ASX-listed Zelira Therapeutics has raised another US$3.25 million (A$4.89m) towards the cost of its US clinical trials for cannabinoid autism treatment, HOPE 1.

Dr Oludare Odumosu

The company has now raised just over a third of the US$35m needed for the trial which will support registration of the medication with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The latest funding came from charitable organisation the Forman Family Foundation and follows an initial $8.6m investment from Cantheon Capital, which supports cannabinoid and psychedelic biotechs.

Zelira managing director Dr Oludare Odumosu said the cash injection from the foundation will “further propel our efforts to revolutionise the field of cannabinoid medicines”.    

Epsilon Healthcare

Epsilon Healthcare has appointed former Cell Therapies and Ramsay Healthcare (RHC) boss Peter Giannopoulos as its new CEO.

Peter Giannopoulos

Giannopoulos has more than 25 years’ experience in the Australian healthcare system most recently with Cell Therapies, where he undertook capital-raising activities to support the firm’s growth in the cell and gene therapy space.

Prior to that, he led the diversification of RHC, Australia’s largest private hospital provider, for 12 years. Under his leadership, the company expanded Ramsay Pharmacy Group from a single site in 2007 to a 90-site operation, generating revenues of more than A$400 million.

He replaces Jarrod White, who left the company last year but remains a shareholder in the business.

Creso Pharma

Creso Pharma has secured firm commitments to raise A$2.5 million through the issue of almost 205 million new fully paid ordinary shares at $0.0122c.

The firm said the raise was well supported by new and existing institutional, sophisticated and professional investors including commitments from founder and former chairman Adam Blumenthal for a total of $900,000, subject to shareholder approval.

Funds will be used to extinguish and repay existing debt facilities, to progress wholly-owned psychedelic subsidiary Halucenex Life Sciences’ phase II clinical trial, as well as ongoing regulatory, M&A and product development initiatives.

The raise comes less than a week after Creso defended its ability to raise funds following questions from the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) over the company’s financial position.

In what appeared to be another show of defiance, Creso also released May sales figures for Mernova Medical which showed new purchase orders of more than A$662,000.

William Lay

It followed sales of $554,000 in April and the division’s first cashflow positive quarter in the three months to March.

“Mernova continues to deliver strong sales growth via [Canadian] province partners and we have a positive outlook through to the end of Q2 and beyond,” chief executive and managing director William Lay said. “We continue to witness pleasing demand for the group’s product range which is now sold through eight Canadian provinces.”

Meanwhile, Creso said Health Canada has extended Mernova’s cannabis licence for a further five years following a Good Production Practices (GPP) review.

Mernova is “continuing to explore” the potential of seeking a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) licence.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...

Steve has reported for a number of consumer and B2B titles over a journalism career spanning more than three decades. He is a regulator contributor to health journal, The Medical Republic, writing on...

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