IntelGenx and atai partner up on psychedelics
IntelGenx announces strategic partnership with atai Life Sciences; agreement also includes equity investment by atai
SAINT LAURENT, Quebec & NEW YORK—IntelGenx Corp. reports that the company has agreed to the terms of a strategic partnership with atai Life Sciences, a company aiming at transformative treatments for mental health disorders. As part of the strategic partnership, IntelGenx will exclusively partner with atai to develop compounds for the prevention or treatment of mental health diseases and disorders — including compounds that have psychedelic, entactogenic, and/or oneirophrenic properties.
Under the strategic development agreement, atai and IntelGenx will conduct research and development projects in areas relating to the parties’ respective technologies. atai has psilocybin, ibogaine, arketamine, and MDMA derivatives in its pipeline at present; IntelGenx focuses on the development and manufacturing of pharmaceutical films.
“This transaction with atai is truly transformational for IntelGenx, catapulting us into a leadership position within the novel therapeutics field of psychedelics while, at the same time, providing the requisite financial resources to continue to advance our robust portfolio of other innovative pharmaceutical film product candidates towards commercialization,” stated Dr. Horst G. Zerbe, CEO of IntelGenx. “We look forward to building a strong partnership.”
The companies’ agreement also includes an equity investment by atai, and atai will initially acquire an approximate 25 percent interest in IntelGenx. IntelGenx also reports that atai has granted the company a secured loan in the amount of US$2,000,000. 20 percent of the funds that IntelGenx receives through atai’s equity investment will be available for IntelGenx’s costs for the research and development projects.
The partnership and investment are subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange, as well as approval of the shareholders of IntelGenx, and will be subject to customary closing conditions. Shareholders will be asked to vote on the proposed transaction with atai at IntelGenx’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders on May 11, 2021.
As long as atai maintains certain levels of its initial equity ownership, IntelGenx will work exclusively with atai on compounds for mental health, or compounds that have psychedelic, entactogenic, and/or oneirophrenic properties — excluding certain specific compounds and veterinary applications. The commercialization of any technologies that result from the joint research and development projects will be subject to agreements to be negotiated, as well as to specified pricing and royalty terms for manufacturing conducted by IntelGenx or third parties.
As for the securities purchase agreement, atai has agreed to purchase 37,300,000 shares of common stock of IntelGenx and 22,380,000 warrants for aggregate gross proceeds of US$12,346,300, following shareholders’ approval of the transaction. Each warrant will entitle atai to purchase one share at a price of US$0.35 for a period of three years from closing of the initial investment. The purchase agreement also provides atai with the right to subscribe in cash — or, in certain circumstances, atai equity — for up to 130,000,000 additional units, for a period of three years from the closing of the initial investment.
“We continue to believe that the combination of our development candidates with IntelGenx’s film technology holds strong clinical promise in the treatment of mental health disorders. The film technology avoids first-pass metabolism and may allow for the delivery of compounds that are non-orally bioavailable. Further, eliminating first-pass metabolism may reduce the serum concentrations of metabolites, potentially improving safety and tolerability,” explained Florian Brand, CEO of atai. “We are delighted to progress from collaborators to partners, making IntelGenx’s film technology an integral part of our platform.”