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Addiction Biotech Using Crowdfunding for Investments

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(Tumisu, Pixabay)

16 Sept. 2022. A start-up enterprise developing treatments for drug and alcohol addiction is raising investment capital with a direct pitch to small investors through a crowdfunding platform. Addiction Cure Therapeutic or ACT Sciences Inc., a two year-old biotechnology company in Orlando, Florida, posted its regulation crowdfunding offering earlier this week.

ACT Sciences develops therapies for alcohol and drug addiction that the company says address more of the causes of addiction rather than the usual strategy of countering changes in brain chemistry of people with addictions. The company says its solutions are based on epigenetics, chemicals in the body and environmental factors outside of DNA sequences that influence gene expression.

As an example, ACT Sciences cites the long-term consumption of alcohol, which contributes to genetic changes leading to greater production of alcohol dehydrogenase, an enzyme that breaks down alcohol into molecules more easily tolerated in the body. As a result, this epigenetic change increases the body’s tolerance of alcohol, allowing for more consumption than before. Alex Federation, the company’s lead scientist, is a chemical biologist and entrepreneur in Seattle who studies epigenomics and bioinformatics.

First addressing meth addiction

ACT Sciences says its first products target cannabinoid type 2 or CB2 receptors that limit reward pathways in the brain, thus decreasing the reinforcing effects of addictive drugs and alcohol. The company says its research revealed an endocannibinoid compound that reduces the reinforcement conditioning induced by methamphetamine and also reduces toxicity to brain cells and cognitive dysfunction from excessive dopamine. Moreover, ACT Sciences says it found similar results from this compound with cocaine, oxycodone, and alcohol, and plans to begin proof-of-concept testing.

“When we started ACTS we wanted to address meth addiction first,” says ACT Sciences co-founder and chief operating officer Mike Lambert in a company statement released through Cision, “it’s the only drug addiction without a replacement drug therapy, let alone a cure.” Lambert adds, “Our first two theories showing promising potential, use endocannibinoid and epigenetic compounds, and are being tested against meth addiction first.”

ACT Sciences is taking advantage of changes in U.S. securities trading laws that makes it possible for small investors to own shares in private companies. The legislation, enacted in 2016, allows for a type of online securities trading called regulation crowdfunding. Privately-owned companies can use regulation crowdfunding to raise up to $5 million a year from small investors that before required high-value accredited investors, such as wealthy individuals, or angel and venture capital investors.

Regulation crowdfunding is permitted only on licensed platforms, in this case ACT Sciences posted its offering page on 12 Sept., and as of 16 Sept. raised $2,100, with shares selling at $0.50. A minimum investment of $99 is required, with a closing date of 14 Nov. 2022.

Jack Levine, the company’s co-founder and CEO, notes “we are one of the first biotech companies using regulation crowdfunding to help fund our pursuit of an Rx cure for chemical addiction.”

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Please note this story reports on developments in a science-based company and is not a solicitation for the company’s shares. Readers are encouraged to consult their financial advisors before making any investments.

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