• Emyria will commence a study to advance its MDMA-inspired drug discovery
  • MVP is raising $30m
  • Creso Pharma is raising $7m

Emyria (ASX:EMD) has initiated human cell-line preclinical studies to advance its MDMA-inspired drug discovery partnership with the University of Western Australia (UWA).

The Institute of Respiratory Health (IRH), which has been engaged to conduct the study, will evaluate a set of unique MDMA-inspired analogues that have been suggested to have “anti-fibrosis” effects, but limited neuropsychiatric action.

The first preclinical program will explore the antifibrotic potential of a priority set of novel MDMA analogues.

It will evaluate the ability of these new compounds to inhibit “fibroblast to myofibroblast” differentiation and collagen deposition in normal human lung fibroblast cell lines.

Emyria hopes the study may reveal potential to treat diseases involving fibrosis, the thickening or scarring of tissue.

Initial results are expected two months from study commencement, and the project will be funded from the payments already provided to UWA.

“Fibrotic diseases represent a major group of unmet medical needs, and our early screening results indicate some analogues may have potent antifibrotic activity,” said Emyria’s CEO, Dr Michael Winlo.

“We now have three clear therapeutic focus areas – fibrotic diseases, next-generation MDMA for drug-assisted therapy, and treatments for other neurological condition.”

Emyria’s pipeline

Emyria has created and screened over 125 MDMA-inspired analogues led by Professor Matt Piggott, in partnership with the UWA.

Prof Piggott is an expert in medicinal chemistry, and an international leader in modifying MDMA to create novel analogues with therapeutic potential.

Based on initial screening, Emyria has identified three potential therapeutic areas for its MDMA-inspired drug discovery program:

  • treatments for major mental health disorders
  • treatments for neurological disorders
  • treatments for non-neurological disorders where selective activity at peripheral (non-brain) targets are of interest

Preclinical studies are now commencing for leading drug candidates in each therapeutic area.


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Who’s cap raising today?

Meanwhile, Medical Developments International (ASX:MVP) has today announced a fully underwritten capital raising of $30m, comprising a $15m placement and a $15m pro rata, non-renounceable entitlement offer.

Post transaction, MVP’s cash balance will be $49m which the company says will be put into the execution of its direct sales strategy in Europe and expansion of its Australian business.

MVP also reported a full year FY22 unaudited underlying revenue of $22.4m, representing strong growth of 37% on pcp.

The company expects the strong revenue growth trajectory to continue into FY23.

Cannabis stock Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH) also announced firm commitments to raise $7m equity at 4c a share.

$1.74m of the placement was cornerstoned by CPH directors Bruce Linton, Adam Blumenthal and William Lay (subject to shareholder approval).

In line with its objective to bring the group to cash flow positive in three to four quarters, Creso has continued to reduce cash burn across its entire business.

Net cash used in operating activities has decreased 45% from $3.675m in Q1 2022 to $2.008m in Q2.

The company also reported unaudited group revenue in H1 of $4,314,308 – which does not include revenue from Sierra Sage Herbs (SSH).

SSH’s Q1 2021 revenue was US$1.5m, with Q2 revenue of US$1.1m. The decrease was related to delay in closing the CPH takeover, merger integration and timing of customer orders.

Also, as announced last week, Creso has entered into a non-binding agreement with Health House International (HHI) to acquire all the shares in HHI.

The purchase will be paid through the issue of CPH shares on a maximum equity value for HHI of $4,630,388.

Creso says it will immediately seek to reduce significant costs in the HHI business in order to fast-track it to profitability.


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