PreveCeutical CEO Discusses Going Public, Long-term Goals in Exclusive Interview
July 7, 2017 5:41 pm ET
PreveCeutical Medical Inc. is an innovative biotech firm focused on preventive health products and services. The company’s over-the-counter products include the CELLB9™ alternative health product that contains peptide from the Caribbean Blue Scorpion, while its clinical pipeline includes therapeutics that harness the potential benefits of cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD). The company is going public in the next few weeks.
In this interview, CFN Media discusses the company’s significant potential with CEO Stephen Van Deventer.
Q: Your company was founded with a focus on preventive nutraceuticals, hence the name PreveCeutical. Your initial product is CELLB9®, a supplement based on the venom of the Caribbean Blue Scorpion. What can you tell us about this proprietary product?
A: The product itself, trademarked CELLB9®, is a proprietary solution that contains low molecular weight peptides, amino acids, proteins and 59 minerals extracted from the Caribbean Blue Scorpion (Rhopalurus Princeps).
It has been used for some time to relieve pain, improve immune-system response, improve quality of sleep, reduce inflammation, and minimize negative effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. There are miraculous stories of people recovering from serious diseases by taking the solution.
But what really piqued our interest was the fact that the venom was also being used by Blaze Biosciences, a U.S. Company led by noted oncologist Dr. Jim Olson, as a biomarker in brain surgery on children with cancer. It identified abnormal cells and attached to them. Under black light the surgeon could differentiate good cells from bad cells. Our thought was, if the proteins in the solution did that… what else do they do?
Through our recent agreement with Uniquest at the Queensland University in Australia, we plan to identify the active components (peptides) that are providing the immune boosting, pain relieving, and tumor selective properties, then test what happens when used on various abnormal cells – like brain and breast cancers.
A preclinical research and development program is now underway. It was designed and is being directed by Dr. Mak Jawadekar, our Chief Science Officer. Mak was a senior executive at Pfizer for 28 years. He led several drug development programs that resulted in blockbusters for them, one of them being Zoloft. He was so intrigued with what we are doing, he came out of early retirement to join us. We expect several new product opportunities to be identified from this work.
Q – Recently, you announced partnerships with UniQuest to develop products in two areas. First, cannabidiol-infused soluble gels are a delivery system that may improve on the bioavailability and effectiveness of CBD treatments. Can you explain this product and how it fits with your overall business direction.
A- We are very excited about this.
There is enormous potential in the medical sector of the emerging cannabis industry. At this time, there are only a few companies like ours that are breaking ground and exploring the healing power of cannabis by following protocols that medical professionals are used to and will be confident of, in order to prescribe cannabinoids to their patients. The more clinical research that takes place, the more confidence that the medical sector will have – which will mean significant advances in cannabis science will take place.
Through our research and development program with Uniquest, we are developing what we believe will be the first FDA approved, CBD-based nose to brain delivery system that will provide relief across a range of indications from pain, inflammation, seizures, and neurological disorders.
We believe we will have our delivery platform fully tested, approved and ready for market deployment with licensed medical marijuana company partners in approximately 18 months.
Currently we are in discussions with reputable Canadian suppliers of dry powder resins with differing cannabinoid compositions. Our goal is to secure a supply of a wide range of reliable compositions of the dried plant material before it is used to make oils.
With the spectrum of cannabinoids being standardised in each ‘resin type’ we will develop their chemical fingerprints against known compounds to generate robust chromatographic data, as regulatory authorities will need to see this as a quality control measure of what’s in our range of products.
This will give us the ability to tailor the dosage forms to specific patient groups, and also conditions, and severity of conditions, and so on…
We then infuse a given mixture of cannabinoids into a proprietary formulation using nanobubble technology for delivery via a nasal spray. The aim here is to achieve maximum bioavailability of the medicine. Because we deliver the CDB’s via the mucus membranes in the nose, we will be able to deliver much more of the medicinal benefits of the medicine than other delivery methods like smoking, ingestion, and the like. Less can be used to obtain optimal results. Our goal is to confirm that we can also time release the CDBs – therefore maintaining cannabinoid levels which will help patients obtain improved results when treating a range of acute and chronic conditions where cannabinoids have shown great promise.
Our proprietary nasal formulations will also be universally patient friendly, meaning it can be used in children and adults alike.
We are now starting discussions with pharma and medical cannabis groups who have the capability of deploying the technology under license and joint development partnerships.
Q – The second agreement with UniQuest covers the development of a dual-gene therapy targeting both obesity and diabetes. These two indications affect a large and growing segment of the population, and they seem to be intertwined in a sort of cause-and-effect loop. How far along you are in this research and what can you tell us about the potential therapy?
A – As I am sure you are aware, diabetes and obesity are closely tied together. Globally, we are currently facing one of the biggest epidemics ever in terms of the occurrence rates along with the alarming speed this disease is increasing in population. To put this into perspective, diabetes and obesity, along with its complications, kills one person every six minutes globally.
PreveCeutical’s plan to address this disease involves a broader, longer term program of research and development with the aim of developing a ‘curative’ gene therapy approach. Medical research has identified that there are a number of genes that are overexpressed and cause various diseases, diabetes and obesity are no exception. With this program we aim to target the root cause of this disease using siRNA therapeutics to identify the over-expression of that key gene implicated in both diabetes and obesity.
PreveCeutical has an advantage here as we have demonstrated proof of concept. Over 5 years of multi-disciplinary research, Dr. Parekh’s team has collectively generated convincing results in models of this disease, using Smart siRNA and a Tissue Targeted Bio-responsive Carrier System. This program paves the way for preclinical evaluation of proprietary chemistry toward the single gene target implicated in both diabetes and obesity, thereby reducing capacity to store fat, reversing obesity, fatty liver disease, etc.
All of the currently available agents used to manage diabetes have shown NO capacity to halt the progressive decline of pancreatic cell function – the cells that generate insulin! Conventional agents are also limited by their unacceptable side effects and adverse safety profile. Therefore, with the assessment of safety and efficacy in appropriate preclinical models of diabetes, we could pave the way not only to cure this disease but perhaps, in the future, prevent it all together.
Q – PreveCeutical is in the midst of an amalgamation agreement with Carrara Exploration (CSE, CAA) that will, in effect, create a new public company that consists substantially of your business. What is the status of this transaction?
Shareholders of both Companies have approved the transaction. We expect to receive conditional approval from the Securities Commission shortly. At that time we will close the concurrent financing and PreveCeutical Medical Inc. should be called to trade.
In conclusion, we have an ambitious five-year plan. Our goal is to have at least 3 new drugs either on the market or filed for FDA approval approximately by 2021. Our criteria are that all our development projects have the potential to generate more than $1 billion in sales each year. We have three projects with that potential right now.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.preveceutical.com or sign-up for a going-public alert and a free investor presentation.