Voyageur Pharmaceuticals’ X-Ray Contrast Media Provides a Dramatic Increase in Valuation

Assuming you aren’t a meme stock or an equity driven by the Reddit army, then you know you’ve told the market something it really wanted to hear when your stock is up 80% in one day. Even great news might get you a 5-10% bump so it has to be pretty exceptional to attract this kind of attention. Another indication of excitement is when this move occurs on volume that is 32x your average daily trading activity. If you didn’t have Voyageur Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (TSXV: VM) on your watchlist (or in your portfolio) prior to today, you might want to put it on your radar now.

So, what was the news that drove this bullish rally? We’ll get to that in a moment as a little background may be required unless you are up to speed on the uses and importance of barium sulfate. Barium sulfate (BaSO4) is a naturally occurring environmentally friendly mineral with a high specific gravity (4.5) and very low solubility. Barium sulfate is used in many industrial applications and is in high demand. Voyageur is pursuing production into the highest margin market worldwide, having developed nine barium products for sale into the radiology pharmaceutical market for MRI, X-ray and CT scan applications.

Now that we’ve established that Voyageur is a drug manufacturing company focused on radiographic contrast media products for the healthcare market, we need to understand what separates it from most other companies. Voyageur is sourcing its own main ingredients from its own mineral deposits, building a business model that will allow it to be a fully integrated company in the radiographic marketplace. Voyageur is implementing a strategy to control its own supply chain and all input costs, leading to the Company motto “From the Earth to the Bottle”. Which is where yesterday’s news becomes important. The Company announced the results of its Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the development of its Frances Creek pharmaceutical barium sulfate project, located 40km from Radium Hot Springs in British Columbia. The base case economics for the project indicate a pre-tax net present value (NPV) of C$464 million and internal rate of return (IRR) of 168%, while the post tax NPV is C$344 million with an IRR of 137% at a discount rate of 8%. The project assumes a pre-production period of 2 years for equipment delivery and installation, and mine permitting with a payback period of 11 months.

At present, Voyageur’s Frances Creek project is the only natural pharmaceutical grade barium sulfate project outside of China. Most companies use high-cost synthetically made barium due to supply and quality constraints. Which is why current pricing of 97.5% BaSO4 available from China has a delivered price (to Calgary) of US$4,760 per tonne, or C$5,960 per tonne. This project is very convenient for Voyageur given its proximity to Calgary where the corporate head office and manufacturing facilities are located. It’s less than a 2 hour drive and although I don’t know exactly where their asset is situated I’m pretty sure I’ve either fished or hiked within 5 kms of the project.

Another reason for the robust PEA economics is a function of the resource being a mere 2 meters below surface. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, any resource that can be accessed by someone with a good shovel has to have advantageous economics. The total capital cost estimate for the project is a miserly C$36.4 million including a 15% contingency on process capital costs, which also contributes to the outstanding PEA economics.

And the best part is, Voyageur expects to be generating its own cash flow using third party barium active pharmaceutical ingredients and manufacturing in 2022. With its manufacturing partner Alberta Veterinarian Laboratories/Solvet it has completed its first test batch of barium contrast media and is working on clinical testing of this first batch to ensure quality and performance. Voyageur’s goal is to complete testing for the Canadian product launch by February followed by a marketing campaign for sales into the Canadian radiology market. Ultimately, Voyageur has plans to build all the required infrastructure to become 100% self-sufficient with all manufacturing but for now, one step at a time.

This isn’t the first time Voyageur has seen a massive one day move on enormous trading volume. On February 12, 2021, following news of Health Canada approval for SmoothX, a barium radiographic contrast suspension that is specifically formulated for computer tomography procedures (CT Scans), the stock was up 228% on 7 million shares. You could say Voyageur has a flare for the dramatic and perhaps there is still opportunity for lightning to strike a third time. With roughly 101 million shares outstanding, the market cap was roughly C$18.2 million based on yesterday’s close of $0.18 versus the PEA NPV after tax of $3.38 per share. Obviously, there is some work to be done before the Frances Creek project becomes a reality, but there’s also a pretty big gap between yesterday’s price and what could be.




Blender Bites is a Smooth(ie) Rapidly Growing Operator in the Frozen Health Food Category

Most people enter the new year full of optimism with thoughts of improving their health and wellness. Arguably you should be considering how you treat yourself all year ‘round, but I guess at least once a year is better than nothing. This whole pandemic has also shone a light on eating habits given at times it has been very difficult to dine out, and, if you were really concerned, even acquiring food to prepare at home became a challenge. A greater emphasis has been placed on health and convenience, which haven’t always gone hand in hand in the past. Tack on the carbon footprint of your food and all of a sudden it gets pretty hard to tick all the boxes.

That’s why today I’m pretty excited to review a newly listed company that tackles the challenge of making a healthy, organic product that limits food waste and unnecessary packaging all while being convenient and tasty. Plus, if you happen to live in Canada, you can get the product at Costco, which is where I do 80% of my shopping…but I digress. I’m talking about Blender Bites Ltd. (CSE: BITE) and their portion sized, frozen smoothie pucks. Blender Bites is a Canadian company involved in the development and marketing of a line of premium frozen food products with a focus on functionality. Blender Bites was founded in 2016 and was first to market in Western Canada with a pre-portioned “easy smoothie” product that is free of any unnecessary inner plastic packaging with ingredients that are certified organic, vegan, non-GMO, gluten free, dairy free and soy free. Their products are distributed across Canada and the US, and are currently sold in over 850 stores, including Sobeys, Safeway, Save on Foods, Whole Foods Market, IGA and Costco.

The product targets the flexitarian market, which is how 47% of Americans describe themselves. For people out there like myself who are unfamiliar with the term, it’s a person who eats plant based as much as possible but occasionally eats meat, fish and dairy. Sounds like a pretty healthy lifestyle to me. This could be why the global organic food and beverage market is projected to triple to $91 billion in 2025 as the demand grows for transparency and quality in the supply chain. Combine this trend with a one-step smoothie puck that involves no mess, no preparation and no waste and you have yourself a winner.

Source: Blender Bites Investor Presentation

To me, it seems that easy and healthy could prove to be a very powerful combination for Blender Bites. Targeting those seeking convenience without sacrificing nutrition or health as well as busy professionals with demanding schedules and active lifestyles makes this a “go to” product. Pre-portioned for quick preparation by simply adding your liquid of choice and then blend or shake. It eliminates the need to stock multiple high-cost ingredients and guarantees taste and texture consistency.

But don’t just take my word for it, we’ll let the numbers do the talking. On November 4th the Company announced in the month of October the production of Blender Bites’ superfood smoothie pucks increased by 2,934% compared to the same period in 2020. In October 2020 the Company produced 9,216 of its superfood smoothie pucks, whereas in the same period of 2021 it produced 279,648 smoothie pucks. This was followed up by news on November 24th that it had received an earlier than expected reorder of its superfood smoothie pucks from Eastern Region Canadian Club stores. The unanticipated early reorder received from the club store is for 50,000 units, or 600,000 smoothie pucks, which represents a 25% increase over the club stores’ initial order size. This was quickly followed by news on December 13th that for the three-month period September to November 2021, combined revenue was $743,000, representing a 2,266% increase in revenue over the same period in 2020. The latest numbers from the Company were released on December 18th when they announced the total number of purchase orders received in December 2021 alone was C$495,000, representing a 75% increase over the highest number of purchase orders received in any single month in the Company’s history. December purchase orders were equivalent to 70% of the combined total of all orders received in the previous three-month period of September, October, and November 2021.

To say Blender Bites is hitting its stride might be an understatement. On top of this, the Company is well funded having raised C$3.9 million via its go public RTO in September 2021 with Balsam Technologies Corp. And if all this wasn’t compelling enough, there is a very tight share structure, with a current market cap of C$29.5 million. Although in an effort to improve liquidity and reduce volatility, Blender Bites is in the process of getting approval for a 1.25 for 1 share split. This will still only take the Company up to 37 million shares outstanding following approval of the Canadian Securities Exchange. So now as an investor, it’s up to you to decide how much this meteoric growth is worth and whether Blender Bites is a healthy, convenient addition to your portfolio.




Bristow goes with technology and selects the stock to watch in 2022

Welcome to 2022! I’m cautiously optimistic that this will be the year we get to put Covid in the rear-view mirror and get on with life without always waiting for the next shoe to drop (or a new variant to take hold). I’m happy to put 2021 in the history books and anticipate the bright future that could be. In that vein, I’d like to look ahead to what I think could be an exciting story for 2022. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this is my top pick or suggesting it will go up. This is simply my perspective on a company that has a lot going on that could be rewarded by the market this year.

The path of least resistance, after this week’s market action, would be to pick a uranium stock. Between how this group performed in 2021 and even more impressively, the first couple of trading days of 2022, it would certainly make for an easy article to write. I’m also a fan of junior base and precious metal mining companies, especially ones with plenty of results pending, but not today. The future is technology, so my exciting stock for 2022 is a technology company that posted a respectable 35% return in 2021 but is well positioned for 2022. It also happened to evolve out of a junior mining exploration company so it’s the best of both worlds.

If you haven’t figured out what company I’m talking about yet, it’s Zentek Ltd. (TSXV: ZEN), formerly known as ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. There is so much going on at Zentek it’s hard to know where to start. The Company currently describes itself as an IP development and commercialization company focused on next-gen healthcare solutions in the areas of prevention, detection and treatment. Zentek is currently focused on commercializing ZENGuard™, a patent-pending coating shown to have 99% antimicrobial activity, including against COVID-19, and the potential to use similar compounds as products against infectious diseases. The Company also has an exclusive agreement to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based rapid pathogen detection technology. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg in my opinion.

The near-term catalyst is all about the antimicrobial coating ZENGuardTM, which was developed as a virucidal graphene-oxide (“GO”) based compound to be applied as a coating onto fabrics, which included personal protective equipment such as face masks in an effort to increase protection afforded by such products. In September 2021 the Company received Health Canada approval for the sale of ZENGuard™ coated masks and entered into a binding definitive license and supply agreement with Trebor Rx Corp. for the supply of ZENGuard™ to coat face masks and potentially other health care products. To date, Trebor has purchased, and the Company has delivered, quantities of ZENGuard™ coating sufficient for the production of 10,000,000 masks currently done via third parties. However, development is underway of the Company’s industrial scale facility to produce ZENGuard™ and to coat materials. The Company anticipates assembly and installation of the industrial scale production equipment to be completed during Q1 2022, at which point production is expected to commence while commissioning, optimization and production ramp-up occurs over the following two to three months. Once this industrial process is in operation, the Company expects the production capacity of ZENGuard™ to increase significantly.

Zentek recently closed a bought deal public offering and a non-brokered private placement for aggregate proceeds of C$33 million to assist in the build out of their facility as well as research and development, acceleration of business growth opportunities and working capital. Other growth opportunities include the development of a new carbon-based nanotechnology-enhanced icephobic coating to reduce ice accretion. The Company anticipates applications for aircraft, wind turbines, ocean vessels, and building structures to increase safety and efficiency outcomes in ice-forming weather conditions. In late November Zentek announced it had been awarded an R&D test contract through the Innovation Solutions Canada Testing Stream to test ZENGuard™ coated HVAC filters with interest from 3 different units within the National Research Council of Canada. Other innovations include the development of a stable diesel fuel additive, which increased the performance of diesel fuel by up to 10% in initial testing.

There is an awful lot going on at Zentek so I would encourage you to go check out their website to learn more because I’ve only scratched the surface of this stock to watch in 2022. Granted it’s not a small cap with a market cap of roughly $466 million after the closing of the latest capital raise earlier this week. Nevertheless, there are plenty of near-term catalysts with having their own production facility operational in the next few months and some pretty creative and unique opportunities being developed to propel this Company into the future.




David Regan on Sona Nanotech’s rapid-result saliva based COVID-19 test

In a recent InvestorIntel interview, Chris Thompson spoke with David Regan, CEO of Sona Nanotech Inc. (CSE: SONA | OTCQB: SNANF) about Sona’s partnership with FDA registered Arlington Scientific to bring its rapid saliva-based COVID-19 test to market.

In this InvestorIntel interview, which may also be viewed on YouTube (click here to subscribe to the InvestorIntel Channel), David Regan said that Sona Nanotech is a nanotechnology life sciences company with a unique biocompatible gold nanorod platform technology that is free from any toxin. He went on to provide an update on Sona’s rapid test development portfolio comprising of a saliva based COVID-19 test and a concussion screening test, the types of which currently don’t exist in the market. In the interview, David also provided an update on Sona’s research around its gold nanorods for its use in targeted drug delivery and photothermal therapy.

To watch the full interview, click here.

About Sona Nanotech Inc.

Sona Nanotech is a nanotechnology life sciences firm that has developed multiple proprietary methods for the manufacture of various types of gold nanoparticles. The principal business carried out and intended to be continued by Sona is the development and application of its proprietary technologies for use in multiplex diagnostic testing platforms that will improve performance over existing tests in the market. Sona Nanotech’s gold nanorod particles are CTAB (cetyltrimethylammonium) free, eliminating the toxicity risks associated with the use of other gold nanorod technologies in medical applications. It is expected that Sona’s gold nanotechnologies may be adapted for use in applications, as a safe and effective delivery system for multiple medical treatments, subject to the approval of various regulatory boards, including Health Canada and the FDA.

To learn more about Sona Nanotech Inc., click here.

Disclaimer: Sona Nanotech Inc. is an advertorial member of InvestorIntel Corp.

This interview, which was produced by InvestorIntel Corp., (IIC), does not contain, nor does it purport to contain, a summary of all the material information concerning the “Company” being interviewed. IIC offers no representations or warranties that any of the information contained in this interview is accurate or complete.

This presentation may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and assumptions of the management of the Company as of the date made. They are inherently susceptible to uncertainty and other factors that could cause actual events/results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements. Additional risks and uncertainties, including those that the Company does not know about now or that it currently deems immaterial, may also adversely affect the Company’s business or any investment therein.

Any projections given are principally intended for use as objectives and are not intended, and should not be taken, as assurances that the projected results will be obtained by the Company. The assumptions used may not prove to be accurate and a potential decline in the Company’s financial condition or results of operations may negatively impact the value of its securities. Prospective investors are urged to review the Company’s profile on Sedar.com and to carry out independent investigations in order to determine their interest in investing in the Company.

If you have any questions surrounding the content of this interview, please contact us at +1 416 792 8228 and/or email us direct at info@investorintel.com.




Mike Druhan and Naman Demaghlatrous provide an update on MedX Health’s initiatives in Europe, Middle East & Africa

In a recent InvestorIntel interview, Tracy Weslosky spoke with Mike Druhan, President of Dermatology Services, and Naman Demaghlatrous, Managing Director, Europe, Middle East & Africa at MedX Health Corp. (TSXV: MDX) about MedX Health’s recent pilot commercialization operations across Europe and the Middle East.

In this InvestorIntel interview, which may also be viewed on YouTube (click here to subscribe to the InvestorIntel Channel), Mike Druhan said that MedX is primarily focused on the dermatological space with its DermSecure® teledermatology platform to detect skin cancer early. Mike also provided an update on MedX Health’s trial in the Netherlands, where they conducted about 6000 scans and how MedX scans were able to save many lives.

To watch the full interview, click here.

About MedX Health Corp.

MedX, headquartered in Ontario, Canada, is a leading medical device and software company focused on skin health with its SIAscopy® on DermSecure® telemedicine platform, utilizing its SIAscopy® technology. SIAscopy® is also imbedded in its products SIAMETRICS®, SIMSYS®, and MoleMate®, which MedX manufactures in its ISO 13485 certified facility. SIAMETRICS®, SIMSYS®, and MoleMate® include hand-held devices that use patented technology utilizing light and its remittance to view up to 2 mm beneath suspicious moles and lesions in a pain free, non-invasive manner, with its software then creating real-time images for physicians and dermatologists to evaluate all types of moles or lesions rapidly. These products are cleared by Health Canada, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Therapeutic Goods Administration and Conformité Européenne for use in Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand, the European Union, Brazil and Turkey.

To learn more about MedX Health Corp., click here.

Disclaimer: MedX Health Corp. is an advertorial member of InvestorIntel Corp.

This interview, which was produced by InvestorIntel Corp. (IIC) does not contain, nor does it purport to contain, a summary of all the material information concerning the “Company” being interviewed. IIC offers no representations or warranties that any of the information contained in this interview is accurate or complete.

This presentation may contain“forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and assumptions of the management of the Company as of the date made. They are inherently susceptible to uncertainty and other factors that could cause actual events/results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements. Additional risks and uncertainties, including those that the Company does not know about now or that it currently deems immaterial, may also adversely affect the Company’s business or any investment therein.

Any projections given are principally intended for use as objectives and are not intended, and should not be taken,  as assurances that the projected results will be obtained by the Company. The assumptions used may not prove to be accurate and a potential decline in the Company’s financial condition or results of operations may negatively impact the value of its securities. Prospective investors are urged to review the Company’s profile on Sedar.com and to carry out independent investigations in order to determine their interest in investing in the Company.

If you have any questions surrounding the content of this interview, please contact us at +1 416 792 8228 and/or email us direct at info@investorintel.com.




Awakn Life Sciences’ new psychedelic drug treatment for alcohol addiction moving to clinical trial

As we all know alcohol addiction is one of the worst addictions in society costing billions per year. A 2010 study found that alcohol abuse in the USA costs the country US$249 billion a year. A Washington Post report stated that “total cost manifests itself primarily in things like early mortality due to alcohol ($75 billion of the total), lost productivity and absenteeism at work ($82 billion), health-care costs ($28 billion), crime ($25 billion) and car crashes ($13 billion).”

Awakn states: “Between 15-20% of adults suffer from substance addictions, and many others from behavioral addictions……$17 billion per year (and rising) is spent on private addiction treatment.”

With this in mind, the company has recently had some very encouraging results proving the effectiveness of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy on alcohol use disorder (AUD).

Some comments from patients in the study included:

  • It helped family wise, relationship wise, in every, every single avenue of my life, It’s changed it.”
  • “I wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for it. I can definitely say that.”
  • “I feel I have much less desire to drink now than I used to. And I think what it is, I actually, I think I enjoy it less now.

The Company is Awakn Life Sciences Corp. (NEO: AWKN | OTCQB: AWKNF) (“Awakn”) and they believe their treatment can “revolutionise the treatment of alcohol use disorder.”

Awakn is developing a revolutionary new approach for treating substance and behavioral addictions

Source

The ‘Ketamine in the Reduction of Alcoholic Relapse’ (KARE) psychotherapy intervention study results

The actual study results will be published in the American Journal of Psychiatry later this year. However, judging from the patient’s comments above and the insider’s comments below the results appear to be outstanding.

Professor of Psychopharmacology at the UK’s University of Exeter (UoE), Celia Morgan commented: “We are delighted that the findings are to be published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. This new approach looks set to revolutionize the treatment of alcohol use disorder. We are excited to partner with Awakn for the next steps in the journey of ketamine-assisted therapy into a licensed treatment for this group of patients with limited treatment options.”

Awakn CEO, Anthony Tennyson, commented: “This is a very exciting moment for ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. For so many people who are suffering from alcohol addiction, for whom the current treatments just aren’t working, a successful phase II a/b trial and a unified ambition to progress this forward to a pivotal trial, gives real hope to those seeking a better and healthier future.”

Note: Professor Morgan headed up the KARE study. Awakn has acquired the rights to this research.

More about Awakn Life Sciences

Awakn is a biotechnology company with clinical operations that researches, develops, and delivers psychedelic and other medicines to treat all types of addiction, as well as some other mental health disorders. Some examples of the conditions treated by Awakn include anxiety, depression, PTSD, eating disorders, and various types of addiction (alcohol, drugs, gambling etc).

Awakn’s team consists of world leading chemists, scientists, psychiatrists, and psychologists who are developing and advancing the next generation of psychedelic drugs, therapies, and enabling technologies to treat addiction. The team was recently strengthened by adding Kate Butler as CFO. Ms. Butler joins Awakn from Vectura Group plc, where she was the Group Financial Controller leading the team’s strategic, finance and M&A activity. Prior to that, she was Head of Finance for EMEA Cell Therapy (Kite Europe) and EMEA Controller for Gilead Sciences Inc.

In terms of commercialization, Awakn is still in the early stages. Awakn did announce in November 2021 a MOU with UK National Health Service (“NHS”) provider Devon Partnership NHS Trust, to increase access to psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in the UK. The announcement stated:

“The partnership establishes a framework and strategic relationship to assess NHS organizational readiness for ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. It will investigate how to enhance the evidence base for ketamine-assisted psychotherapy as an alternative treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder and treatment-resistant depression within the NHS. The partnership will also assess how best to accelerate the on-label use of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy to treat AUD at scale.”

Awakn plans to deliver their evidence backed psychedelic therapies in clinics in the UK and Europe and through licensing partnerships, globally, starting already. As announced in October 2021, Awakn Clinics Bristol has received Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) formal approval to begin treatments. The news stated: “The clinic will begin delivering ketamine-assisted psychotherapy treatments in October.”

There is also now an Awakn Clinics Oslo, in Norway.

A summary of Awakn’s business plan

Source: Awakn Life Sciences company presentation

Closing remarks

Awakn is developing a revolutionary new approach for treating substance and behavioral addictions. Awakn’s latest alcohol study results will also soon be followed with their gambling addiction study results (some details on the study here), also conducted by the University of Exeter.

Alcohol addiction is just one of many addictions that Awakn is working on to deliver effective and safe treatment.  All of this means that Awakn is beginning to tap into a truly massive untapped sector where for years treatments either didn’t exist or were often ineffective. Awakn is now commercializing their products with their new Awakn clinics in Bristol in the UK and Oslo in Norway, as well as plans for further expansion.

Awakn Life Sciences trades on a market cap of just C$71 million. One to watch as the stock has been on the rise in 2021 and the Company looks to be making some serious progress.

Further reading




Dr. Allen Davidoff of XORTX Therapeutics’ on developing therapies for kidney diseases and uplisting to the NASDAQ

In a recent InvestorIntel interview, Chris Thompson spoke with Dr. Allen Davidoff, CEO of XORTX Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: XRTX | TSXV: XRTX | FSE: ANU) about XORTX’s recent capital raise of over US$13.4 million as part of its uplisting to the NASDAQ and its deployment of funds as it plans several clinical trials for the next year.

In this InvestorIntel interview, which may also be viewed on YouTube (click here to subscribe to the InvestorIntel Channel), Allen Davidoff explained that XORTX is a biotech pharma company focusing on developing therapies for kidney diseases including a treatment for kidney issues related to COVID-19. He went on to explain how XORTX has been focusing on progressive kidney diseases, an area where there are very few therapeutic options, and a “great opportunity” to develop drugs to satisfy this market. Dr. Davidoff mentioned that to reduce the business risk, XORTX focused on a drug that had already received a FDA “approvable letter” in the past, knowing that the safety and effectiveness of the drug is well defined, and then improved on the drug with “novel innovative formulations”. Finally, he said that as a biotech pharma company with two late-stage therapies entering into Phase 3 trials, there is a potential to sign co-development deals with a large pharma company that could benefit both parties.

To watch the full interview, click here.

About XORTX Therapeutics Inc.

XORTX Therapeutics Inc. is a pharmaceutical company with two clinically advanced products in development – XRx-008 for Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD), XRx-101 for Coronavirus / COVID-19 infection and XRx-225, a pre-clinical stage program for Type 2 Diabetic Nephropathy (T2DN). XORTX is working to advance its clinical development stage products that target aberrant purine metabolism and xanthine oxidase to decrease or inhibit production of uric acid. At XORTX Therapeutics, we are dedicated to developing medications to improve the quality of life and future health of patients.

To learn more about XORTX Therapeutics Inc., click here