other regulatory agencies around the world to loosen or alter their psychedelics regulations.
“We’re in this for the long term and see a real opportunity for TGA, Mind Medicine Australia and the country’s groups that are going to be treating patients to set a standard for the world,” said Ciprick.
“The part that I’m excited about is that I think it’s going to put good pressure on other regulatory agencies such as the FDA, The Pharmaceutical Drugs Directorate (TPD) in Canada and the Home Office in the United Kingdom, everybody is going to be watching this.”
Optimi says distribution of its drugs will be coordinated by Mind Medicine’s subsidiary KMT Pharmaceuticals amongst a network of pharmacists in the country’s territories and states.
Optimi and MMA anticipate a long-term supply arrangement in Australia
In September last year, Optimi completed the largest legal psilocybin mushroom harvest in Canadian history with a 150 kilogram batch at its Princeton, B.C. facility.
“We cultivate the mushrooms and are currently on our seventh and eighth batches. We are getting some pretty amazing, interesting species,” said Ciprick on Thursday.
The company is certified by Health Canada to produce its psychedelic drugs and received an amendment permitting MDMA production from the government branch in August, 2022.
“It was important for us to establish a long-term partnership with a company that manufactures its products in-house with their own licence. Supply stability is key, and Optimi is the clear leader in that category as the only end-to-end supplier,” said Peter Hunt, Mind Medicine Australia Chair in a news release on Wednesday.
“We believe this deal is the first step in fulfilling a higher humanitarian purpose, one which our founders fully support in terms of providing a scalable and affordable product that is accessible to all Australians,” added Ciprick in the news release.
Optimi plans to produce other psychedelics in the future but believes the global priority right now is psilocybin and MDMA.