- Treatment for Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is effective in over 95% of infected patients, yet remains disproportionately unavailable to certain patient groups across Canada.
- Levitee Clinics and Levitee Pharmacies will work collaboratively with LiveRx to create easily accessible patient-centric HCV care, impacting currently under-served patient groups, including those with mental health conditions such as substance use disorders.
- The partnership involves Levitee Labs promoting and implementing the LiveRx test and treat program, providing HCV screening and treatment, in addition to communications on optimal care strategies through the Levitee Labs’ portfolio of companies.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Levitee Labs Inc. (CSE: LVT) (OTC: LVTTF) (FSE: 7H7) (the "Company" or "Levitee”), an integrative wellness company with a diversified portfolio of healthcare and wellness assets, today announces a new strategic collaboration with the LiveRx Research Group (“LiveRx”) for testing, treating, and curing HCV in Alberta.
LiveRx is a project led by Dr. Mark G. Swain, Head of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of Calgary and funded by The Alberta Innovates Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Health System (PRIHS) funding program. LiveRx is dedicated to addressing inequities in the current specialist referral-based HCV care model.
Levitee Labs and LiveRx will work jointly to create an equitable, patient-centric HCV care model that facilitates shifting HCV care from specialist treatment centers in urban centers to easily accessible clinics and pharmacies across the province.
As part of the collaboration agreement, Levitee Labs will implement the LiveRx HCV test and treat program at its Levitee Clinics and Levitee Pharmacies across Alberta from January 2022 through January 2024.
The following activities will be part of the collaboration with LiveRx:
- Conducting HCV screening and testing for Levitee Clinics patients.
- Including patients identified with HCV who are within the Levitee Clinics care program as part of the LiveRx HCV eradication research program.
- Undertaking HCV treatment for appropriate HCV-infected individuals through a Levitee-linked pharmacy with full support of LiveRx where available.
- Promoting the LiveRx program at Levitee Clinics and Levitee Pharmacies sites.
- Communicating regularly with the LiveRx Research Group to assess implementation successes, challenges, and further needs, and make mutually agreed upon changes where appropriate.
In Canada, it is estimated that 250,000 Canadians are living with chronic HCV and thousands of new cases are diagnosed each year1. 44% of those infected are unaware of their HCV status2; symptoms can take two weeks to six months to appear, and most people will not develop symptoms3. If left untreated, HCV can progress over time to serious liver damage and is associated with a range of systemic health problems, decreased quality of life, and increased healthcare costs4. The North American HCV drug market was valued at USD$3.7 billion as of 2018.5
“HCV infects up to 1% of Canadians and can lead to dire complications, such as liver cancer and irreversible liver scarring, for which there are limited treatment options,” commented Dr. Mark G. Swain. “What’s disheartening is that current HCV treatments can safely cure more than 95% of these infected individuals, but access to these therapies are disproportionately unavailable to priority populations, an obstacle that we are optimistic we can overcome by modifying the standard of care through work with companies like Levitee Labs.”
“As I am an expert in HCV care, we are thrilled to be working with Dr. Swain and his team with the common goal of eradicating HCV in Alberta,” commented Noha ElSayed, B.Sc.Pharm, APA, Executive Director, Levitee Clinics and Levitee Pharmacies, Alberta Region. “By combining resources and implementing a non-judgmental practice to testing and community-based approach to treatment, we can make a meaningful impact on healthcare from both personal and provincial perspectives.”
1. The Canadian Network on Hepatitis C Blueprint Writing Committee and Working Groups. Blueprint to inform hepatitis C elimination efforts in Canada. Montreal, QC: Available at: https://www.canhepc.ca/sites/default/files/media/documents/blueprint_hcv_2019_05.pdf. Accessed on: July 21, 2021.
2. Public Health Agency of Canada. Report on Hepatitis B and C in Canada: 2017. Centre for Communicable Disease and Infection Control, Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Branch, Public Health Agency of Canada; 2019. Available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/health/publications/diseases-conditions/report-hepatitis-b-c-canada-2017.html. Accessed on: July 21, 2021.
3. CATIE. The epidemiology of hepatitis C in Canada. Available at: https://www.catie.ca/the-epidemiology-of-hepatitis-c-in-canada-0. Accessed on: July 21, 2021
4. The Canadian Network on Hepatitis C Blueprint Writing Committee and Working Groups. Blueprint to inform hepatitis C elimination efforts in Canada. Montreal, QC: Available at: https://www.canhepc.ca/sites/default/files/media/documents/blueprint_hcv_2019_05.pdf. Accessed on: July 21, 2021.
About the LiveRx Research Group
LiveRx Research Group is a medical research project led by Dr. Mark G. Swain, Head of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of Calgary and funded by The Alberta Innovates Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Health System funding program (PRIHS) from 2021-2024. The project is focused on tackling the challenge of inequitable access to Hepatitis C Virus care in Alberta.
LiveRx believes the current model of specialist care leaves many Albertans unable to access proper testing or treatment. LiveRx follows a 5-part strategy to bring hepatitis C virus screening, treatment and cures to Albertans. LiveRx utilizes a novel approach, based on partnerships between pharmacists and community-based organizations, to deliver hepatitis C virus support to Albertans. For further information about LiveRx please visit: www.epicore.ualberta.ca/liverx
About Levitee Labs
Levitee is establishing itself as a leader in the integrative wellness space. Through leveraging an M&A regimen that focuses on the centralization of complementary integrative wellness assets, Levitee aims to transform mental health and addiction treatments through the integration of psychedelic medicines and therapies.
The Company’s current portfolio of assets includes: Levitee Clinics™, a group of five operating addiction and pain treatment clinics in Alberta; Levitee Pharmacies™, three pharmacies operating in Alberta specialized in filling prescriptions for patients with substance use disorders, mental health conditions, and chronic pain; BlockMD, the first technology company in Alberta to receive provincial approval for electronic-prescriptions in the addiction treatment space; and Earth Circle Organics, a direct-to-consumer and wholesaler of supplements and superfood products with 180+ SKUs in its product lineup across three brands. Further information about Levitee is available on its website at www.leviteelabs.com.
Investor and Corporate Communications:
Pouya Farmand, CEO & Co-Founder
Olivia Belcher-Coward, Marketing & Communications Manager
This news release contains certain statements that may constitute forward-looking information under applicable securities laws. All statements, other than those of historical fact, which address activities, events, outcomes, results, developments, performance, or achievements that Levitee anticipates or expects may or will occur in the future (in whole or in part) should be considered forward-looking information. Such information may involve, but is not limited to, statements respecting Levitee’s business plans and proposed products, and the benefits derived from mushroom-infused products; the acquisitive growth potential of Levitee once acquisitions are completed; the expectation that Levitee will continue to execute its accretive acquisition program, and the contribution of such program to Levitee’s future growth potential; and Levitee’s objective to transform mental health and addiction treatments through the integration of psychedelic medicines and therapies. Often, but not always, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates”, or “believes” or variations (including negative variations) of such words and phrases, or statements formed in the future tense or indicating that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” (or other variations of the forgoing) be taken, occur, be achieved, or come to pass. These statements and other forward-looking information are based on assumptions made by Levitee based on currently available competitive, financial and economic data and operating plans, strategies or beliefs as of the date of this news release as well as management’s current expectations or beliefs regarding future growth, results of operations, future capital (including the amount, nature and sources of funding thereof) and expenditures. These assumptions may also be based on information obtained from third-party industry analysts and other third-party sources. Forward-looking information is necessarily based on a number of opinions, assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by Levitee as of the date such statements are made, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including but not limited to risks associated with the following: Levitee’s limited history of operations; ability to secure additional financing; negative cash flow from operating activities since inception; regulatory requirements; changes in consumer preferences; supply of raw materials; reliance on a limited number of products; brand awareness; the ability to develop, market and produce new products; dependence on certain key senior managers; reliance on third parties for manufacturing and packaging; potential product liability claims and product recalls; and significant competition. For additional information regarding these risks, please see the risk factors identified and reported in Levitee’s public filings under its SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com. Any and all forward-looking information contained in this press release is expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information. The forward-looking information is made as of the date of this news release, and Levitee assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise such forward-looking information, except as required by applicable securities laws. The CSE (operated by CNSX Markets Inc.) has neither approved nor disapproved of the contents of this press release and accepts no responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy hereof.