Lexaria Bioscience Brings Next-Generation Technology To Mainstream With Its DehydraTECH™ Platform 

June 25 07:32 2020

As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to remind us, infectious diseases are an unavoidable fact of life. Although antibiotics and antivirals have been developed for many conditions, the medical industry continues to search for newer and more effective treatments to offer patients. Lexaria Bioscience (OTCMKTS: LXRP) is answering that call with cost-effective technology that is already being licensed by billion-dollar companies across a broad range of sectors.

Lexaria Bioscience’s drug delivery platform, DehydraTECH™, is positioned as a potentially revolutionary drug delivery technology. Its use extends seamlessly through multiple areas of the pharmaceutical sector by taking existing orally-administered therapies and improving the way they are detected and absorbed by the body. 

Because the adaptable platform is focused on improving drugs that are already approved, Lexaria can integrate its next-gen dehydration technology without facing lengthy and cost-prohibitive FDA oversight. Simultaneously, the broad applications of the technology can increase drug effectiveness at lower dosages, attracting interest from potential licensees in the nicotine, pharmaceutical-grade CBD, and disease treatment sectors.

Lexaria believes their DehydraTECH™ can change the future for essential drugs where time to relief is a primary concern to the user. It would also offer a substantial marketing benefit to the Lexaria licensee, making it a win-win proposition.

Lexaria Bioscience Could Augment the Medical Industry’s Most Important Treatments

Drug and treatment administration are critical components for drug companies. It can mean the difference in billions of drug marketing revenue and is a determining factor in measuring efficacy and speed of relief standards. The most common forms of antibiotic or antiviral drugs are pills that are orally administered. While this may be the most prevalent method of drug introduction, many treatments ultimately suffer from low levels of oral bioavailability due to poor water-solubility. This critical limitation often results in a tiny fraction of the active ingredient being absorbed by the patient and limiting both therapeutic effectiveness and patient response to the drug. Lexaria is addressing this issue head-on.

Lexaria’s DehydraTECH™ platform may be a disruptive force for multiple sectors, especially to companies that rely on orally-administered drugs and treatments for their products. The primary benefit is that the technology could substantially improve onset and bioavailability for hundreds of existing drugs currently saddled by oral bioavailability limitations. The diverse market opportunities for DehydraTECH™ extend to use with antivirals, oral nicotine, NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen and Aspirin, cannabinoids, fat-soluble vitamins, PDE5 inhibitors such as Viagra, and hormones such as estrogen and testosterone.

Moreover, the applications of the technology are far-reaching. The platform can incorporate near-unlimited combinations of active-ingredients to particular binding agents, helping to create substantial revenue-generating opportunities beyond pharmaceuticals. 

DehydraTECH™ Technology A Game-Changer For Oral Drug Delivery

DehydraTECH™ works by combining the drug or Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (“API”) with a fatty acid oil, such as a long-chain fatty acid. This mixture is applied to food or carrier particles such as sorbitol or gum arabic, which then undergoes a patented dehydration synthesis procedure. The final product results in a powder or liquid that can be effectively dosed either directly or mixed into a beverage. The primary factor for success is that the active ingredients are processed through the small intestine. This bypasses the long process of liver metabolization, allowing quick absorption by long-chain fatty acids into the lymphatics. In some instances, speed of efficacy can be improved fivefold, compared to standard oral drug delivery.

Just as important, DehydraTECH™ can deliver results with lower levels of potential toxicity. Moreover, desired effects are felt much quicker (10 to 20 minutes versus 60 to 120 minutes), and dosages are more effectively absorbed into the bloodstream with minimal loss to therapeutic value. Lipids are used to provide gastric protection and rapid absorption of the medicine, and fatty acids are used in the synthesis process, allowing medications to be taken by patients without the bitter taste of the reformulated drug.

There are also case studies and ongoing market sales that support DehydraTECH™ as having the best-in-class potential to disrupt an industry that is ripe for innovation. The technology has been developed in close collaboration with the National Research Council, the largest R&D organization in Canada. Through this partnership, the platform has been extensively evaluated through rigorous testing involving nuclear magnetic resonance, Fouier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, Liquid Chromatography-High Resolution Mass Spectroscopy, Dynamic Light Scattering, and Zeta Potential Analysis.

The critical takeaway from these tests is that they have independently verified that DehydraTECH™ does not create a new molecular entity. That means licensees with existing approval for market treatments can take an expedited regulatory path to market. It can also extend patent protection for billion-dollar franchise drugs that are nearing expiration.

A Platform with Endless Opportunity

Capitalizing on DehydraTECH ™’s potential to augment almost any existing orally administered treatment on the market, Lexaria has numerous applications for the platform under active development. One of the company’s most prioritized areas of research is using DehydraTECH™ with antiviral treatments. The distinction that plays to the platform’s favor is that most existing antivirals on the market are fat-soluble and poorly absorbed by the body. Typically, that results in a need for a higher dose and cost, along with potentially severe side-effects. 

Nearly everyone is familiar with the dreaded needle-based delivery of certain medications or vaccinations – this is often because of poor bioavailability that often require injection to receive effective doses. This is expensive – requires a health care professional – and encounters significant patient resistance. All this could be a thing of the past with DehydraTECH.

Clinical studies conducted by Lexaria have proven that DehydraTECH™ can significantly increase the bioavailability of fat-soluble drugs, meaning they can make efficient use of an active ingredient without the need for a patient to stack the doses. That distinction creates a wealth of opportunities. 

Lexaria is poised to begin testing its feasibility with different antiviral medications, with over 20 additional antiviral drug candidates identified for add-on indications. The technology demonstrates the potential to treat viruses, including influenza, HIV, HSV, and other common but debilitating ailments where limited treatment options are available. 

The results show that DehydraTECH™ can be a perfect platform to combine with a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Although no treatments are available for the virus as of yet, DehydraTECH™ may ultimately prove its ability to increase the efficacy of a fat-soluble antiviral at a lower dose, which would allow for more accessible and less expensive mass distribution once a treatment is formulated.

Nicotine Sector is A $900 Billion Market Opportunity

Another substantial market opportunity for Lexaria, which they are already exploiting, is for the DehydraTECH™ platform’s ability to seize opportunities within the nicotine industry. Cigarettes continue to remain the number one cause of preventable deaths worldwide, with over 7 million deaths per year linked to related ailments. Contrary to popular belief, nicotine is not the primary cause of these diseases, rather it is the tar and chemicals released through the combustion and inhalation of tobacco smoke into the lungs. 

In the past few years, the FDA has addressed this problem by creating more burdensome regulations of cigarettes and encouraging the development of alternative nicotine sources that can deliver the chemical without any of the toxic by-products of burning tobacco. Oral delivery of nicotine is already on the market, with chewing gum being an example. In 2019, for the first time in its 90-year history, the FDA actually issued a “reduced-risk” notice for certain forms or orally delivered nicotine.

Lexaria is working to extend that option while simultaneously providing a means for a more efficient and safe level of absorption. Since 2019, the company secured a group license with Altria (NYSE: MO), one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, to develop an orally administered nicotine solution. The rapid absorption rate, high bioavailability, and palatable nature of DehydraTECH™ treatments lends itself perfectly to this application and could provide a dynamic solution to both the physical and behavioral traits associated with nicotine addiction. Plus, the nicotine market may be in for rapid expansion.

Recent clinical evidence reveals that nicotine has a wide range of effects on the brain, potentially including some healing properties. Researchers are testing nicotine and related compounds as treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other conditions. Thus, with Lexaria already rooted in the sector, it can become a long-term asset as the compound is evaluated for additional large-market opportunities.

Pharmaceutical-Grade CBD Opportunities

Lexaria is further positioning the DehydraTECH™ platform toward its use within the medicinal cannabis and CBD sector. The FDA has begun working with Congress to create more explicit rules for CBD dietary supplement commercialization in the United States. Those clarifications can open the doors to significant revenue-generating opportunities from both the recreational and pharmaceutical side of the sector.

Lexaria has secured eight commercial licensing deals with maturing brands in the cannabis sector, and early tests of the DehydraTECH™ platform with these products have been extremely promising. In particular, the company is well-positioned to leverage its platform to the pharmaceutical side of the CBD market, potentially with companies conducting pharma-level R&D with cannabinoids, like GW Pharma (NasdaqGM: GWPH). 

From that perspective, DehydraTECH™ can transform the way cannabinoids enter the bloodstream through the gastrointestinal tract. The rapid and effective bioavailability, combined with its innate flavor masking, provides for a much-improved product profile on several fronts. For example, the company conducted a case study with DehydraTECH™-powered TurboCBD 90mg capsules against a competitor’s 100mga generic CBD capsule of the same strength. They found that patients were able to have the same blood concentration of CBD at 30 minutes when using DehydraTECH™ compared to the competitor generic dose that required 150 minutes to reach a similar level of concentration. And, compared to a competitor’s 100mg capsule despite being a 10mg lower dose than the competitor, patients using TurboCBD recorded higher levels of absorbed CBD throughout the entire test compared to the total absorption of the competitor’s 100mg capsule.

This study demonstrates the rapid absorption advantage of DehydraTECH™ treatments compared to competing products. Lexaria is proving they can deliver higher levels of relief quicker than standard capsules or injections even when a lesser dosage is used. This is a characteristic seen in nearly every application in which DehydraTECH™ has been studied so far and reinforces the idea that the platform could work to improve existing treatments almost universally. 

Keep in mind that GW Pharma’s lead product formulation of highly purified CBD, EPIDIOLEX® (cannabidiol), can be an example of a massive sector opportunity. That drug is marketed for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) or Dravet syndrome in patients 2 years of age and older, two rare and particularly difficult to treat forms of epilepsy. The DEA has descheduled EPIDIOLEX®, which was launched in November 2018 and is now available by prescription only in the U.S. 

Critics of that drug point to side effects and taste as primary factors for not using the drug. Lexaria can help address both of those concerns.

Setting Up 2020 For Uplist And Market Penetration

Lexaria Bioscience is actively researching markets that could benefit most from their DehydraTECH™ platform. COVID-19 has helped to allow fast-track designations for many treatment candidates to hopefully expedite the discovery of a vaccine. At the same time, it’s possible that the rapid and effective absorption offered by DehydraTECH™ could substantially benefit the best vaccine candidates in that niche category.

Further, Lexaria has identified opportunities and is leveraging established relationships with multiple pharmaceutical, nicotine, and cannabis/CBD companies to create more effective treatments and revenue-generating opportunities in 2020. And, the company has alluded to additional potential partnerships planned throughout the remainder of this year. All can be significant value drivers moving into the back half of 2020.

Finally, the company has announced that a major US exchange uplist program is underway, which will likely help boost company exposure to additional investors. The technology being developed by this company offers nothing less than a comprehensive suite of advantages. With a near-infinite set of potential applications, investors should keep an eye on Lexaria as they continue on their mission to work with industry leaders in improving the standard of care for patients in a broad range of treatments

Also, with licensees already on the books, combined with the potential of near-term monetization of non-core assets, Lexaria Bioscience may be well-positioned to increase shareholder value in the coming months. Long-term prospects, though, are most appealing. And the company’s strength in that respect may be its most compelling feature. 

 

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