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Ibogaine Drug Development: Creating The Gold Standard For Addiction Treatment

Dave Jackson Dave Jackson, Stockhouse
0 Comments| October 27, 2021

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(Click image to play video.)

Click to enlargeA renewed interest in the therapeutic power psychedelic of compounds is revealing a potent and commercially viable solution. Vancouver BC-based Universal Ibogaine Inc.(UI) (TSX-V: IBO, Forum) is positioned to address the opioid epidemic through a safe effective and proven plant medicine – Ibogaine – and a proven treatment protocol which has successfully treated over 3,500 people.

In this intriguing video podcast, Stockhouse Media’s Dave Jackson was joined by company CEO Dr. Rami Batal to get investors and company shareholders up-to-date on the latest company happenings and what to expect from Universal Ibogaine moving forward.


SH: To start off with, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the history of the company?

RB: Thank you for that. Thanks for the opportunity again. Mental health psychiatry and neurology has been a life passion. I've had my opportunity in the biopharmaceutical industry to cut my teeth and learn what it takes to industrialize and develop medicines that could make a difference in this very complex, very important area. Through that history, I found that Universal Ibogaine is the company that is interested very much in propagating a very powerful molecule Ibogaine, which belongs to this category or class we call psychedelics for the area of addiction, which is of course, very wanting and maybe we'll get the chance to speak to this a little bit more over our conversation. Universal Ibogaine found me or I found them and it was meant for me to kind of take it forward. It's a company that combines two very important platforms simultaneously, which was very attractive to me. One of them is the idea of developing medicine that comes from the psychedelic family and the way we know how to develop medicines to become a powerful tool to break addiction and the other is actually to treat addiction through our healthcare facilities, starting now with the clinic that we acquired in New Winnipeg Manitoba.

SH: Can you update our investor audience and your Universal Ibogaine shareholders on any new company developments, especially in the wake of COVID-19?

RB: Perfect. COVID-19 for us is the other pandemic. At the end of the day we're starting to make some good progress again due to a science and medicine, we are starting to control and contain that pandemic. So we are now increasingly focused in our environment on the one that has been with us for longer and potentially it will be with us for longer, which is what they call an epidemic or pandemic or score job addiction. This is the area of focus where we are implicated, of course, COVID-19 in the background is just logistical complexity. So we will be working very closely with our partners to make sure that those trials that we're running are going to get off the ground as soon as possible within all the constraints that we have and everybody has in this particular time but we're optimistic that with the right measures taken in place, we'll be able to make progress in a short period of time.

SH: You just launched your company’s long-awaited RTO and recently commenced trading on the TSX-V. Can you expand on this big news for our investor audience?

RB: Okay. We're very excited. Of course, getting on the TSXV has taken a lot of energy, positive energy that was spent in the right direction to allow us to expand our shareholders base and to access as we go forward the resources that will be required to get this company off the ground to grow it. We are comfortable today and for the foreseeable future, we've closed a private placement of $6 million which was part of our public listing. As we went on the TSXV go going forward, there will be many, many, many opportunities for growth as we propagate these two exciting platforms. The drug development one Ibogaine and others and of course the clinics as they focus on this big area of addiction. For me, the TSXV in particular is exciting because it was a validation exercise.

It allowed us by engaging them and coming on that board to show our worth, to explain to the world that this is a very strong business. It has strong fundamentals. It's a legitimate business. Despite the notion that we're dealing with sensitive substances, Ibogaine and other psychedelics down the road, we are going to be doing this the right way. The notion that the TSX channel will be a conservative board has come along is indicative to everybody around the world that this is going to be run like a business needs to be ran. It is going to be a pharmaceutical company; it is going to be a healthcare delivery company and we will not cut any corners to get to the success we need to go to.

SH: The Company looks set for strong growth in 2022 and beyond. How are you placed to expand operations to meet demand?

RB: Perfect. So the story is fairly simple and I like simple stories. We are a pharmaceutical company that will develop a medicine. We're going to develop it under the watchful eye of Health Canada. There has to be certain studies that need to be conducted to convince Health Canada, to validate all the success and all the reputation that Ibogaine has garnished from being applied and introduced in other jurisdictions. It's going to be very important to put forward the evidence that Health Canada seeks to make sure that we transition Ibogaine from a legend into an actual medicine the way we understand prescription medicines, there's got to be work to be done in this direction. Once we launch in this direction, we've created a highway and we can put many cars on it. Ibogaine as a platform. Ibogaine itself can be repurposed and reformulated to create aggregate two and three and four and five so that they can apply to certain modalities in certain ways, addiction for us because of the noise today.

The unfortunate noise is opioid use disorders. It's the opioid addiction but addiction is also alcohol and it's also gambling and it's also many, many other things that Ibogaine can address and that would not be always the same Ibogaine. We have to target it and chisel it so that it's doing the thing that it needs to do in the right indications. There's a lot of work to be done there. A lot of excitement, a lot of intellectual property to be generated. On the other hand of the business, we have a clinic, that clinic will become two clinics and three clinics and five clinics. Those clinics today are pre Ibogaine, at least in Canada, they could become a pre Ibogaine set of clinics. Also in the US we have an addiction disease that is looked at very simplistically. I'm afraid today people look at it as an acute indication.

You put someone in a facility and they're out in a week or two and we think the problem is solved but we don't think about something like diabetes that way. We think about it as a chronic disease that requires a prolonged management and we need to get to addiction but that sort of thinking there are a lot of technologies and much innovation that is required. We plan on introducing this as part of our healthcare facility and then beyond into other facilities. So it's a simple story. It's about growth here and growth here. We just need to roll up the sleeves and get going on.

SH: For company shareholders and potential investors, what kind of future development and progress can we expect at your state-of-the-art holistic care clinics?

RB: Perfect. So we started speaking to that bit, there will be an addiction model and innovative state of the art addiction model, holistic model as you put it Dave that Universal Ibogaine will innovate. We will create that model. We will utilize our Calbert Clinic as a laboratory for the development of that particular model and this is a longitudinal model. So it covers several stages of treatment and for patients and it's also a model that is multimodal. So we always think of Ibogaine when it comes after Health Canada as a central thesis and the treatment but it's not the only ones. There will have to be management of co-morbidities around addiction, be they anxiety or depression or the trauma that led initially in many cases to addiction, we need to pay attention to those. We need to make sure that those patients, after they leave our clinic are stayed on.

There's an ongoing engagement to make that we are prolonging the recovery and that we are making it sustainable. So this model will have to be built. It's got to be applied in our Kelburn. It's going to be applied in our future acquired clinics and Canada and the US and the Caribbean and possibly on indigenous lands but we will also make sure that we provide that model to others that can be interested. It doesn't need to be all us. It could be us franchising this under stringent training, the other facilities, people that have a healthcare facility or they have a mental health care facility but they don't have an addiction module or they have an addiction module but it's not as good as ours. We'd like to be able to offer this to them, build these collaborations, make all boats rise through that tide and of course make sure our shareholders are taken care of as we build this economic.

SH: What separates Universal Ibogaine from the competition and makes your business model unique?

RB: Appreciate that. So for starters, we are not exactly a psychedelic company in that we are not a company interested merely or simply in developing medicines. We are a company also that is implicated in healthcare by having our own clinics. That's one area of, I would call it semi differentiation. I think the other area of differentiation here for us is that we are an addiction company, not as much focused despite the excitement about ibogaine and it to be essential to our thesis because we believe in its power. We are an addiction company. We are out there to treat addiction. There are going to be many tools, many technologies and different types of patients and we need to be able to adhere to all of those. In many cases Ibogaine will be helpful. In some cases, other technologies will be required and we're out there to take that value. Last, I don't look critically given the stage of the industry today as any of our partners or collaborators as competition. We are at a stage where there's a lot to be done and that ecosystem is still to be built and if we are not to collaborate and work together on it, it will not get to where we want it to go. It's very important for us to look at it from that light. I feel that there's going to be a lot of growth to come and that will be helpful for everybody.

SH: What’s the long-term strategy for the company moving into the future, and what should retail and institutional investors be looking out for?

RB: Perfect. there are two businesses in this business and as much as they are interconnected and they will be for the foreseeable future, there will come a time whereby this drug development program will evolve and differentiate into its own bio-pharmaceutical company. At the same time, our clinic work in addiction would ultimately become something that is a standalone business that is cheating addiction with all sorts of modalities. Ibogaine being central but not exclusive. There will be a time whereby strategic partners are going to start wondering if they could grab part of that business or all of that business whether they would be taking the pharmaceutical company or whether it be taking the healthcare delivery company. So these two businesses ultimately might end up with strategic partners in different directions. We are also very excited about the ability to be able to move forward with these two interconnected platforms for the foreseeable future.

Today, we love our retail investors and they will continue to be with us for some time, ultimately, as this company starts having additional legs and arms, there will come a time where there will be an interest by institutional investors. They will see that this is something that they want to take forward and the healthy mix of investment will change more toward the institutional, the longer the patient investor that will be beneficial for everybody. We will never do with our retail investors who may laugh but there will be an introduction of institutional investment that would stabilize the operation, allow it to grow to where it needs to go.

SH: Can you tell our audience a little bit about your corporate management and board teams, along with the experience and innovative ideas they bring to the medicinal psychedelics space?

RB: Perfect. So I have a very exciting let me start with the board of directors. I mean, God bless them. They've been carrying this company for the longest time. They are what we used to call an executive or an operating board, hands in, fingers in everything is an trying to get us to where we have gotten. We have all sorts of functional expertise. In addition, of course to their strengths on the governance side, we have HR expertise, legal expertise. Our board is very diversified. We have diversity that is organic to us. Our chairman of the ward is a hereditary chief of the Squamish nation in British Columbia. We're very excited about this yesterday, we just added the two board members that come from the capital market, corporate finance environment. One of them has built a technology companies on the Silicon side now, unlike us technology on the carbon side.

He comes in with great ideas and how we can manage our markets going forward and the kind of energy that we want to put behind our company to take us from where we are in valuation and do an astronomical value down the road. Our executive team is also growing and soon we're hoping to be able to announce a couple that are going to be very functionally relevant to our businesses. Be they the drug development side or the clinic management. Ultimately, we're going to get our chief medical officer as well to be part of the mix. We have a very solid CFO has been taking us smoothly through our RTL and going forward will be part of the financing sort of environment and there are other exciting hires that we can talk about at the right time but our executive team is growing very, very quickly as well.

SH: And finally, Dr. Batal, if there’s anything I’ve overlooked please feel free to elaborate.

RB: Yeah, I think you've covered a lot of ground deep. I'm just going to say this, for me it's a life mission. It's a legacy. It's something that the team and I are absolutely committed on doing something that I saw in Universal Ibogaine the people need to. Now this is this is a team of ideologues. They are all driven by the mission. They are out there to make sure that we get to that patient with addiction effectively as soon as we can. They will spare no effort and no energy to get us to where we want to go. So I take a lot of pride and a lot of confidence in their ability to get us and get our shareholders to where we need to go.

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FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a paid article produced by Stockhouse Publishing.

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