Functional mushrooms, psychedelic compounds, cannabis, hemp, and an almost endless stream of new ingredients — as their popularity increases, companies are looking to incorporate them into consumer products. But there are roadblocks to efficient production and widespread consumer adoption. Rexis Biotech is working to change how we produce and consume these ingredients.
We sat down with Rexis CEO Keith Bushfield to discuss the company’s new technology and product roll-out.
Blending Oil & Water: Improving absorption and efficiency in consumer products
It seems like absorption is one of the keys to getting a high-quality and versatile product. Can you talk about how Rexis is solving this?
Our primary activity and really exciting technology is turning hydrophobic molecules into water-soluble molecules.
A hydrophobic molecule is an oil-based molecule that doesn’t absorb into water very well. Think about an oil-based salad dressing and how it floats on the top. It’s a major problem that the hydrophobic molecules used in many consumer products don’t absorb well. THC, CBD, nicotine, valerian, functional mushrooms etc — are all hydrophobic molecules that don’t absorb nearly as well as we want them to.
Take THC as an example. THC is very unfriendly for absorption and hard to work with because it’s a truly water-incompatible molecule. So it’ll absorb poorly and lose efficacy very quickly, and if you put that into medicinal application you’re losing potency at an alarming rate.
But if we can turn that oil-based molecule into a water-based molecule or ingredient, then you’ll have a much better chance of getting that absorption. And that opens up a whole range of benefits.
So we developed a technology that we’ve been perfecting for the past five or six years that takes that hydrophobic molecule and turns it into a water-soluble powder.
What are some other benefits of Rexis’ production technology?
The benefits are substantial. One is that turning the product into a powder allows it be stored for years instead of weeks or days. Prime example is if you put THC in an emulsion base like a drink or water, it starts degrading almost immediately. Contrast that to our technology, where we’ve tested product two years later and it lost only a few percentage points over where it originally started. That’s night and day compared to what normally would happen.
Then there’s bioavailability. We did a head-to-head trial against the FDA’s only approved CBD product. From its FDA trial results it was bioavailable at only 9% to 10%. We did the same trial with our molecule and it showed 48.15% bioavailable — 500% more effective than the number one product in the category.
And this better absorption and bioavailability not only makes the product better, but also improves efficiency and costs. If you’re able to use less product to get to the same effect, then there are cost benefits all along the chain.
And what about the taste? Does it improve that as well?
Yes. Definitely. One of the biggest things we hear people talk about is flavor profiles. Take functional mushrooms like Lion’s Mane or Reishi. They’re getting very popular and they’re great for you, but they don’t taste very good. Most people I know do not like the flavor profile. But we’ve been able to take that Lion’s Mane and make it a water-soluble ingredient that we can put into beverages or food — and remove its taste.
There are some products on the market that try to hide the taste of these ingredients by mixing it with coffee. But we can just put it in water, and have it be tasteless; or make it taste like Vitamin C or whatever we want. There’s nothing else like it and we’re very excited.
We’re dealing with two different companies that are going to bring this to market in the next six months and you’re going to see it in places like Whole Foods very soon.
What other projects is Rexis developing?
We currently play in three spaces:
- Consumer packaged goods, ready-to-drink beverages and other food items like we just mentioned. We’re producing several of our own brands that will be rolling out soon across the country.
- We also have a licensing division, where we license out our technology to companies across the country. THC companies, drug developers etc.
- And we have a pharmaceutical division working on more long-term products. For example, we have a Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) drug, an ADHD drug and an epilepsy drug all in early-phase trials.
How can our readers get involved with what you’re building?
Right now, we’re in full-blown expansion mode; building out production facilities, and rolling out new consumer-facing products. And we wanted to give consumers the chance to invest in this growth, so we recently launched a crowdfunding equity round with WeFunder. We just launched the campaign and, so far, the response has been phenomenal.
Some highlights from the We Funder campaign:
- Cash flow positive in under 6 months with estimated gross revenue projection of USD $14.7M in 2023*
- $500k+ initial seed round investment from Virgin Beverages, 3CHI Group, The Manning Foundation
- Signed contracts in the first half of 2023 worth over USD $8,350,000
- 2 patents and 6 trade secret processes make up our highly defensible IP catalog
- Founder was CEO of Virgin, Cineplex, BOSCH; led multiple companies to successful exits (IPO)
- Executive team with experience on Fortune 500 brands: Red Bull, Virgin, Best Buy, MillerCoors, NBCU
We recently received our first round of industry feedback on our new consumer products — and to say it was positive, would be a drastic understatement. What do I mean by that?
Consumer products that are Powered by Rexis were recently submitted into the High Spirits Awards — produced by the esteemed LA Spirits Awards. Out of only 8 Platinum medals awarded to entrants this year, we took home 4 of them. In total, we won over 13 awards, which is a huge validation of our products.
The brands submitted by Rexis were:
- 9 Leaves
You can see the results here.
For more on Rexis and their technology, see their video below and website here.
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