Helius Medical to Expand Globally

CEO Philippe Deschamps says Helius will aim to submit its PoNS device for approval in countries around the world aside from Canada and the US.

Helius Medical Technologies (TSX:HSM,NASDAQ:HSDT) is looking to broaden the potential for its Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator (PoNS) device to a global level, which aims to improve a number of neurological symptoms.

The company has been studying the PoNS device in US and Canada-based clinical trials in combination with physical and cognitive therapy in patients with mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injuries (mTBI).

The PoNS device is a portable neuromodulation stimulator and consists of a controller that sits on a patient’s neck as well as an electrode-covered mouthpiece that’s placed on the tongue and stimulates two key cranial nerves, which results in a flow of neural impulses to the brain stem.

In an interview with the Investing News Network (INN), Phillipe Deschamps, co-founder, president and CEO of Helius Medical, said that the company was founded to build, develop and acquire neuro non-invasive devices to treat people with neurological symptoms of disease or trauma and that the PoNS device is its first asset.

“[The device] stimulates the brain through the tongue, of all things,” he explained. “Why the tongue? The tongue is tied to your brain with four major cranial nerves, two of which are stimulated by this device.”

Deschamps added that when the stimulation goes through to the back of the brain to the PoNS area of the brain, when combined with physical or cognitive exercises it helps the brain “reorganize itself” so the symptoms that are affected by disease or trauma “go away.”

“The first indication [the company] has gotten so far is for the balance deficit tied to [mTBI’s] or sports-concussive injuries,” Deschamps said.

Deschamps said there are roughly 165,000 people in Canada who have the “precise symptoms” which were indicated in something called chronic balance deficit. He explained symptoms are “manifested” by having difficulty balancing and walking and has a big impact on one’s daily life.

“For many people it also causes a reduction in employment … it affects pretty much all aspects of their lives. It’s a big deal to be able to restore someone’s balance,” he said when asked about the significance the device could have.

Adding to that, Deschamps said Helius’ PoNS device is currently the “first and only” of its kind. The company submitted its Class II Medical Device License application to Health Canada last September. By October, the agency gave the company authorization to market the PoNS device and also created a new operating entity formed out of its strategic alliance with HealthTech Connex (HTX) called Heuro Canada.

According to the company, Heuro will be distributing the PoNS treatment across Canada, and already has recently opened up clinics in the Vancouver, BC area and in Montreal, Quebec to provide therapeutic treatment to help people with chronic balance deficit.

In a press release issued on Monday (March 4) by Heuros Canada, it was revealed that the first patient had officially begun the Heuro Program with the PoNS device. According to the statement, the program will allow patients to manage and treat symptoms associated with mTDI throughout a 14-week period.

“It’s an exciting time for us because [this] officially changes us from a development stage company to a commercial company, which our investors will certainly be happy about,” Deschamps told INN, adding that more clinics will be coming throughout the year that shareholders will be keen to watch for.

Aside from its developments in Canada, Helius is aiming to have the PoNS device licensed elsewhere. Case in point, the device is currently under review by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European regulators. In January, the company announced the FDA was requesting additional information for its De Novo classification and 510(k) clearance for the device, which Deschamps said the questions from the FDA were “perfectly legitimate” for a De Novo classification.

“[The FDA] had perfectly legitimate questions that didn’t occur to us or to them as we were doing our … submission … so we are quite confident that we are able to answer all of their questions with our existing data,” Deschamps said, adding that the company will announce when it has resubmitted to the FDA.

In terms of its applications elsewhere, Helius submitted an application for a CE Mark in the European Union for the PoNS in December. Deschamps said the company is still waiting for comments back from the European Union, but also has plans to do submissions in Australia and China over the course of the year.

“This is very much a global initiative for us,” Deschamps said, and explained that in Canada alone, the size of the addressable market is about C$20 billion. “This is a very, very large market, and [Helius] looks forward to making a little dent in that for the second half of this year.”

Year-to-date, shares of Helius have dipped slightly from C$12.28 on the TSX to C$9.26 as of market close on Monday. On the NASDAQ, Helius’ share price has declined from US$9.11 on January 2 to US$6.96 at the close on Monday.

Don’t forget to follow @INN_LifeScience for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in contributed article. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

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Catch up and get informed with this week's content highlights from Charlotte McLeod, our editorial director.

Top Stories This Week: Powell Gets Fed Nomination, Using Gold in a Market Correction youtu.be

We're back after a break last week with quite a bit to cover in the gold space.

After running up past the US$1,860 per ounce mark midway through November, the yellow metal has taken a tumble. At the time of this writing on Friday (November 26) afternoon, it was sitting just under US$1,790.

Gold's losses this week have been attributed to elements like a stronger US dollar and better Treasury yields, although Jerome Powell's US Federal Reserve chair renomination has pulled other factors into play — some market watchers believe he may move to taper and raise interest rates faster than anticipated.


If the Fed follows its previously laid out timeline for tapering, it will wrap up in mid-2022; the central bank has said it won't raise rates until after that. It has also emphasized that its roadmap may change if necessary.

Looking at the larger picture for gold, I heard recently from Nick Barisheff of BMG Group, who believes the stock market is due for a major correction.

"The market is due for a major correction. What will cause it and when it will happen is anybody's guess — it could be tomorrow, it could be six months from now" — Nick Barisheff, BMG Group

It's impossible to know when this correction will happen, but Nick emphasized the importance of acting before it's too late. He pointed out that investors are typically slow to get out of the market once a crash actually begins — they wait for a turnaround, and by the time it's clear there won't be one, they've experienced big losses.

In his opinion, the solution is to get out of the stock market early and transfer money into gold.

Here's how Nick explained it:

"Instead of taking your money off the table and going into cash … you go to gold (because cash is devaluing daily). Gold will at least hold its own and probably appreciate … so by sitting it out in gold you can wait until the market finishes correcting and then buy back in" — Nick Barisheff, BMG Group

With gold's future in mind, we asked our Twitter followers this week what price they think the metal will be at the end of 2021. By the time the poll closed, most respondents had voted for the US$1,800 to US$1,900 range.

We'll be asking another question on Twitter next week, so make sure to follow us @INN_Resource or follow me @Charlotte_McL to share your thoughts.

Finally, in the cannabis space, INN's Bryan Mc Govern spoke with Dan Ahrens of AdvisorShares to get his thoughts on 2021 trends and what's ahead in 2022.

Dan was candid, and said if he had to choose one word to describe the cannabis market in 2021, it would be "painful." Like many others, he's been disappointed in the industry's performance — while positivity initially ran high due to excitement about potential federal changes in the US, ultimately progress has been slow.

"Cannabis started with a big run-up in January and February ... and things dragged from there" — Dan Ahrens, AdvisorShares

Still, Dan has hope for 2022 and said it will be a "huge year" for cannabis. He believes US reforms will come sooner rather than later, and in his opinion those widely anticipated changes will bring a wave of M&A activity.

Specifically, he expects to see alcohol, tobacco and other consumer packaged goods companies making deals with cannabis players, not just cannabis entities doing transactions with each other.

"Those big alcohol companies, tobacco companies, other consumer packaged goods product companies — they're waiting. They're waiting on the US" — Dan Ahrens, AdvisorShares

Want more YouTube content? Check out our YouTube playlist At Home With INN, which features interviews with experts in the resource space. If there's someone you'd like to see us interview, please send an email to cmcleod@investingnews.com.

And don't forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

cannabis plant layered with German flag graphic
Dmytro Tyshchenko / Shutterstock

Catch up on some of the biggest news of the week for the cannabis investment world.

Three political parties have formed a coalition in Germany, leading to a new government, and it has promised cannabis reform in the European nation.

Meanwhile, a popular cannabis retailer confirmed consumers will now find its products available for delivery on the Uber Eats mobile application in Ontario.

Keep reading to find out more cannabis highlights from the past five days.


Coalition of parties promises forward-looking cannabis policy

Germany, a country with comprehensive and elaborate medicinal rules for cannabis, is in a time of transition as a new government is set to begin to take over after 16 years of Angela Merkel.

Olaf Scholz, the proposed next chancellor of Germany, leads a three party coalition that will become the country's governing body. As part of its promises, talk of adult-use cannabis regulation has now gained even more momentum. A report from MJBizDaily quotes a German policy document that shows the coalition's stance:

"We are introducing the controlled distribution of cannabis to adults for consumption purposes in licensed shops. This controls the quality, prevents the transfer of contaminated substances and guarantees the protection of minors."

However, despite the promise and excitement, it remains to be seen how these ideas will be applied since no formal regulations have been drafted or approved yet.

Canadian cannabis retailer partners with popular delivery app

Tokyo Smoke, a cannabis retail operator in Canada owned by Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC,TSX:WEED), announced a collaboration agreement with Uber Canada (NYSE:UBER) whereby cannabis consumers will be able to use the Uber Eats app to order products before they visit stores.

While the app won't let consumers get cannabis delivered to them, this new method opens the doors to more dynamic ways of buying cannabis.

"As a market leader in innovation and a platform used by so many Canadians, we believe this is the ideal next offering that can be done safely and conveniently on the Uber Eats app," Mark Hillard, vice president of operations with Tokyo Smoke, said in a press release.

A report from the Canadian Press indicates Ontario is considering allowing dispensaries to have delivery and pickup options made available to consumers permanently. The province allowed some of these purchasing options at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but then removed them.

Lola Kassim, general manager of Uber Eats Canada, said this new end-to-end experience will provide consumers with responsible access to legal cannabis products.

Cannabis company news

  • Organigram Holdings (NASDAQ:OGI,TSX:OGI) issued financial results for its Q4 2021 period. In its report, the company notes a net loss of C$26 million despite a 22 percent uptick in net revenue to C$24.9 million. Beena Goldenberg, the newly appointed CEO of the firm, is encouraged by the market share position earned by the company, which said it became the fourth biggest producer in Canada during the reporting period.
  • Halo Collective (NEO:HALO,OTCQB:HCANF) confirmed the decision for Akanda, its spinoff company focused on international cannabis opportunities, to begin trading on a US exchange. "The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined," the company told investors in a press release.
  • High Tide (NASDAQ:HITI,TSXV:HITI) announced the acquisition of 80 percent of NuLeaf Naturals, a CBD product wellness developer, for an estimated US$31.24 million. The deal includes a three year option clause for High Tide to complete a total acquisition. "As international markets open up and as export regulations evolve, NuLeaf's cGMP-certified facility positions us to take advantage of the global CBD business opportunity," Raj Grover, president and CEO of High Tide, said.
  • Humble & Fume (CSE:HMBL,OTC Pink:HUMBF) released the financial report for its first 2022 fiscal quarter to shareholders and the market. "As the legal cannabis market in North America continues to mature, Humble remains agile and focused on providing a leading solution for brands to scale quickly and retailers to focus on their customers," Joel Toguri, CEO of Humble, said.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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