With Joe Biden heading to the White House, and higher likelihood potential legalization with Democrats in Congress, CBD-related companies could see even better days ahead. Better yet, cannabis is seeing broader support. For example, a Pew Research Center survey found that 67% of the US supports legalization. In addition, a Gallup survey found that 66% of Americans are in favor of legalization. That’s up from just 60% in 2016. Better, analysts at Nielsen estimate that by 2025, CBD could generate up to $6.9 billion in sales. However, that may be a low estimate, with analysts at Cowen saying sales could reach $16 billion by 2025 with health and wellness products leading the way. With the CBD story gaining big momentum, some of the top companies to keep an eye on include PharmaDrug Inc. (CSE:BUZZ)(OTC:LMLLF), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Curaleaf Holdings Inc. (CSE:CURA)(OTC:CURLF), and AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN).
PharmaDrug Inc. (CSE:BUZZ)(OTC:LMLLF) BREAKING NEWS: PharmaDrug Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of controlled-substances and natural medicines such as psychedelics, cannabis and naturally-derived approved drugs, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a binding letter of intent, dated January 11, 2021, to acquire Sairiyo Therapeutics Inc.
Sairiyo is a biotechnology company focused on repurposing and developing improved formulations of naturally derived compounds for serious, rare, and life-threatening diseases with the aim to obtain European Medicines Evaluation Agency and U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval.
Sairiyo is advancing the clinical development of its lead drug candidate, Cepharanthine, a repurposed and reformulated naturally-derived compound for the potential treatment of cancer, neurological, inflammatory and infectious diseases. Cepharanthine is a natural product and an approved drug used for more than 70 years in Japan to treat a variety of acute and chronic diseases. In clinical research, Cepharanthine exhibits multiple pharmacological properties including anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, immuno-regulatory, anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-parasitic properties. Sairiyo has an exclusive license from a research and development organization to develop and commercialize reformulated Cepharanthine for all diseases and exclusive rights to the patent, method of manufacturing, clinical supply, pre-clinical data and know-how to support FDA clinical trials. Sairiyo has applied for FDA orphan drug designation of Cepharanthine in certain cancer indications and is also leveraging its expertise in drug discovery by evaluating novel uses of psychedelic and cannabinoid compounds for unmet medical needs.
"The proposed acquisition of Sairiyo Therapeutics builds on our foundation of developing and commercializing controlled substances and naturally-derived medicines in Europe while expanding our opportunities with an FDA focused strategy and leveraging Sairiyo's expertise in the discovery and development of novel uses and reformations of naturally-derived compounds for significant clinical unmet needs, thus paving the way for PharmaDrug to become a fully-integrated specialty pharmaceutical company," said Daniel Cohen, Chairman and CEO of PharmaDrug.
Under the terms of the LOI, PharmaDrug proposes to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Sairiyo in consideration for the issuance of an aggregate of 75,000,000 units of PharmaDrug. Each Unit will be comprised of one common share of PharmaDrug and one common share purchase warrant of PharmaDrug. Each Warrant will entitle the holder thereof to acquire one common share in the capital of PharmaDrug at any time on or before the 18 month anniversary of the issuance of the Warrants at an exercise price of $0.10 per share. Following completion of the transaction Sairiyo will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company.
Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including completion of due diligence, negotiation of definitive agreements and receipt of all necessary approvals. If such conditions are not satisfied it is possible that the proposed transaction will not be completed on the terms set forth herein or at all. The parties anticipate completing the definitive agreements within the next 30 days, and anticipate that the transaction will be completed in the first quarter of 2021.
Other related developments from around the markets include:
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) announced that during the second half of 2020, it invested a total of $120 million in four clinical-stage biotech companies as part of the Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative (PBGI). Through PBGI, Pfizer is investing up to $500 million in biotechnology companies, providing funding and access to Pfizer’s scientific expertise to help ensure the continuity of promising clinical development programs of potential future strategic interest to Pfizer. “Pfizer has a long history of collaborating across the healthcare ecosystem with the shared goal of turning great science into innovative new medicines,” said Debbie Baron, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Pfizer. “Our investments in Homology, Vedanta, Trillium, and ESSA reflect our commitment to find new and creative ways to leverage Pfizer’s resources to deliver breakthroughs to patients.”
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) announced that its Board of Directors has declared a cash dividend for the first quarter of 2021 of $1.01 per share on the company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on March 9, 2021 to shareholders of record at the close of business on February 23, 2021. The ex-dividend date is February 22, 2021.
Curaleaf Holdings Inc. (CSE:CURA)(OTC:CURLF), a leading U.S. provider of consumer products in cannabis, announced the closing of its previously announced overnight marketed offering of subordinate voting shares of the Company. The underwriters have exercised their over-allotment option in full, and as a result 18,975,000 subordinate voting shares of the Company were issued at a price of C$16.70 per share for total gross proceeds of C$316,882,500, before deducting the underwriters' fees and estimated offering expenses.
AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) will present new data from across the innovative lung cancer portfolio at the IASLC 2020 World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC), hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, 28 to 31 January 2021. Eleven AstraZeneca medicines and potential new medicines from the pipeline feature in 39 abstracts showcasing the Company’s leadership across different types and stages of lung cancer, including eight oral presentations with two late breakers. José Baselga, Executive Vice President, Oncology R&D, said: “AstraZeneca is leading the next wave of precision-medicine innovations in lung cancer that aim to change clinical practice and ultimately alter the course of the disease. Our data at WCLC for datopotamab deruxtecan and Enhertu illustrate the potentially transformative role next-generation antibody drug conjugates may play in advanced non-small cell lung cancer. New results for Tagrisso and Imfinzi continue to validate our strategy to treat patients earlier, as we progress the science of identifying patients most likely to respond to treatment.”
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