- Product portfolio to include drugs and supplements
- Faster monetization of lead Alzheimer’s candidate as supplement
- Market valuation poised to soar
It should come as no surprise to discover that the medical cannabis dispensary product line in America is getting increasingly diverse and sophisticated. After all, the cannabis sativa plant incorporates over 400 chemical entities, of which more than 60 are cannabinoids. Even though cannabis has been used and cultivated by mankind for at least 6,000 years, it was only relatively recently, in 1899, that the first cannabinoid, cannabinol (CBN), was identified and isolated. With so much chemistry wrapped in its trichomes, colas and bracts, the range of ailments for which the plant promises palliatives continues to grow. Based on compelling data, India Globalization Capital, Inc. (NYSE MKT: IGC) was recently able to announce advances in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease with THC. These encouraging results have brightened the company’s future, since the market for Alzheimer’s therapies is a billion-dollar one.
The IGC press release (http://cnw.fm/ryAm0) provided an update on in vitro data compiled from genetically engineered cell lines within an Alzheimer’s disease model, showing that, at varying concentrations of THC, the aggregation of Aβ protein decreases by as much as 40%. There are indications that at least one cause of AD may be the buildup of senile plaque composed of amyloid beta peptides (Aβ plaque) in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. Over time, this plaque destroys neurons and causes synaptic dysfunction, leading to loss of memory.
“These study results, when combined with the earlier reported data that shows IGC-AD1 reduces Aβ40 and Aβ42 production by as much as 50%, and 40%, without any toxicity (http://cnw.fm/MfS60), represent a highly significant novel breakthrough that could potentially bring much needed relief from this devastating disease,” Ram Mukunda, CEO of IGC, stated in a news release.
IGC stands to benefit in two ways: first, by taking IGC-ADI down the regular FDA route as both a prophylactic and a therapeutic; and second, as a food supplement to be sold in medical dispensaries. The FDA approach to a product labeled as a “drug” is different to one classified as a “supplement”. A drug is considered unsafe until proven otherwise by clinical trials, while a supplement, defined by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) as food, is considered to be prima facie safe. This binal approach allows IGC to secure market share in the medical dispensary segment while IGC-AD1, named Hyalolex, works its way through the FDA approval process.
As IGC’s product initiatives come closer to market, the company is likely to attract increased attention that hoists its valuation in line with peers. Anavex Life Sciences (NASDAQ: AVXL), which recently completed a phase 2a trial of its lead product candidate in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, has a market cap of about $180 million. Its stock has traded between $2.60 and $6.31 over the past year. Shares of Axovant Sciences (NYSE: AXON), currently awaiting the results of a phase III trial for its lead Alzheimer’s candidate, have traded between $11.15 and $24.94 over the past year. The company’s current market cap is over $2.5 billion.
Also, AC Immune Ltd. (NASDAQ: ACIU), which is collaborating with Genentech/Roche, has its Alzheimer’s candidate in phase III. AC Immune’s stock has ranged from $6.70 to $19.30 over the past 12 months. The company is valued at around $381 million. Last but certainly not least is Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB), recently added to Goldman Sachs’ (NYSE: GS) Equity Conviction List, which is valued at close to $61 billion. Its stock has traded between $246.00 and $329.00 this past year. Meanwhile, IGC stock currently trades around $0.36, and the company’s market cap is about $12.5 million.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.IGCInc.us
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