Connecting The Dots
In the OTC and Pinksheet markets investors have been cautious following the massive surge that the marijuana sector saw early last year with Colorado coming online as the very first state in the US to legalize the use of cannabis for recreational purposes. Many companies trading in the penny stock markets did nearly anything they could do in order to take advantage of the mass appeal coming from this industry boom. But now with a new year upon us, a seemingly smarter small and micro-cap stock investing public is looking for real value in the space and not just “another grow operation hoping for state licensing”.
Right now, attention seems to be in the biotech space as much of this “long term” potential for the marijuana industry is held by medical applications in such things as CBD’s and hemp derivatives to treat specific diseases like epilepsy and certain cancers. If there’s one marijuana stock that’s remained in the “Top Ten”, it’s been GW Pharma (GWPH) and more recently, INSYS Therapeutics (INSY) both of which have novel therapies for numerous diseases such as different types of cancers.
In 2014 for example, the stock price for GWPH jumped to highs of $111.46 prior to pulling back to lows that were below $60 per share.
On the flip side, INSYS was recently granted orphan drug designation by the FDA and share prices have to highs of $47.18.
But what if you could have owned GWPH or INSY prior to prices jumping as high as they have? What if there was an opportunity to see these companies at levels around $0.02? The obvious answer (in my opinion) would be “I would definitely buy”. A small investment at a price like that would be absolutely life-changing at today’s prices, let alone at the all time highs that these stock have seen over the last 12 months.
One company that has just come to light with a very strong team coupled with a similar vision and ground breaking assets is Oxis Biotech, Inc. Now, I say recent because it was just last week that this company had a caveat emptor removed on OTCMarkets.com for being delinquent in its filings for quite some time. As of Friday OXIS showed that it had successfully filed all delinquent financial statements bringing the company current. In looking at the share structure, stock price, and market cap, this company looks like it could have what it takes to go to a higher exchange like the QB as long as it meets the requirements. Furthermore, the company’s website just began to have updated content populated throughout its pages.
So What’s So Important That OXIS Could Be The Next INSY or GWPH?
First and foremost, Oxis International completed an additional round of financing in the amount of $1.25 million and an earlier round of financing completed in July of $1.425 million, brings the funding total for 2014 to $2.675 million. According to Oxis, it will use the proceeds to fund Oxis Biotech, Inc. activities related to the acquisition and/or licensing of cannabis related intellectual properties, marketing of Oxis International, Inc’s nutraceutical products, and general corporate purposes.
But you really need a firm and well-seasoned leadership team to be able to effectively appropriate funds like this. Anthony Cataldo has been named Chief Executive Officer of Oxis International, Inc. Cataldo will continue to serve as Chairman of Oxis International, Inc. and President of Oxis Biotech, Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of Oxis International. Inc. Cataldo has a track record of building successful biotechs.
From February 2011 to June 2013 Cataldo served as Chairman/CEO of Genesis Biopharma, inc. (Previous: GNBP), now known as Lion Biotechnologies, Inc., (LBIO) and currently trades over $8/share. Keep in mind that Cataldo created Lion/Genesis with the inclusion of assets acquired from the National Cancer Institute for the treatment of stage-four melanoma. With such a track record within the space and a penchant for success in biotech, this may be just the beginning for OXIS as it has just begun to see trading. From early December up until recent, the stock price for Oxis Biotech has consistently remained in an uptrend moving as high as $0.0399 during the first few days of the new year.
Furthermore OXIS most recently announced that it executed definitive agreements licensing certain assets for the treatment of Multiple Myeloma and initiated a consulting agreement with University of Pittsburgh’s Professor, Dr. Xiang-Qun(Sean)Xie (one of the world’s foremost cannabinoid research scientists). The American Cancer Society’s estimates for multiple myeloma in the United States for 2015 are about 26,850 new cases of multiple myeloma and about 11,240 deaths from multiple myeloma alone.
The license agreement provides Oxis Biotech, Inc an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize therapies for the treatment of Multiple Myeloma (a type of cancer that attacks plasma cells in bone marrow). Dr. Xie joins Oxis Biotech as a consultant and member of the Science Advisory Board to further develop the assets licensed to Oxis Biotech, Inc. Among the mile-long track record of amazing accomplishments that Dr. Xie holds (See below), he is a recipient of the 2014 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Outstanding Research Achievement Award.
Mr. Cataldo stated, “I wanted to leverage Dr. Xie’s significant experience and technologies, much the same way I did when I acquired highly valued patents from the NCI (NIH) for stage 4 Melanoma from the National Cancer Institute to form Lion Biotechnologies, Inc. (LBIO)”.
In addition to this, University of Pittsburgh’s new Chancellor Patrick Gallagher encourages industry partnership of the University with OXIS. This will further enhance the overall R & D capabilities of the company and could propel the company’s growth by leaps and bounds just as the case was for market leaders like GW Pharma.
After studying the effects of cannabidiol on multiple myeloma cells, researchers found that; “CBD by itself or in synergy with BORT strongly inhibited growth, arrested cell cycle progression and induced MM cells death by regulating the ERK, AKT and NF-κB pathways with major effects in TRPV2+ cells.”
They conclude that; “These data provide a rationale for using CBD to increase the activity of proteasome inhibitors in MM.”
The study, which validates a recent National Institute of Health study which also found that cannabidiol can inhibit cancer cells, was conducted by researchers at the School of Pharmacy at the University of Camerino in Italy.
This is obviously a developing story but if history repeats itself with Cataldo at the helm of Oxis in addition to Dr. Xie in charge of building the infrastructure to deploy this tharepy, the real benefit could be to those early shareholders looking for untapped opportunity in the cannabis biotech sector. Right now this is a reality for OXIS and its shareholders. The company has brought on both proven leadership and a world-renowned scientist for cannabinoid research immediately following the company becoming current in its filings and in my opinion could position Oxis to truly become the next big player in medical cannabis.
In a time where Bob Marley and Tommy Chong are producing their own brands of medical/recreational marijuana, the industry is booming with progress. More states have come on board the legal marijuana money train and even more are beginning to put legislation plans in place to push through some kind of bill come the next election period. The doors have opened even wider for real progress to be found within this burgeoning industry and from where I sit, it could be these medically focused organizations that will reap the biggest rewards from the forward looking nature that the biotech space has historically shown to have.
More About Dr. Xiang-Qun (Sean) Xie
Sean Xie, MD, PhD, EMBA is a tenured Professor at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences/Drug Discovery Institute at University of Pittsburgh and Associate Dean for Research Innovation at the School of Pharmacy. He is Principal Investigator of an integrated research laboratory of CompuGroup, BioGroup and ChemGroup, and Founding Director of Computational Chemical Genomics Screening Center. Dr. Xie is also Director/PI of NIH funded National Center of Excellence for Computational Drug Abuse Research. Dr. Xie holds joint faculty positions at the Departments of Computational System Biology and Structural Biology, and Pittsburgh Cancer Institute MT/DD Program.
Xie is a charter member of the NIH BPNS Study Section Review Panel, an oversea expert reviewer for the Chinese Natural Science Foundation, ad hoc reviewer for the Netherlands Organizations for Scientific Research Council for Chemical Sciences, MCMB Foundation for MRC UK, and the Wellcome Trust Fund, Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship, London, UK. He serves as an invited guest editor for AAPS Journal, Editorial Board of American Journal of Molecular Biology, and Associate Editor of BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology.
He was an invited international Assessment Panelist for Fudan University College of Pharmacy, a member of the Board of Directors of the Chinese Association of Professionals in Science and Technology, and a Chair of the CAPST Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Society. Dr. Xie also holds adjunct professor title in top institutes and colleges of pharmacy in China, including CAMS Tianjin Institute of Hematology Stem Cell Medical Center; Fudan, Shanghai Jiaotong, and Zhejiang Universities. In 2013, he was named an honorary professor of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College.