The Aristocrat Group Corp. (ASCC)
The Aristocrat Group is a brand management company focused on providing premiere luxury goods through continual innovation. Luxuria Brands, a subsidiary of The Aristocrat Group, has been established to identify and promote unique brands that have mass market appeal across a diverse demographic.
Luxuria Brands is primarily concentrated on distilled spirits industries, with an initial focus on Vodka branding and marketing. The worldwide distilled spirits market is currently worth about $263 billion. In the U.S. alone, Vodka sales between 2004 and 2009 grew 25% from 13.9 million cases to 58.4 million cases. The clear liquor now accounts for almost a third of all distilled spirits consumed and continues to rise in popularity.
The Aristocrat Group is also pursuing opportunities in the women’s lifestyle industry. The World Bank recently estimated that the earning power of women will reach $18 trillion by 2014, which is twice the estimated 2014 GDP of China and India combined. The Aristocrat Group is working to bring fresh, innovative prenatal and postpartum solutions to women who are looking for a more comprehensive approach to wellness.
The Aristocrat Group is leveraging the marketing strengths of its team of experts to grow boutique products into powerful, recognizable brands. The company aims to take a leadership position in multiple growing markets that offer opportunities for partnership, sponsorship, and brand awareness activities.
Rafarma Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (RAFA)
Rafarma Pharmaceuticals is a multiproduct pharmaceutical company specializing in the production of generic antibiotics and specialty pharmaceuticals, including its own proprietary products approved by the ministry of health. Rafarma stands as one of the most ambitious projects in recent medical history, having constructed the most technologically advanced pharmaceutical plant in Russia.
Based in Terbuny, Lipetsk region, Russia, Rafarma possesses a unique niche in the burgeoning pharmaceutical market and is poised to become a major player in the international drug industry. The company was established under the auspices of the Foundation to Support Health Care and has been approved by the Ministry of Health.
The company has engaged QualityStocks to execute its investor relations programs and social media strategies. Last month the IR firm traveled over 6,000 miles to visit the company's 270,000 square-foot plant and take on-site video footage. A series of high-definition videos that fully encapsulate Rafarma's state-of-the art manufacturing facility will be released at http://www.Video.QualityStocks.net.
Rafarma recently received the general license for pharmaceutical products and began manufacturing three new products: Sodium Para-Aminosalicilate, Ibuprofen, and Betagistin. Receiving the general license was one of the final steps the company needed to open its new plant in Terbuniv, and Rafarma has been named one of only four national strategic pharmaceutical suppliers to the Russian Federation.
Advances in health care science, medicine, and technology have increased the general life expectancy of Eastern European citizens steadily over the past decade. Elderly citizens, which comprise the largest portion of the pharmaceuticals market, have bolstered demand for pharmaceuticals nationwide. Rafarma is well positioned to capitalize on the expanding industry with its strong relationships and state-of-the-art production facility.
VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. (VSTA)
VistaGen Therapeutics is a biotechnology company applying stem cell technology for drug rescue and cell therapy. Drug rescue combines human stem cell technology with modern medicinal chemistry to generate new chemical variants ("drug rescue variants") of once-promising drug candidates that have been discontinued during late-stage preclinical development due to heart or liver safety concerns. VistaGen also focuses on cell therapy, or regenerative medicine, which includes repairing, replacing or restoring damaged tissues or organs.
VistaGen's versatile stem cell technology platform, Human Clinical Trials in a Test Tube™, has been developed to provide clinically relevant predictions of potential heart and liver toxicity of promising new drug candidates long before they are ever tested on humans.
By more closely approximating human biology than conventional animal studies and other nonclinical techniques and technologies currently used in drug development, VistaGen's human stem cell-based bioassay systems can improve the predictability of the drug development cycle and lower the cost of new drug research and development by identifying product failures earlier in the cost curve. According to the Food and Drug Administration even only a ten percent improvement in predicting failure before clinical trials could save $100 million in development costs, which savings ultimately could be passed on to patients.
Using mature human heart cells produced from stem cells, VistaGen has developed and internally validated CardioSafe 3D™, a novel three-dimensional (3D) bioassay system for predicting the in vivo cardiac effects of new drug candidates before they are tested in humans. VistaGen is now focused on using CardioSafe 3D™ to generate up to two new, safer small molecule drug rescue variants every twelve to eighteen months. VistaGen anticipates that these drug rescue variants will be modified versions of once-promising new drug candidates that have been discontinued by pharmaceutical companies and academic research institutions because of heart toxicity concerns, despite substantial prior investment and positive efficacy data demonstrating their potential therapeutic and commercial benefits. In most cases, VistaGen plans to license or sell its new, safer drug rescue variants in strategic partnering arrangements with global pharmaceutical companies, arrangements providing VistaGen with both near term and downstream milestone payments and economic participation rights but without future development cost obligations.
AV-101, VistaGen's lead small molecule prodrug candidate, has successfully completed Phase I clinical development in the U.S. for treatment of neuropathic pain, a serious and chronic condition affecting millions of people worldwide, depression, and other neurological diseases and conditions. To date, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded VistaGen over $8.75 million for development of AV-101. Management anticipates strategically out-licensing AV-101 to a development and marketing partner in 2013.
VistaGen is also developing LiverSafe 3D™, a novel predictive liver toxicity and drug metabolism bioassay system for drug rescue applications. In parallel with drug rescue activities, the Company is funding early-stage nonclinical studies focused on potential cell therapy applications of its Human Clinical Trials in a Test Tube™ platform.