Lexston Life Sciences (CSE:LEXT) (OTC:LEXTF) and its Egret Bioscience Subsidiary Could Be the Most Disruptive Plays in Two $100B Opportunities: Cannabis and Most Importantly Psychedelics
- Both cannabis and psychedelics could offer investors exposure to $100B market opportunities that could revolutionize medicine.
- Lexston Life Sciences (CSE:LEXT) (OTC:LEXTF) is a Canadian biotechnology company providing cannabis testing and research services and developing and validating methods for standardized manufacturing of plant-derived psychedelics. This disruptor aims to bridge the gap between plants and patients.
- The company has four ways in which it intends to bridge the gap between plants and patients: Clinic Management, Analytical Testing, Research & Development with its subsidiary Egret Biosciences, and Clinical Application.
- Its subsidiary Egret Biosciences could be its real moneymaker. Egret is developing an ethical and botanically derived psychedelic production pipeline with analytical standards and portable detection technologies to identify and quantify active ingredients.
- With numerous strategic partnerships and revolutionary ventures, Egret has turned heads with its Analytical Testing Services, R&D Services, and Tissue Cultures & Genetic Testing.
- The LEXT stock has not been actively trading for very long. Yet, it could be at a ground-floor position with mounting upside due to recent catalysts.
Yet while it’s one thing to say that Lexston Life Sciences is a company at the forefront of the future of plant sciences, that honestly doesn’t do it justice.
Let’s take an incredibly close look at psychedelics which is where the company is devoting much of its energy to as of late.
Psychedelics are breaking serious ground and serving the long underserved. While many other psychedelics companies are experimental and throwing whatever they can at the wall and hoping it sticks, Lexston is different. It is a mission-driven innovator aiming to make entheogens accessible to all and to bridge the gap between plants and patients.
This could be a massive opportunity. There’s a reason why there is $100B potential for psychedelics to completely transform the way we treat mental health. The current way we treat mental health just isn’t working.
According to the NYU Grossman School of Medicine,
“Studies have suggested that antidepressants do not work well for people who have had multiple traumas over the course of years or chronic PTSD. A new study found that the antipsychotic risperidone worked no better than a placebo in alleviating typical PTSD symptoms in patients who had the disorder long-term or who continued to experience symptoms after being treated with antidepressants.”
Over the last 2 decades or so, innovation and growth for antidepressants and other treatments have primarily remained stagnant and stuck in a rut. According to The Guardian, “The number of psychopharmacological drugs research programs in larger drug firms has shrunk by 70% in the past decade.”
Plus, up to 50% to 60% of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) have treatment-resistant depression (TRD).
"It's time for a change in mental health treatment options. Let's make waves in psychedelic research," says Lexston Life Sciences on its official website. "The psychedelic experience is often compared to non-ordinary forms of consciousness such as those experienced in meditation," the company added.
Lexston Life Sciences is a Canadian biotechnology company that provides cannabis testing and research services. But, much of its energy these days is dedicated to developing and validating methods for standardized manufacturing of plant-derived psychedelics in support of burgeoning trials in the areas of mental health and wellness.
Lexston is also in the process of securing licensing under the exemptions prescribed by section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Canada). This is to enable the expansion of psychedelic molecules in the lab and point of care.
Lexston comprises a group of professionals from different fields, coming together to promote and facilitate new therapeutic models with respectful roots in the past.
At its core is a passion for plants, people, and the processes that bring them together to allow for healing and harmony.
The company has four ways in which it intends to bridge the gap between plants and patients: Clinic Management, Analytical Testing, Research & Development with its subsidiary Egret Biosciences, and Clinical Application.
Corporate stewardship is provided by the managing directors with vast business experience and acumen. This format promotes visibility and accountability, encourages best practices, and facilitates divisional and subsidiary focus on operational excellence.
These services include, but are not limited to:
- Public Listing management
- Financial and Legal consultation and representation
- Scientific governance
- Operational consolidation
- Marketing and Promotional services
Analytical testing by the company includes the following:
1. Cannabis Testing
- Heavy Metals
- Aflatoxins & Ochratoxin A
2. Environmental Testing
- Metals/heavy metals
- Manure and compost management
- Contaminated soils
- Chemical contaminants
Egret Biosciences: The Research & Development Arm
Research & Development is where Egret Biosciences, Lexston’s subsidiary, plays an essential role. However, in reality, it does so much more. Egret is a company that brings together industry experts, organic compounds, and technology to create and advance legal and non-addictive therapeutic treatment alternatives.
Egret is developing an ethical and botanically derived psychedelic production pipeline with analytical standards and portable detection technologies to identify and quantify active ingredients. Egret has also leveraged its vast expertise in bioinformatics and molecular biology to develop the first of its kind P.cubensis molecular genetic assay. Egret intends to crowdsource the sampling efforts to characterize the genetic makeup of pharmaceutically interesting Psilocybe accessions.
Egret’s Analytical Testing Services
Egret prides itself on providing world-class analytics and novel technologies. These are placing Egret on track to improve the efficiency and standardization of commercial cannabis and psychedelics production. The team behind Egret has especially honed their skills in rapid turnaround for midstream analyses of cannabinoid, terpenoid, and genetics profiles.
Egret also caters to cultivators and breeders with leaf nutrient analyses and plant pathogen detection, such as Hop latent viroid, an up-and-coming major agricultural pest in Cannabis.
a. Cannabis Genetics
The team at Egret partnered with Lighthouse to deliver the first of its kind, 40'000 marker assay for defensive IP protection, population mapping, and trait-marker association to uncover the genetic basis of its customers’ key traits of interest.
Egret’s also developed a genetic barcode consisting of 23 highly informative markers for use in product traceability through the value chain and for the assessment of diversity in large-scale breeding experiments.
Other genetic services include molecular sexing and chemotyping of plants at the seedling stage. Definitely stay tuned for the results of its first screen of Psilocybe mushroom accessions from its group of licensed cultivators.
b. Crispr Tech
CRISPR technology is a simple yet powerful tool for editing genomes. It allows researchers to easily alter DNA sequences and modify gene function. Its many potential applications include correcting genetic defects, treating and preventing the spread of diseases in crops.
Egret's team has leveraged their extensive expertise in plant genomics and large-scale breeding populations. Thanks to this, it's uncovered the genetic basis of key traits of interest for commercial cannabis cultivators. The company also entered into a research service agreement with the National Research Council of Canada to develop a pilot study that could improve genetics to create an ideal outdoor cannabis crop for Canadian latitudes.
Egret has partnered with NIRLAB to implement and develop a chemometric algorithm for the rapid detection of drugs, including THC and CBD. This portable device operates in conjunction with a handheld device to provide a non-destructive and immediate means to quantify cannabinoids in cure flower. This makes it an ideal tool for law enforcement and the supply chain.
As Egret collects additional spectra, its machine learning algorithm improves the prediction power of the tool. As it continues its foray into other natural products, Egret intends to develop a suite of models for quantifying tryptamines such as psilocin and DMT analogs.
After robust operations in Europe for several years, North America is next. The SabIR will be launched in North America shortly with a set of enhanced algorithms explicitly catering to the high cannabinoid content of North American cannabis.
To standardize the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients such as cannabinoids and tryptamines, chemically and genetically characterized accession will be subject to a plant cell bioreactor. All this will be done by using a technology developed in Israel by Reagenics Research Inc.
Egret will generally callus cultures that form the basis for large-scale API production by leveraging its tissue culture protocols. All while forgoing standard cultivation and potential pitfalls such as pests, environmental variability, and human error.
Egret’s R&D Services
Research & development is Egret’s bread and butter. After all, this is what it primarily does for Lexston Life Sciences.
Egret's strong background in cannabis genetics has resulted in several publications related to the genetic basis of the chemical expression of cannabinoids and terpenes.
But now, it’s leveraging that data to develop custom cannabis cultivars. Egret is constantly improving on their nodal and meristematic tissue cultures. It is also investigating the use of cell cultures to produce secondary metabolites in cannabis and several botanically derived classical psychedelics.
Egret’s state-of-the-art R&D lab is focused on developing novel analytical methods for rapid and repeatable chemical and genetic fingerprinting.
While Egret offers terpene analysis using GS-MS through partner labs, it is actively looking to improve the speed and affordability of analytical methods. Egret is developing a significant terpene class assay to detect leading cannabis monoterpenes such as Limonene, Myrcene, Linalool, terpinolene, and sesquiterpene beta-caryophyllene. This assay will offer the ability to classify products based on their anticipated physiological effect at a fraction of the cost of existing methods.
In addition to offering HPLC-based cannabinoid profiles, Egret’s developed a cannabinoid potency method and a portable system that democratizes analytical methods.
It’s also identified several genetic markers associated with cannabinoid expression. These markers can be typed in seedlings and significantly improve the selection of important germplasm for large-scale cultivation.
Egret intends to develop chemical and genetic tools for the emerging psychedelics industry. These will include analytical methods for common tryptamines, portable detection tools, and genetic assays for each species of interest. Starting with the well-characterized Psilocybe genus, the egret team has developed a 5000 SNP assay that will be used to understand the chemotypic expression of the pro-drugs psilocybin and biocytin.
Pathogens are a liability to commercial producers due to their cryptic nature. Some even express themselves in later stages of development when an accession has been mass propagated. Egret has developed sampling techniques and molecular assays to detect plant pathogens like viruses, fungi, and bacteria early.
Egret’s Tissue Cultures & Genetic Testing
Egret offers services for tissue culture and genotyping of cannabis strains. These services aim to verify lineage to the cultivator and to provide authenticity to the cannabis consumer.
Egret’s cannabis tissue culture laboratory can produce many contaminant-free elite plants and provide customized plant tissue culture service by producing uniform quality, juvenile vigor, true-to-type plants with its optimized protocols.
This is huge because Tissue Culture is the perfect complement to well-characterized germplasms. The cumulative effort of Egret’s team members with expertise in genetics, chemistry, and pathogen detection has culminated in the development of optimized tissue culture protocols and media suited to a large variety of plants and fungi.
Egret’s system offers its partners the ability to propagate clean and standardized stock to populate their state-of-the-art rooms in a repeatable fashion. Specialized nurseries implementing Egret’s system can also enjoy the ability to swiftly multiply a particular variety and adjust their operations based on the customer demand for specific cultivars.
But beyond this, other advantages of Tissue Culture include reducing the mother room with the large, old plant. This is a high liability situation with little replication to a replicated system on a rack. Each "mother stock" is represented by several young plantlets kept dormant until the stock is ready for multiplication.
Egret works with customers on a case-by-case basis depending on the size and type of operation.
Lastly, Lexston Life Sciences has a network of independent health clinics offering psychedelic-assisted therapy.
Lexston offers practitioner-controlled clinic management services to accelerate the development of psychedelic-assisted therapeutic treatments. It also provides specialized services to new and existing integrative community health clinics across North America.
Not to mention, through its clinical applications, Lexston enables access to plant medicines most broad and affordable way possible in North America. All while sharing health-promoting data. Lexston is unique from other companies aiming to disrupt this field in its commitment to empowering decentralized community-based psychedelic models by supporting independent clinics.
The LEXT stock has only been trading since June 25, 2021, and the stock has yet to truly breakout.
However, this could be the ground floor play of a generation with brewing ingredients for an upcoming breakout. The stock is trading around its 52-week lows. It has a tightly held share structure with approximately 42.11% insider ownership. It also has several recent bullish catalysts.
Consider some of the company's most recent updates:
July 13, 2021 — Lexston announced that on July 9, 2021, it received an update from Health Canada, that Egret Bioscience’s application submitted to Health Canada for an exemption to use a controlled substance for scientific purposes (Section 56 Exemption) has been screened and sent to the Office of Controlled Substances. If granted, the exemption will allow Egret to purchase, possess and use a specified quantity of the controlled substance for their research.
Lexston will provide further updates when more information is received. But this is especially huge because of Lexston’s plans to develop and validate methods for the detection and quantification of classical psychedelics such as MDMA, DMT from multiple natural sources and psilocybin, indole alkaloids, and monoterpene indole alkaloids from Psilocybe mushrooms at their Kelowna research and development laboratory utilizing their benchmark analytical instruments.
Additionally, Lexston and its collaborators at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, plan to develop near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) methods and chemometric models to develop portable methods for detecting these psychedelics. This will enable the rapid quantification of indole alkaloids and other classical psychedelics by using the MicroNIR Onsite W 1700 handheld device. This system has recently been used by law enforcement agencies in over 60 jurisdictions in Switzerland and other European countries for the rapid and remote detection of narcotics such as Heroin, Cocaine, MDMA, and Ketamine in less than 10 seconds.
“This is a key milestone for the Company, and we are excited at the prospects to leverage and expand on our expertise in the chemical and genetic analyses of natural products to classical psychedelics. In particular, our goal to democratize analytical workflows with the use of rapid and portable systems such as the MicroNir holds promises to improve consistency, traceability, and transparency and is expected to benefit the psychedelic industry and the regulators alike.” says Dr. Philippe Henry, Chief Science Officer & Director of Lexston Life Sciences.
July 7, 2021 — Lexston announced the acquisition of 750,000 Class C Non-Voting Common Shares of Psy Integrated Health Inc. for the total consideration of $75,000, representing 13% of the total issued and outstanding shares of Psy Integrated.
Founded in 2020, Psy Integrated is a British Columbia-based benefit corporation. Its mission is to improve the mental health of Canadians through psychedelic-assisted therapies delivered by a network of clinics providing integrative health.
Psy Integrated’s flagship Empower Health clinic in Vancouver includes a multi-disciplinary team of highly experienced health practitioners offering telehealth and onsite services to their patients from its facility in Vancouver, British Columbia, with additional clinics planned.
Psy Integrated also offers a broad range of managed services to member clinics, including:
- Clinic Practices – develop therapeutic protocols for the use of psychedelic medicines by integrative health clinics and practitioners.
- Compliance – establish controlled substance protocols for clinics.
- Supply – identify appropriate sources for legal psychedelic medicines for clinics.
“This first investment in Psy Integrated marks the beginning of our accelerated plan to play an integral role in providing patients with caring and meaningful access to health and wellness through the use of psychedelics” stated Jag Bal, CEO of Lexston. Mr. Bal added: “We understand that the critical path to success lies both within our own work and research, as well as collaboration with companies such as Psy Integrated.”
So while the stock thus far has not done much yet, this is truly an early-stage, ground floor play in some of the most explosive sectors in the world today that could transform medicine as we know it.
1. Psychedelics Are Risky and Still Federally Illegal
Psychedelics are still illegal substances with risks. After all, psychedelics remain federally unlawful in both the U.S. and Canada. They are also nowhere close to where cannabis is when it comes to widespread acceptance. Plus, in Canada, cannabis is now federally legal. While the early stage of psychedelic acceptance and legalization could give it more upside potential than cannabis, it also makes it riskier. There is still a long bumpy road ahead. While many psychedelics-related risks can be hedged with LEXT’s exposure to cannabis, it's still a roll of the dice.
2. Penny Stock Risks
Penny stocks are unstable and volatile. Not to mention, penny stocks can be an awful experience for investors if they get caught in some sort of a low-volume/falling knife quagmire. While stocks like LEXT have enormous pop potential, along with being an early-stage, ground-floor opportunity with a tightly held share structure, it’s still quite risky. It’s only been trading since the end of June, it’s low volume, and who genuinely knows which direction it could go. If you initiate a position with this stock at the wrong time attempting to swing for the fences, you could hit a grand slam just as quickly as you could strike out. If you can stomach the risks, go for it. Otherwise, honestly evaluate the stock along with your risk appetite. Know what you could be getting involved in.
3. Market-Related Risks
Has the market peaked? What effects with the Delta variant have along with central banks gradually tapering their stimulus and easy monetary policies? Stocks like LEXT may not totally correlate with the broader market. However, it’s plausible that we could see some downside risk for high-growth speculative sectors like cannabis and psychedelics. These sectors may not look as attractive if central banks turn rapidly hawkish. Especially if it's more extreme than investors realize while more variants rise up and threaten to derail all the economic recovery we’ve seen up to this point. Just be mindful of the current market climate.
Chief Executive Officer & Director
Jag Bal has been the President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director of the Corporation since its inception on January 3, 2020. He has been President of Infinity Alliance Corp. since November 2003. Infinity Alliance is a private company that invests in growth companies and provides consulting services for investor relations, corporate finance, business development, and M&As for companies listed in Canada. From November 2006 to November 2008, Mr. Bal was President and CEO of Infinity Alliance Ventures Corp. (TSXV). Infinity Alliance Ventures is a capital pool company that later acquired CBM Asia Development Corp. (TSXV), a coal-bed methane company with assets in Indonesia. From December 2006 to April 2007, Mr. Bal was president and director of Alma Resources (TSXV), a resource company with assets in Mexico. From December 2012 to September 2018, Mr. Bal was president and director of Heritage Cannabis Holdings Corp., a vertically integrated cannabis provider.
Dimitrios ("Jim") Mitrakos, CPA, CA
Chief Financial Officer & Corporate Secretary
Jim Mitrakos has been the Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary of the LEXT since January 22, 2020. Mr. Mitrakos holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto. He is also a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Accountant in Ontario. Currently, he additionally serves as the President and Chief Financial Officer of Modu-Loc Fence Rentals, LP, a business providing fences to various industries. Before this role, Jim served as Modu-Loc’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for 4 years. From 2008 to 2013, Jim served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Paramount Pallet, Inc, a national pallet supplier. Before that, Jim spent 3 years as Paramount Pallet, Inc.'s Chief Financial Officer. In addition to these roles, Jim has been an active partner of a private venture capital company, First Growth Management, Inc. (“FGM”), since June 2005.
Harinder ("Harry") Bains
Harry Bains has been a Director of the Corporation since January 22, 2020. Harry is in private practice as a Barrister & Solicitor, registered with the Law Society of British Columbia since 2009. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the British Columbia Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of British Columbia.
Jatinder ("JJ") Manhas
JJ Manhas has been a Director of the Corporation since January 22, 2020. JJ is currently employed in a Sales Management role in the Industrial Manufacturing field and has been in this industry for over 15 years. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the British Columbia Institute of Technology and a Diploma in International Trade and Transportation from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
Philippe Henry, Ph.D.
Director & Chief Scientific Officer
Philippe Henry has been a Director and Chief Scientific Officer of the Corporation since February 12, 2021. Philippe holds a doctoral degree in evolutionary genetics from the University of British Columbia, Master of Science, and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. He has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Northern British Columbia. Widely published and a speaker on Cannabis science, Philippe was the first scientist to discover linkages between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and Cannabis traits. All by using the Lighthouse SNP array. Based in West Kelowna, Philippe is the founder of Egret. Philippe is the visionary behind Egret’s transition to the psychedelic space. This was done through leveraging his expertise in cultivation, propagation, traceability, and controlled substance testing. During the last five years, his principal occupation or employment was: a) from 2017 until 2020, he was the Chief Science Officer at VSSL Enterprises Ltd., a company providing research and analytical testing for the cannabis industry; b) from 2018 until 2019, he was Vice President of The Flowr Group (Okanagan) Inc., a cannabis grower; and c) from 2015 to 2017 he was Vice President of Business Development at E.S.P. Engineered Site Products Ltd., a company providing support for construction detailing and design assistance.
No bio available.
Takeaway for investors
Lexston Life Sciences is an explosive way to play the long-term upside potential for cannabis, psychedelics, and other plant-based medicines. It may be the latest and greatest ground floor play for significant growth potential. While many cannabis and psychedelic stocks could be overvalued and peaking, Lexston isn’t anywhere close to being there. It’s been actively trading since only the early summer and is trading at or around 52-week lows. It has a tight share structure combined with recent bullish catalysts. Sure, there are questions. But if you sit out for too long, it might not be at trading at this type of discount for too much longer. In short, Lexston is at the forefront of sectors tailor-made for long-term investors because the upside is so mouth-watering. Attitudes are changing, and the medical community is waking up to their potential. These sectors aren’t generating hype out of thin air. Lexston could be the best way to give yourself exposure to it.