Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (OTCQX: LXRP) is advancing plans to extend the reach of its DehydraTECH technology into major drug and consumer product categories in 2021. The latest strategic initiatives hone in on regulated pharmaceutical and medical market solutions in a market anticipated to exceed $231 billion by 2027.
To maintain critical competitive advantages, DehydraTECH is protected through issued and pending patents, enabling Lexaria to customize its approach to each market without competitive concerns. Those protections extend to major health categories including heart disease, delivery of non-combusted nicotine, improving antiviral drug and vaccine delivery, and enhancing hemp-based business-to-business applications in the CBD pharmaceutical and consumer products markets. Each market provides a diversified opportunity for the technology to prove its value.
Focus on Four Core Markets
The 2021 plan will concentrate on four core market segments, which presently represent a $116-plus billion opportunity. With DehydraTECH technology showing compelling advantages over current oral delivery methods, Lexaria has the potential to earn more than a small piece of a large market.
Lexaria’s plans to out-license technology to existing drug manufacturers create a new revenue channel. In fact, Lexaria already has relationships in place with two of the world's largest tobacco and consumer health companies, Altria (MO) and British American Tobacco (BTI), to investigate orally delivered nicotine-based products. Those two companies alone serve consumers in more than 180 countries, with products sold in more than 11 million locations.
In addition, Lexaria is developing orally delivered CBD-based products potentially to treat heart disease and hypertension, and aims to leverage DehydraTECH's strengths to improve antiviral drug delivery for applications that could include Covid-19, influenza, herpes, hepatitis and AIDS.
Targeting a $47 Billion Heart Disease Market
A large part of the company’s strategic initiative centers on updates in heart disease drug delivery. This $47-plus billion market, with anticoagulants, antihypertensive and antihyperlipidemic drugs comprising roughly 90% of treatment options, continues to grow and may approach $64 billion by 2026.
In a pilot human clinical study, published in a peer-reviewed medical journal in 2019, DehydraTECH processed cannabidiol was associated with a statistically significant decrease in human blood pressure. Other data showed that DehydraTECH easily bested the roughly 6% base absorption rate from orally ingested generic CBD. In stunning contrast, DehydraTECH increased absorption into the blood by between 100 to 500% compared to base, using the same time intervals.
If subsequent studies succeed, Lexaria will explore the introduction of DehydraTECH's enhancement technology and evaluate potential uses in collaboration with cardiovascular disease drug manufacturers.
Advancing Reduced-Risk Non-Combusted Nicotine
A second initiative targets the sizable orally delivered nicotine market, where DehydraTECH technology has significantly increased both the speed and ability of orally administered nicotine to reach the blood circulatory system and cross the blood-brain barrier. Testing with the company’s most recent powdered nicotine formulations appears to demonstrate nicotine absorption and the onset of nicotine effectiveness in as little as 1.5 to 4 minutes after an oral dose, a notable improvement over competitor products.
While combustible product demand in the global tobacco market is declining by 2% per year, non-combustible alternatives – Lexaria’s target market – are actually growing at about 10% per year. Interestingly, Lexaria may be one of the few companies that can truly create alternatives to combustible tobacco as consumers search for reduced-risk nicotine options.
Entry into Antiviral Drug Market
A third initiative advancing early-stage research into the applicability of DehydraTECH technology to improve delivery of existing antiviral drugs is directed at growing the number of applications in the pharmaceutical sector.
Lexaria aims to prove that some DehydraTECH-produced products can eliminate antiviral injections, as well as the need for a healthcare professional to dose patients. In a best-case scenario, DehydraTECH could simplify mass distribution, storage and dosing practices via oral tablet or capsule, reducing costs and easing logistics.
Likewise, Lexaria is evaluating how its technology can integrate into drugs currently being studied by others as potential treatments for Covid-19 while maintaining its work on other antivirals.
Advancing Hemp-Based CBD Franchise
Finally, the company's CBD B2B processing division grew more than 500% between Aug. 31 and Nov. 30, 2020, and DehydraTECH-enabled CBD powders are expected to exceed 8 million servings during the current quarter, significantly surpassing estimates.
That growth pushed the company to discontinue smaller direct-to-consumer CBD products and focus its resources on the high-growth B2B CBD powder processing segment; this includes continued out-licensing of intellectual property to generate royalty revenues from third parties. The market opportunity is expected to reach $23.6 billion in 2025.
Although smaller in context from tobacco and pharmaceutical applications, the CBD market offers a lucrative opportunity as drug development companies use CBD compounds to reduce anxiety, pain and provide particular benefits to central nervous system disorders.
Setting the Stage for 2021
With the stage set for growth in 2021 and beyond, this concentration on four core markets not only tightens the focus, but can help generate exponential revenue growth. Market opportunity, targeted technology and broad patent protection will help Lexaria turn plans into realities in a drug market always looking for better ways to treat patients.
As 2020 draws to a close with some notable strides and success stories, 2021 is poised to be a breakout year for growth.
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