Vancouver, British Columbia – Universal Ibogaine Inc. (“UI” or the “Company”) is pleased to advise that Dr. Rami Batal has been appointed to serve as Chief Executive Officer of Universal Ibogaine effective March 1, 2021. Dr. Batal is a seasoned biopharmaceutical industry executive and a healthcare professional who has a passion for and expertise in mental health, including substance use disorders. He will succeed Dr. Jeremy Weate, who will retain his ongoing role on UI’s Board of Directors.
Dr Batal has had a global career in biomedical innovation, specifically biopharmaceutical research, development and commercialization of medicines for central nervous system disorders (CNS) and pain, including with multinational pharmaceutical companies and biotech startups. Most recently, at Antibe Therapeutics (TSX:ATE), Rami was responsible for the commercial readiness of otenaproxesul, a phase 3 pain/osteoarthritis drug candidate, which was recently out-licensed to Nuance Pharma for the Greater China region.
Prior to Antibe, Dr Batal was the Vice-President of Medical Innovation and previously Vice President Medical Research of Canopy Growth Corporation, where he was responsible for biopharmaceutical research and development, and subsequently external innovation partnerships. Rami came to Canopy Growth through the successful acquisition of CHI – a biotech company he co-founded, which was focused on cannabinoid research for biopharmaceutical purposes. Under Rami’s leadership as the Chief Operating Officer, CHI conducted clinical trials with cannabinoid-based drug candidates for CNS indications as authorized by Health Canada. Simultaneously, Rami co-founded UK-based Beckley-Canopy Therapeutics, which went on to become Beckley-Psytech, a UK-based biopharmaceutical startup focused on developing innovative psychedelic prescription drugs for CNS indications.
Dr Batal obtained his doctorate in experimental medicine from McGill University. He is licensed to practice pharmacy in the Canadian province of Quebec, and previously Ontario. During his clinical practice work, Rami has had hands-on experience in counselling / preparing, and administering conventional medicines for opioid addiction.
Rami stated, “I am excited to be joining the Universal Ibogaine team at this strategic juncture to lead the company in advancing a potentially transformational clinical development program, targeting opioid use disorder and ultimately other addictions. I am equally thrilled to support UI’s ambition to acquire and operate addiction treatment centres, which will innovate and directly apply authorized tools and technologies to patient care.”
Shayne Nyquvest, Executive Chairman of Universal Ibogaine, added, “Rami’s past experience in biopharmaceutical research, particularly in CNS, is exactly the leadership UI needs to advance our planned clinical research program with Health Canada for the use of ibogaine in addiction treatment, which is an integral part of our overall strategy to address the global and devastating opioid addiction crisis.” Shayne expressed his thanks and gratitude to acting CEO Jeremy Weate for his valuable interim stewardship.
UI’s planned Canada clinical development program will draw upon the ibogaine-based addiction treatment protocol that was developed by Dr. Alberto Sola (a UI Board member) who, at his Clear Sky Recovery Clinic in Cancun, Mexico, has successfully undertaken more ibogaine based addiction patient treatments than any other physician globally.
Shabir Premji, CEO of P-Squared Renewables (PSQ), UI’s identified QualifyingTransaction CPC, has indicated shareholder support and enthusiasm for Dr Batal’s appointment. “We look forward to his leadership and team building capabilities, clinical development experience and capital markets recognition.”