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Mushrooms’ Potential in Functional Foods Market Being Realized by Therapeutics Innovator Rritual Mushrooms

  • Emerging Wellness Foods Brand Rritual Mushrooms Inc. is developing plant-based superfood products to lead out a fledgling market segment that has a high degree of promise as consumer interest in functional foods increases
  • While the mushroom therapeutics subcategory of products is still new and developing, analysts researching the overall functional foods market expect the industry to grow at a CAGR of 7.9 percent to $275.77 billion between 2019 and 2025
  • Rritual Mushrooms’ introductory product line draws on the reputations of the Chaga, Lion’s Mane and Reishi mushrooms as beneficial to overall wellness, combining them with herbal remedy adaptogens in powdered elixirs
  • The three formulations are being rolled out this fall in 14-stick packs and in 250-gram tubs, as well as in a 14-day variety pack that includes all three elixirs

Researchers have found “enormous potential” for using mushrooms in functional foods, describing the fungal growth’s immunomodulating, anti-tumor, hypocholesterol and anti-bacterial properties as rife with opportunity for food products such as cereal and bread flours as well as cheeses and cheese-related products (https://ibn.fm/jt8xL).

That potential is now being realized with the initial slate of products from lifestyle therapeutics innovator Rritual Mushrooms Inc., whose non-psychoactive wellness elixirs include a Chaga blend designed to augment immunity, a Lion’s Mane blend designed to support cognitive function and brain health, and a Reishi blend to boost the body’s ability to fight anxiety.

Rritual Mushrooms emerged in 2019 as a fledgling company targeting a fledgling industry segment in which no dominant brand has yet emerged to lead the functional foods subcategory. The company is building toward an IPO.

Despite the apparent novelty of the mushroom wellness movement, market analysts at Grand View Research, Inc. stated last year that they expect the overall functional foods market size to reach $275.77 billion in valuation by 2025, expanding at a CAGR of 7.9 percent between 2019 and 2025 (https://ibn.fm/EbzWc), and mushroom food products stand to benefit as part of the trend.

The novel coronavirus pandemic that emerged this year is only expected to increase the demand for functional foods and other nutraceuticals as an infection-wary public seeks to utilize more immunity-boosting supplements in their diets.

In June, Rritual Mushrooms introduced Dr. Mike Hart as the company’s president who will help guide Rritual through plant-based wellness therapy developments (https://ibn.fm/ixb3Q). Hart operates his own family medicine clinic in London, Ontario, where he became the first physician in the locality to open a cannabis clinic in 2014. He continues to use wellness therapies to treat patients’ symptoms such as pain, inflammation, insomnia and depression.

“My belief is that mental fitness is a daily ritual, and Rritual’s product portfolio and approach completely supports my current research and values as a seasoned, plant-based practitioner,” Hart stated in the announcement of his appointment.

In general, mushrooms have twice the protein of asparagus, cabbage and other vegetables, and 12 times the protein found in oranges and apples. Edible mushroom are a good source of several vitamins, including thiamine (“B1”), riboflavin (“B2”), niacin, biotin and ascorbic acid (“C”) (https://ibn.fm/LVheX).

Rritual Mushroom’s product line pairs the Chaga mushroom with the adaptogen Eleuthero root, Lion’s Mane mushroom with the adaptogen Rhodiola root and the Reishi mushroom with the adaptogen Ashwagandha root for products full of bioactive polysaccharides that are helpful to the biome (https://ibn.fm/xBZac). Adaptogens are natural substances used in herbal remedies because they are thought to increase the resistance of organisms to biological stresses (https://ibn.fm/YNLPT).

The three formulations will be available in 14-stick packs and in 300-gram tubs during the fall, as well as a 14-day variety pack that includes all three elixirs. They will be marketed through Rritual’s website and the company’s Amazon store initially before expanding to other online and brick-and-mortar outlets.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.WeAreRritual.com.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Rritual Mushrooms are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/Rritual

Mental Fitness is a Daily Ritual

Predictive Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ: POAI) Industry Leader in Growing Precision Medicine Market

  • Recent study reports CAGR of 9.7% in precision medicine space.
  • Predictive Oncology focused on use of data, artificial intelligence to develop personalized cancer therapies.
  • One of POAI’s primary projects is building multi-omic predictive models of tumor drug response

A recent study of the global precision medicine market indicates a bright future for the industry, especially for U.S.-based companies focusing on cancer research, such as Predictive Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ: POAI). The study reported a CAGR of 9.7% in the sector, with North America dominating the market and oncology expected to hold the highest market.

“Precision medicine, a combination of molecular biology techniques and systems biology, is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention,” the Mordor Intelligence study stated. “The market growth for this approach is gaining momentum, as it takes into account individual variability in genes, environment and lifestyle for each person, while developing drugs and vaccines.”

The report goes on to note that North America currently dominates the precision medicine market and is “expected to continue its stronghold for a few more years.” The United States holds the largest market share on the continent, at least in part due to the Precision Medicine Initiative (“PMI”), launched by former President Barack Obama.

This initiative was designed to revolutionize medicine and generate the scientific evidence needed to move the concept of precision medicine into everyday clinical practice. The PMI enjoys widespread support, including ongoing efforts through the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (“VA”), the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the Office for Civil Rights.

The study also reports that “precision medicine applications are primarily directed toward better treatment against oncological diseases, with an estimated more than 30% market dominance over other segments. . . . The high support from the government through funding and rapid growth of genomic analysis are expected to augment the growth of the precision medicine market at a fast rate, over the forecast period.”

This analysis bodes well for Predictive Oncology, an industry leader focused on the use of data and artificial intelligence (“AI”) to develop predictive models of tumor drug response and outcome, which can be used to help oncologists individualize current cancer therapies for the patients as well as help researchers find new cancer therapies. The Mordor report noted that key factors propelling the growth of the precision medicine market include increasing online collaborative forums, increasing efforts to characterize genes and advancements in cancer biology — all of which POAI is involved in.

“The fundamental concept of precision medicine is to understand the genetic makeup and difference at a population level, and further at an individual level, in order to customize a drug that targets a particular gene type,” the report observed. “Hence, sequencing or characterizing genes is the most important method to gain information about genes and their possible mutations.”

One of POAI’s primary projects, conducted through its subsidiary Helomics, is building multi-omic predictive models of tumor drug response and outcome using a its unique proprietary TumorSpace knowledge base of 150,000 tumor drug response profiles gathered from over 15 years of clinical testing. Using artificial intelligence, the company is leveraging this data to build predictive models of tumor drug response. These models offer researchers in pharma, biopharma and diagnostic companies actionable information that drives the development of new precision therapies, companion diagnostics, biomarkers and helps design better-targeted trials — all with the end goal of helping patients diagnosed with cancer.

POAI is bringing precision medicine, or tailored medical treatment using the individual characteristics of each patient, to the treatment of cancer. Through its Helomics division, the company leverages its unique, clinically validated, patient-derived (“PDx”) smart tumor profiling platform to provide oncologists with a road map to help individualize therapy. In addition, the company is leveraging artificial intelligence and its proprietary database to build AI-driven models of tumor drug response to improve outcomes for the patients of today and tomorrow.

For more information about Predictive Oncology, please visit www.Predictive-Oncology.com.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to POAI are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/POAI

Gage Cannabis Co. Announces Pre-IPO Financing Round, Early Opportunity to Invest in Top Operator

  • Round of financing led by Bruce Linton, executive chairman of Gage Cannabis and cannabis industry pioneer
  • Reg A+ equity financing offers chance to invest in exclusive cultivator, processor, and retailer of world-leading cannabis brands
  • First step in Gage’s journey to becoming publicly traded company

Gage Cannabis Co., the leading high-quality craft cannabis brand and operator in Michigan, has launched a Regulation A, Tier 2, equity financing. The pre-IPO round of financing is being led by Bruce Linton, executive chairman of Gage Cannabis, a founder and former CEO and chairman of Canopy Growth Corp.

“We wanted to provide investors with the opportunity to invest in a growing and dominant cannabis operation before an official IPO process,” said Linton. “Michigan is one of the top cannabis markets in the U.S., and I am confident Gage is poised to continue building on its historical execution and fortifying its position as one of the top operators and brands in Michigan, as well as a name consumers look for across the United States.”

Linton transformed Canopy Growth Corp. from a concept into one of the most recognizable and valuable cannabis companies in the world. A passionate entrepreneur, he has decades of experience in a variety of industries, creating unprecedented long-term shareholder value. As the first and lead investor in the offering, his unwavering support and confidence in Gage Cannabis is clear.

The round of financing consists of up to 28,571,400 shares of subordinate voting shares, available for $1.75 per share. The shares are being offered pursuant to Regulation A of Section 3(b) of the Securities, as amended, for Tier 2 offerings, by management on a “best-efforts” basis directly to purchasers who satisfy the requirements set forth in Regulation A.

For investors, the pre-IPO opportunity to invest in the exclusive cultivator and retailer of several world-leading cannabis brands can’t be ignored. The company’s exclusive brands include Cookies, Lemonnade, Runtz, Grandiflora, SLANG Worldwide, and OG Raskal; Gage also has its own proprietary brand portfolio, distributed in Michigan.

The leaders at Gage Cannabis are focused on becoming the retailer of choice among adult-use and medical-cannabis consumers. Initially, Gage has opened five dispensaries, with plans to open three more locations by the end of 2020; the company intends to have more than 20 operating stores by the end of next year. So far this year, Gage has reported $31 million in sales, with that number only expected to increase in the coming months.

“We’re excited to invite public investors to join alongside industry juggernauts, like Bruce Linton, and provide them with the opportunity to participate in our future success,” said Fabian Monaco, President of Gage Cannabis. “We have strategically acquired a portfolio of high-quality operating assets and brands in the rapidly growing Michigan market and developed a reputation for providing consumers with access to craft cannabis in elevated retail environments. This is a great first step in our journey to becoming a publicly traded company, and we’re excited to continue to build on our strong foundation while delivering long-term shareholder value.”

Gage Cannabis Co. is innovating and curating the highest quality cannabis experiences possible for cannabis consumers in the state of Michigan and bringing internationally renowned brands to market. Through years of progressive industry experience, the firm’s founding partners have successfully built and grown operations with federal and state licenses, including cultivation, processing and retail locations. Gage’s portfolio includes city and state approvals for 19 Class C cultivation licenses, three processing licenses and 13 provisioning centers (dispensaries).

The Company encourages all interested investors to visit GageInvestors.com for a link to the Offering Circular and to learn how to invest in the Offering. Financing information is also available by calling toll free at 1-844-606-0809 or locally at 1-616-504-6060

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.GageInvestors.com.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Gage Cannabis Co. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/GAGE

Pac Roots Cannabis Corp. (PACR) Set to Benefit as Hemp and Cannabis Producers Evolve, Differentiate Crop Cultivation

  • Pac Roots Cannabis Corp. specializes in creation of unique, proprietary cannabis and hemp strains
  • Following its tie-up with Phenome One Corp, Pac Roots offers over 350 meticulously designed cultivars possessing wide array of characteristics
  • Introduction of patent protection on genetically modified hemp strains along with insurance provided to hemp growers incentivizes hemp production, drives greater demand for genetically modified seeds and cultivars

Since completing its RTO and being listed on the CSE in May of 2020, Pac Roots Cannabis (CSE: PACR) has earned a reputation for operating on the cutting edge of hemp and cannabis cultivation. This foresight in staying ahead of the times has proven invaluable as the industry weathered its share of waves. One such hurdle can be seen in the results of the legalization efforts of the past several years, which led to an overabundance of hemp. This caused industry professionals to seek new ways to differentiate their crops—and genetic modification has found itself at the epicenter of this conversation.

In December 2018, when the United States officially legalized hemp cultivation, legislators stated that “[b]y removing hemp from the federal list of controlled substances, farmers [could] explore the bright future of this versatile crop, found in everything from a coffee mug to your car dashboard” (https://ibn.fm/WQnRN). However, only 12 months later, a study carried out by the Brightfield Group found that upwards of 87% of 2019’s hemp acreage was destined for CBD extraction (https://ibn.fm/hx8GK) rather than for the multitude of applications originally envisioned. The proliferation of hemp supply, which has led to a state of oversupply and declining crop prices (https://ibn.fm/oZern), has led to the belief that the true revenue potential in the sector lays not with hemp producers, but rather with the creation and licensing of proprietary plant material – an area which Pac Roots Cannabis has sought to specialize in.

Should a cultivator wish to plant a certain CBD-rich hemp or cannabis strain, then they would necessarily have to go to a seed or specialized cannabis cultivator to obtain the required raw material. Pac Roots addresses this rapidly expanding market through its strategic licensing agreement with Phenome One Corp., which has granted Pac Roots access to one of Canada’s largest live, genetic cannabis libraries with lab and field-tested, selectively bred seedlings, which the company has employed to grow, breed and clone its own unique brands. The tie-up in turn has allowed Pac Roots to offer a remarkable portfolio of over 350 meticulously-designed cultivars, ranging from CBD-dominant plants with rare terpene profiles to plants with over 30% THC-content as well as West Coast outdoor, botrytis-resistant cultivars.

Following the landmark decision to legalize hemp cultivation, federal regulations have recently been enacted in a bid to protect the interests and intellectual property of firms innovating within the field of hemp genetics, with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granting its first hemp plant patent in late 2019 (https://ibn.fm/jL0ST). Separately, the USDA’s Risk Management Agency recently announced a pilot insurance program for hemp growers (https://ibn.fm/IhAN9), providing cultivators with certain safeguards should adverse conditions affect the commercial viability of their crop. As a result, farmers will now have a greater incentive to grow hemp at scale and to innovate, which in turn will lead to a more lucrative and dependable market for firms specializing in seed and hemp genetics firms.

As with any industry, it is evident that companies focused on developing and adding value to their product stand to benefit relative to producers focused on cultivating and harvesting a more commoditized good. With hemp and cannabis cultivators increasingly seeking to differentiate their products through the use of genetically modified seeds and cultivars, companies such as Pac Roots Cannabis stand well positioned to benefit.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.PacRoots.ca

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to PACR are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/PACR

SRAX Inc. (NASDAQ: SRAX) Spinoff BIGtoken(R) Inc. Announces George Stella as Chief Revenue Officer

  • George Stella appointed chief revenue officer of BIGtoken following executive vice president tenure at SRAX
  • SRAX moving BIGtoken to separate publicly traded company through definitive share exchange agreement with Force Protection Video Equipment Corp
  • BIGtoken platform compensates over 16 million users for data that marketers access for fee

BIGtoken(R) Inc., a former SRAX (NASDAQ: SRAX) division, has appointed SRAX executive vice president George Stella as chief revenue officer of BIGtoken following its transition to a publicly-traded company. BIGtoken is a consumer data management and distribution system empowering brands to unlock the power of data through a transparent platform that rewards consumers with cash and gift cards when they opt in to release their data to marketers.

Stella’s appointment as chief revenue officer is one of the latest in a series of announcements by SRAX regarding BIGtoken’s management team. His relationship with BIGtoken took root early in the platform’s evolution, starting with an integral role in designing initial solutions for large brand advertisers that led to his most recent position as executive vice president at the Company.

“I am very proud to say we have doubled revenues every quarter this year, and currently serve seven of the top ten CPG advertisers as repeat customers,” said Stella in recent statements (https://ibn.fm/Mhj75). “I couldn’t be more excited at the opportunity to pave the way forward as leaders in consumer privacy, data, insights, and media as our industry navigates this rapidly evolving new data economy.”

Stella’s advertising career started at Comedy Central and evolved into sales-focused roles at several prominent digital media companies. Prior to joining SRAX and BIGtoken, Stella held several marketing roles that included driving digital shopper strategies and leveraging real-time consumer intent at Yieldbot, senior sales positions at OwnerIQ and HookLogic, and an 11-year tenure as sales director at 24/7 Real Media.

Following several successful years as a division of SRAX, management recently announced its plans to spin off BIGtoken as a separate company through a definitive agreement with Force Protection Video Equipment Corp (“FPVD”) that will exchange all outstanding BIGtoken equity for 88.9% of all FPVD issued and outstanding shares. Following completion of the deal, FPVD will be rebranded as BIGtoken with former SRAX board member Malcolm CasSelle as CEO (https://ibn.fm/qXedP).

BIGtoken compensates over 16 million users for access to their data while creating data sets across 25,000 unique market segments. Brands are offered access to this valuable data for a fee.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.SRAX.com.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to SRAX are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/SRAX

180 Life Sciences Corp. Expands IP Portfolio with EU, U.S., and Chinese Patents

  • The company’s patent portfolio includes its own intellectual property and exclusive worldwide licenses, including in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, Hong Kong, and China
  • 180 Life Sciences is in the final stages of its merger process with KBL Merger Corp. IV, with the resulting entity to list on NASDAQ under the ticker “ATNF”
  • The company is devoting its clinical-stage biotechnology research to producing solutions that will help battle inflammation. Its primary focus is to treat fibrosis and inflammation using anti-TNF therapy
  • The estimated annual market size for anti-inflammatory therapeutics is projected to grow to an estimated $106.1 billion in 2020.

KBL Merger Corp. IV (NASDAQ: KBLM), a special purpose acquisition corporation (“SPAC”) that has signed a detailed merger agreement with 180 Life Sciences Corp., announced that the company has continued to expand its IP portfolio. 180 Life Sciences Corp. is a clinical-stage biotech company currently in the developmental stage of three novel drugs. These drugs will fulfill the unmet need within the healthcare industry for inflammatory diseases, pain, and fibrosis.

The current patent portfolio that 180 Life Sciences Corp. has applied and received licenses for covers 14 patent families consisting of 42 patents issued and 32 pending in jurisdictions such as the United States, Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia, and China (https://ibn.fm/ptO60).

The latest patent, granted on June 3 by the EU Patent and Trademark Office, is for methods of prevention or treatment of triggered inflammatory reactions using TNF alpha antagonist. “The issuance of our European patents significantly strengthens the IP portfolio governing our lead program,” 180 Life Sciences Corp. CEO Dr. James Woody said in the IP portfolio announcement.

“We are committed to broadening our global patent estate as we continue to expand our internal pipeline and increase patient access to innovative therapies,” Woody added. “Having this most recent patent awarded in the EU is important as it provides validation in the 12 largest countries in the EU, including the UK, and provides the platform to be able to expand clinical trials, commercialization, and partnering efforts throughout Europe. We look forward to achieving additional milestones by the end of 2020.”

On June 2, the company was granted a U.S. patent for the treatment of Dupuytren’s Disease, while on January 14, China granted a patent for synthetic CBD analog (“SCA”): cyclohexenyl compounds, compositions comprising them and uses. In addition, the company filed a patent for SCA bioactive phenolate ionic complexes in the U.S. on April 22 and one for method treating systemic fibrosis disorders using IL-33/TNF specific antibody, in Hong Kong on September 1.

The company’s patent portfolio comprises its own IP and exclusive worldwide licenses, including the Hebrew University, The Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research University of Oxford, Oxford University Innovation Limited, and Stanford University.

180 Life Sciences is currently conducting three clinical programs to address the following indications:

  • A Phase 2b/3 trial on Dupuytren’s contracture, a fibroid disease of the hand, with expected results in Q1 2021
  • A clinical study to be initiated for frozen shoulder with a grant awarded by the National Institute of Health Research, UK
  • A current unmet need in the elderly population, especially those who undergo hip replacement – post-operative cognitive delirium disorder and dysfunction

In addition to the current clinical trials, 180 Life Sciences Corp. currently has preclinical discoveries focusing on developing unique, FDA-approved pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoids for arthritis treatment. It is also working with an a7nAChR program initially aimed at the treatment of ulcerative colitis after smoking cessation (https://ibn.fm/dS147).

These studies, along with its expanding IP portfolio, are helping the company position itself as a leader on the anti-inflammatory therapeutics market, which is expected to grow to an estimated $106.1 billion in 2020. The company’s merger with KBL Merger Corp. IV is also expected to strengthen its position, while also enabling it to go public.

An October 12, 2020 announcement by KBL Merger Corp. IV indicated that the Form S-4 that was filed with the SEC regarding the merger is now effective. The company has scheduled a Special Meeting of the Shareholders for October 26, 2020. Once the merger is complete, 180 Life Sciences Corp. will list on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “ATFN.”

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.180LifeSciences.com.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to 180 Life Sciences are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/180

Rritual Mushrooms Inc. Takes Aim at New Wellness Industry in Functional Foods Marketplace

  • Rritual Mushrooms Inc. is an emerging producer of premium plant-based superfood products designed to help people meet the demands of modern life with style and ease
  • The company introduced the wellness and nutraceuticals market to its suite of three mushroom and adaptogen-based elixir powders in September
  • Rritual Mushrooms’ products were created to boost immunity, support brain function and help the body fight anxiety
  • Rritual is positioned to take advantage of lifestyle trends that have promoted plant-based proteins and reduced meat consumption in recent years, as well as an invigorated interest in immunity-enhancing substances brought on by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic

Modern lifestyle natural wellness innovator Rritual Mushrooms is growing into a wellness wonder at the heart of a fledgling industry rife with opportunity.

Market analysts at Grand View Research, Inc. reported last year that the overall functional foods market size is projected to reach $275.77 billion by 2025, expanding at a CAGR of 7.9 percent between 2019 and 2025 (https://ibn.fm/YloH9). The demand for nutraceuticals and functional foods is now expected to surge even more than anticipated last year, in part as a response to consumers’ efforts to incorporate more immunity-boosting supplements into their diets as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, building on an already extant decline in the consumption of meat products as plant-based proteins have gained favor, according to the report.

Functional mushrooms as a segment of that marketplace is new enough that there is no dominant brand in place to lead the category. Rritual Mushrooms has completed development of a suite of premium functional mushroom and adaptogenic elixir powders that were developed by a leading team of scientists, doctors and experts across the wellness industry. The company is exploring an opportunity with an IPO as well.

The initial product line of non-psychoactive wellness elixirs includes a Chaga blend designed to boost immunity, a Lion’s Mane blend designed to support cognitive function and brain health, and a Reishi blend to help the body fight anxiety.

Chaga is found most commonly in birch forests of the Northern Hemisphere (https://ibn.fm/t68DE) and Rritual’s blend pairs it with the adaptogen Eleuthero root (https://ibn.fm/6HhEz) for a product full of bioactive polysaccharides. Adaptogens are natural substances used in herbal remedies because they are thought to increase the resistance of organisms to biological stress (https://ibn.fm/YD6DP).

The Lion’s Mane mushroom is native to North America, Europe and Asia (https://ibn.fm/Izzi0) and Rritual’s blend pairs it with the adaptogen Rhodiola root (https://ibn.fm/7YxOl). The Reishi mushroom is used in traditional Chinese medicine and has been referred to for thousands of years as the mushroom of immortality (https://ibn.fm/rW4F5). Rritual infuses it with the adaptogen Ashwagandha root (https://ibn.fm/0kOe9) for a combination rich in polysaccharides, triterpenes, amino acids and fatty acids that may improve quality of sleep for restless minds.

“The health and wellness benefits of mushrooms and plant-based therapies are backed by decades of scientific research. Rritual’s new line of elixirs embraces that research and provides consumers with an easy way to get a daily dose of the powerful effects,” Rritual President Dr. Mike Hart stated in a September news release announcing the new elixir powder product lines (https://ibn.fm/7Xgnv).

The three formulations will be available in 14-stick packs and in 150-gram containers during the fall, and there will also be a 14-day variety pack that includes all three elixirs. They will be marketed through Rritual’s website and the company’s Amazon store initially, but the company expects to add outlets by building on its team connections with specialty e-commerce channels such as Costco, CVS, Walmart and Vitacost.

The company similarly anticipates building to a brick-and-mortar rollout of its products through team connections with retail outlets such as Wegmans, Fresh Thyme, Whole Foods, Shaw’s, Stop & Shop, Vitamin Shoppe, Target and Kroger submarket Ralphs and Harris Teeter stores.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.WeAreRritual.com.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Rritual Mushrooms are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/Rritual

Net Element Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) Well-Poised to Capitalize as EV Market Set to Grow by 29% per Annum Over Next Decade

  • Net Element’s reverse merger with EV manufacturer Mullen Technologies expected to close by 4Q2020
  • Mullen expects to begin marketing Dragonfly K50, sold in conjunction with JV partner Qiantu Motors from 2Q2021 followed by its own EV SUV in 2022
  • Deloitte expects annual EV sales to rise from 2.5mn in 2020 to 31.1mn in 2030, implying 29% CAGR over next ten years
  • By 2030, EVs expected to account for 32% of all automobile sales globally, approximately 27% in United States

Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE), a financial technology company which has recently transformed its business model to become a pure-play electric vehicle (“EV”) manufacturer through its merger with privately-held Mullen Technologies Inc., is set to begin marketing its initial vehicle model – the Dragonfly K50 in 2Q2021. The car model, developed in conjunction with China’s Qiantu Motors, will mark Net Element’s initial foray into the North American electric vehicle market—a venture which the company will further reinforce through the launch of its self-manufactured EV SUV, the Mullen MX-5, by the second quarter of 2022.

In an extensive report centered around the battery electric vehicles segment, Deloitte recently forecast that the electric vehicle market is set to reach a tipping point in 2022 – a point of time at which the consultancy expects the cost of ownership for a battery-powered vehicle to be on par with its internal combustion engine-powered counterparts, thereby reducing relative cost differences as a barrier to purchase. With that in mind, it is noteworthy to explore the potential target market size for Net Element as it makes its initial foray into the global EV marketplace (https://ibn.fm/dVlgo).

By 2030, Deloitte anticipates that EV sales could rise from 2.5 million vehicles per annum in 2020 to 31.1 million vehicles per annum—implying a compounded annual growth rate of 29 percent over the next ten years. Moreover, they expect that electric vehicles will secure a market share of 32 percent of total automotive sales by 2030, with battery electric vehicles accounting for 81 percent (25.3 million units) of all new electric vehicles sales and the balance share made up of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

However, while electric vehicles are set to grow as a proportion of total automotive sales, their geographic distribution will vary significantly. Deloitte expects EVs to capture a domestic market share of around 48 percent within China by 2030 – almost double that of the United States (27 percent)—with EV sales in Europe accounting for 42 percent of total auto sales in that region.

There are four key factors identified by Deloitte as being key drivers in determining the adoption rate of electric vehicles going forward. First is the shift which is currently being witnessed within consumer sentiment – driving range, a perennial point of contention in the past, has increasingly become less of a concern for potential consumers, with EV driving ranges enjoying a considerable uplift in line with new battery technology breakthroughs. Rather, the primary constraint for future growth may relate to a perceived lack of charging infrastructure, an issue which governments worldwide are seeking to tackle. Germany has recently designated $2.8 billion towards EV charging infrastructure investment while China has recently announced an additional $378 million investment in the technology.

Second is the role of government policy, wherein the widespread adoption of EVs has become a necessary step for governments seeking to achieve their climate-change goals, such as those set by the 2015 Paris Agreement. As a result, a number of governments have offered compelling financial incentives to consumers to make the switch to electric vehicles with other governmental bodies imposing bans, or punitive taxes, on users of older internal-combustion engines to address concerns about toxic air pollution.

The third factor relates to the commercial strategies adopted by various automotive OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). Over the past year, a number of major automotive OEMs have committed to significant upfront investments in developing their EV portfolios, with the likes of Ford announcing that it would invest $11.5 billion on EV models by 2022 while the Volkswagen Group has forecast achieving 1 million EV sales by 2023. More importantly, a greater focus on EVs has led to a greater proliferation of choice available to consumers, with HIS Markit predicting that there will be 130 EV models available to US consumers by 2026, from 43 different automobile manufacturers (https://ibn.fm/esdoB).

Lastly, Deloitte has highlighted the importance of major corporations in helping EV sales transition into the mainstream with the consultancy previously revealing that the sale of new cars to businesses would account for 63 percent of total new car sales across Western Europe by 2021 (https://ibn.fm/qYCbJ).

With traditional company car schemes and car hire operators accounting for a significant proportion of the client wallet for automobile purchases, a greater emphasis on alleviating emissions could result in a significant uplift in EV demand across the corporate spectrum.

Following the completion of the merger between Net Element and Mullen Technologies, the company aims to reach a production threshold of 35,000 vehicles per annum by 2026. With its initial two models already in the works and with the global EV sector set to skyrocket in terms of value over the course of the next decade, Net Element finds itself in the ideal position to capitalize from one of the biggest shifts in consumer behavior the world has ever seen.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.NetElement.com.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to NETE are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/NETE

AzurRx BioPharma Inc. (NASDAQ: AZRX) is “One to Watch”

  • AzurRx BioPharma’s lead therapeutic, MS1819, is a recombinant lipase treatment for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and is currently targeting patients with cystic fibrosis and chronic pancreatitis – an established global market of more than $2 billion
  • The company is currently pursuing parallel monotherapy and combination therapy trials, which are anticipated to produce topline data in Q1 2021 and Q2 2021, respectively
  • Previously completed clinical trials of MS1819 showed primary and secondary endpoint efficacy, with a positive safety profile
  • To fully finance its ongoing Phase 2 trials and being preparations for a pivotal Phase 3 study in 2021, as well as to fund current operations, the company raised gross cash capital of $22.1 million as of July 2020
  • AzurRx is determined to develop MS1819 as a safer alternative to porcine pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy, significantly reducing the pill burden of cystic fibrosis patients

AzurRx BioPharma (NASDAQ: AZRX) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing treatments for gastrointestinal diseases using recombinant proteins.

The company’s lead drug candidate is MS1819, a recombinant lipase for the treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (“EPI”) in patients suffering from cystic fibrosis and chronic pancreatitis.

AzurRx has already completed two Phase 2 clinical trials for MS1819 and is currently pursuing approval through parallel monotherapy and combination therapy pathways.

The company was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in New York City, with scientific operations in Langlade, France, and clinical operations in Hayward, California.

MS1819 Clinical Trials

The two current ongoing clinical trials for MS1819 in cystic fibrosis (“CF”) are the Phase 2b Option 2 monotherapy trial and the Phase 2 combination therapy trial, using MS1819 together with porcine pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (“PERT”), the current standard of care. Pending the Phase 2b trial outcome, the company intends to initiate a Phase 3 trial in cystic fibrosis.

  • Phase 2b CF Option 2 Trial– The study was initiated in Q3 2020, using MS1819 doses in enteric capsule form (2240mg and 4480mg). Topline data for the trial is anticipated in Q1 2021.
  • Phase 2 CF Combination Trial– The study was initiated in Q4 2019, using daily dose levels of PERT in combination with MS1819 dosages (700mg, 1120mg and 2240mg). Topline data is anticipated in Q2 2021.

These trials are currently addressing the treatment of EPI in patients with cystic fibrosis and chronic pancreatitis – an established global market with an estimated value in excess of $2 billion that has been growing at a CAGR greater than 20% over the past five years.

Results from AzurRx’s Phase 2b Option 2 trial of MS1819 in cystic fibrosis patients demonstrate that the non-porcine MS1819 lipase is well-tolerated by patients, with no significant safety signals observed at the 2240mg daily dose level.

“[W]e have evaluated four different enteric capsules and identified the best suitable formulation for MS1819 that provides gastroprotection of enzyme content and delayed release into the duodenum,” James Sapirstein, President & CEO of AzurRx, stated in a September 2020 news release (https://ibn.fm/27t4W). “Our clinical program continues to advance, and we are determined to develop MS1819 as a safer alternative to porcine pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy, significantly reducing the pill burden of cystic fibrosis patients.”

Financial Highlights

As of July 2020, AzurRx had raised gross cash capital of $22.1 million, including $15.2 million from Series B convertible preferred stock and warrants in July 2020 and $6.9 million from convertible promissory notes and warrants in December 2019 and January 2020. Notably, AzurRx solidified its financial position and created an effectively debt-free balance sheet by exchanging substantially all of its outstanding convertible notes into the Series B convertible preferred stock financing.

The company secured an additional $2.5 million in French Research Tax Credits, received in 2020, for the years 2017-2019 (https://ibn.fm/Qxk7O).

In a letter to shareholder, Sapirstein noted that ensuring the company maintains sufficient capital to support its business operations has been a key focus. He further stated that the company is in “a financially secure position” to complete its two Phase 2 MS1819 clinical trial programs and to begin preparations in 2021 for a pivotal Phase 3 study.

The company has no current plans to access additional financing, as it believes it has enough cash to fund existing operational and clinical objectives through Q3 2021.

Management Team

James Sapirstein is the President and CEO of AzurRx BioPharma. He was previously the CEO and a board member for ContraVir Pharmaceuticals Inc., which is now known as Hepion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: HEPA). Mr. Sapirstein has almost 36 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with expertise in drug development and commercialization. He currently serves on the Emerging Companies and Health Section boards of the BIO (Biotechnology Innovation Organization) and is Chairman Emeritus of BioNJ. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from Rutgers University and has an MBA in management from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Daniel Schneiderman is the Chief Financial Officer of AzurRx. He previously served as the CFO of Biophytis SA and its U.S. subsidiary, Biophytis, Inc., clinical-stage biotechnology companies focused on the development of pharmaceutical candidates for age-related diseases. He was appointed to the AzurRx position in January 2020, bringing to the team over 18 years of experience in capital markets and finance operations. Mr. Schneiderman holds a degree in economics from Tulane University.

James Pennington, M.D., is the Chief Medical Officer of AzurRx. Before joining the team, he was the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Clinical Fellow for 11 years at Anthera Pharmaceuticals. Before becoming a part of the biotech industry, Dr. Pennington was on the Medical Faculty of Harvard Medical School for 10 years. He received his medical degree from Oregon Health & Science University.

Martin Krusin is the Senior Vice President for Corporate Development at AzurRx. He has 20 years of experience in business development, strategic marketing, financing and operations in the health care, financial services and consulting sectors. Before joining AzurRx, he was the VP for Business Development at FluoroPharma Medical Inc. Mr. Krusin received his MBA from Columbia Business School in finance and marketing, an MPhil. in political economy from Oxford University and a BA in international relations from Swarthmore College.

Dinesh Srinivasan, Ph.D., is the Vice President for Translational Research at AzurRx. He has over 15 years of experience leading drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical industry. He began his career as a post-doctorate fellow at Roche Palo Alto. Dr. Srinivasan received his MSc in Biotechnology from the University of Mumbai, India, and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Arizona – Tucson.

Ted Stover is the Product Development Director at AzurRx. He joined the company in 2020 to oversee CMC and Project Management. Before joining AzurRx, he spent 20 years focused on manufacturing operations and analytical method development for all stages of pharmaceutical drug development. Mr. Stover earned his MBA from the University of Florida.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.AzurRx.com.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to AZRX are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/AZRX

Pure Extract Technologies Inc. Leveraging Growing Popularity of Medicinal Mushrooms in Mainstream Medicine

  • Scientific research suggests some mushrooms can provide mental benefits, anti-tumor effects, improved immune function, anti-viral properties and detoxification
  • “Psychedelic” varieties currently being studied for depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, addiction
  • Pure Extracts is expanding into functional mushroom market; Company is currently licensed by Health Canada to buy, sell, produce cannabis products

Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in Eastern medicine to combat illness, increase mental cognition and improve digestion. As their popularity continues to increase worldwide, Pure Extract Technologies, a privately held, plant-based, Canadian extraction company is leveraging the growing acceptance by mainstream science and the general public to further develop and commercialize functional and medicinal mushroom products on a global scale.

Described by world-renowned mycologist Paul Stamets as “nature’s miniature pharmaceutical factories” (https://ibn.fm/wR7Np), mushrooms have been studied extensively by mainstream science for their various health benefits. Current research has suggested that some varieties such as Hericum Erinaceus or “lion’s mane” can help improve memory (https://ibn.fm/HVXE7) and mental cognition (https://ibn.fm/XIilg) in addition to improving the symptoms of depression (https://ibn.fm/e6nwv).

“Psychedelic” varieties such as psilocybin – or “magic mushrooms” – are increasingly being studied for possible medical benefits in treating depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s disease and addiction. UC Berkeley recently unveiled the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics (https://ibn.fm/Aj06x) with the aim of studying psilocybin for mental benefits in addition to other properties that include anti-tumor effects, improved immune function, anti-viral properties and detoxification. The FDA granted psychedelics breakthrough therapy status for treatment-resistant depression in 2020 with approvals expected in 2021 (https://ibn.fm/cgSa5), making therapy options possible in the very near future.

Pure Extracts has a solid position in the industry to partner with organizations in the sourcing, production and development of functional mushroom products and to advance its mushroom extraction techniques in order to produce, consistent, ultra-pure, compounds. Besides being licensed by Health Canada to buy, sell and produce cannabis products, the Company’s 10,000 square foot facility is designed for EU-GMP certification, which will allow Pure Extracts to sell its products throughout the world.

Along with mushrooms, Pure Extracts’ business model comprises three additional verticals that include in-house brand marketing, raw cannabis & hemp conversion into marketable products and white labeling services that supply products to other Licenced Producers. In addition to signing NDAs to explore joint development endeavors, the Company also has an advisory agreement with Dr. Alexander MacGregor, the founder of the Toronto Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology (“TIPT”), a provider of clinical trial services through its fully compliant Health Canada licensed Good Manufacturing Practice (“GMP”) manufacturing and testing facility.

The psychedelic and functional mushroom industry is currently in a transitory phase whereby dry biomass is being converted to extracts. This changing landscape is positioning Pure Extracts to emerge as a leader in the industry, allowing the Company to benefit from the growing acceptance of mushroom extracts by the scientific community and general public.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.PureExtractsCorp.com.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Pure Extract Technologies are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/Pure

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Mushrooms’ Potential in Functional Foods Market Being Realized by Therapeutics Innovator Rritual Mushrooms

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Emerging Wellness Foods Brand Rritual Mushrooms Inc. is developing plant-based superfood products to lead out a fledgling market segment that has a high degree of promise as consumer interest in functional foods increases While the mushroom therapeutics subcategory of products is still new and developing, analysts researching the overall functional foods market expect the industry […]

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