Aphios Pharma's original offering opened on September 7, 2018 and was completed on January 31, 2019. Except for the Updates section which may contain more recent information, the information on this page was accurate as of January 31, 2019.

Aphios Pharma


Dr. Staci A. Gruber
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA
“I am enthusiastic about Aphios Pharma’s plans to manufacture and deliver cannabinoids for clinical research studies which follow cGMP. Aphios has a proven track record …. and this latest endeavor represents an important milestone for patients exploring cannabinoid-based therapies… Aphios is clearly invested in facilitating research and clinical endeavors which are likely to advance the science of cannabinoid-based medicines, and with the launch of this program, Aphios stands uniquely poised to make highly significant contributions to science and medicine.”
Dr. Jerry W. King
Retired University Professor and Supercritical Fluid technology expert and author, Fayetteville, AR
“Aphios under the leadership of Dr. Trevor P. Castor has pioneered the application of supercritical fluid technologies: to drug delivery systems, the extraction of bioactive natural and marine products, nanoparticulate synthesis, and more recently in the field of cannabis science & technology… Under Dr. Castor’s leadership, Aphios has a successful record of developing extraction and formulation technologies as applied to drugs such as Taxol, THC, several bioactive marine products which will now be focused in this new company on cannabidiol on a nanoscale to achieve solubilization and facilitate sustained release of CBD”


Aphios Pharma LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aphios Corporation, is dedicated to the discovery, delivery, development and commercialization of drugs to treat Central Nervous System (CNS) and other disorders with a focus on Opioid Addiction.

Aphios Pharma operates in a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) licensed Schedule 1 facility with the goal of producing Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved prescription drugs using cannabinoids as the active ingredient. We intend to utilizethe funds raised in this offering to move us toward clinical trials.

Aphios Pharma utilizes supercritical fluid technologies to improve drug discovery, manufacturing and formulation in a sustainable, environmentally-friendly manner.


  • Natural Alternative to Synthetic Prescription Drugs: Currently, CNS disorders such as pain and opioid addiction are only treated with synthetic drugs, such as opioids, that have significant adverse side-effects.
  • Improve Cannabinoid Formulation: Until now, cannabinoids have been hard to work with because they are hydrophobic with poor bioavailability which results in over 90 percent loss in excretions from the body.
  • Enhance Therapeutic performance: Cannabinoids are oxygen sensitive and unstable which causes reduction in bioactivity and therapeutic efficacy.
  • Develop better quality technology platform and process: Current DEA, NIH and FDA regulatory environments are burdensome for the development of cannabis-based drugs


  • Manufacture pharmaceutical-grade pure natural cannabinoids following cGMP guidelines of the FDA in compliance with the DEA
  • Nanoencapsulate pure natural cannabinoids in biodegradable polymer nanospheres to improve stability and bioavailability
  • Conduct clinical trials on nanoCBD for target indication
  • Utilize FDA 505(b)(2) FDA regulatory pathway to accelerate development based on the recent FDA drug approval of CBD


Opioid addiction has grown to epidemic proportions. Current statistics indicate that heroin overdoses have more than tripled in four years. The CDC reports that the rate of deaths from drug overdoses in the US has increased 137%, with a 200% increase in the rate of deaths involving opioid pain relievers and heroin over the period 2000-2014. It is estimated that between 26.4 million and 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide (UNODC, 2012) with an estimated 2.1 million people in the US suffering from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012 and an estimated 467,000 addicted to heroin (SAMHSA, 2013). By 2020, spending on prescription opioid addiction drugs is estimated to be $1.8 billion.

Unlike buprenorphine and methadone, CBD is not an opioid and does not exhibit any psychotropic effects. CBD acts as an activator of 5-HT1A serotonin receptors, is an anxiolytic and accelerates the agonist effects of naloxone. CBD has been shown to alleviate cue-induced opioid addiction behaviors and allosterically modulate the μ and δ-opioid receptors. All currently FDA approved opioid addiction drugs in the US, such as methadone, are classified as opioids. We plan to displace these opioids with the non-psychotropic CBD to improve efficacy and reduce recidivism.

A significant amount of opioid addiction is driven by poor pain management which impacts 100 million Americans. Fortunately, CBD also has a significant impact on pain with a global market of approximately $60.2 billion in 2015 expanding at a 3.7% CAGR to US$83.0 B by 2024 (Transparency Market Research, 2016).

Competitive Landscape

  • Primary Competition: GW Pharma of England which is developing a mixture of CBD and THC for multiple sclerosis, and is clinically investigating a purified CBD product for childhood epilepsy. We differ from GW Pharma by using nanotechnology to improve the delivery and efficacy of cannabinoids and facilitate compliance through oral and topical administration.
  • Secondary Competition: Includes pharmaceutical companies with synthetic cannabis drugs such as AbbVie, Par Pharmaceuticals and Insys. We differ from these companies in that we are producing natural cannabinoids and delivering them to patients using nanotechnology.
  • Tertiary Competition: Pharmaceutical companies that have non-cannabis-based drugs against similar disease targets such as Biogen, Sanofi, Pfizer and Merck. We are providing natural alternatives with reduced side-effects and toxicities.

Business Model

  • Out-license select products to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies
  • Alternatively, launch product after FDA approval with a direct sales force


We plan to develop, in compliance with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), FDA-approved cannabinoid therapeutics targeted CNS disorders through:

  1. Investigational new drug (IND) application with FDA
  2. Conduct Phase 2 clinical trial on humans
  3. License Phase 2 drug to biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies
  4. Alternatively, conduct Phase 3 trials and file New Drug Application (NDA) with the FDA
  5. Product launch and customer acquisition with direct sales force

We plan to accelerate this process by through the FDA’s 505(b)(2) regulatory approval pathway based on the recent FDA drug approval of CBD.


Relevant successes of Aphios Pharma’s have been the following grants and patents awards

  • $1.71 Million Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Grant 5R44DA038932-03 from National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH) for “Development of cGMP Manufacturing Process for CBD.”
  • $225,000 Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Grant 1R43AT008304-01 from National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), National Institutes of Health (NIH) for “Development of Automated SuperFluids Fractionation Equipment.”
  • $109,000 Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Grant 1R43DA024552-01 from National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH) for “D9-THC for Marijuana Addiction.”
  • $235,000 Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Grant 1R43CA092855-01A1 from National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH) for “Development of a Natural Cannabinoid Product.”
  • US Patent No. 8,703,727 for “Nanotechnology Formulation of Poorly Soluble Compounds.”
  • US Patent No. 8,637,074 B2 “Methods for Co-Encapsulation of Combination Drugs & Co-Encapsulated Combination Drug Product.”
  • US Patent No. 8,629,177 B2 for “Nanoencapsulated Δ-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol.”

Press mentions:


Our current KPIs are manufacturing and nanoformulation of CBD.

  • These activities are being performed following current Good Manufacturing Practices in a DEA Schedule 1 environment, which is renewed annually
  • Completed the process development for both the manufacturing and nanoformulation
  • Granted a specific patent for the nanoencapsulation of THCA in polymer nanospheres in 2014
  • Currently scaling up the CBD manufacturing process to the 40 kilogram cannabis feed to produce approximately 2 Kg 98.5% CBD per run following cGMP guidelines


We are a unique and experienced management team with a diversity of backgrounds and experiences from well-honed entrepreneurial skills to teaching entrepreneurship at MIT, natural products drug discovery to manufacturing and directorships at the top echelon of the National Cancer Institute, regulatory and medical as well as financial and accounting for multinationals such as Pfizer to startups.

Dr. Trevor P. Castor
Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer

He has over 30 years of diversified business experience from management, marketing and finance to technology and business development in the energy, environmental and biopharmaceutical industries. Dr. Castor graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. He graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Toronto, Canada. He studied Business Administration at St. Mary’s College, Brooklyn, NY, and Management, Marketing and Finance at Harvard University Extension. He is the primary author of 48 issued US and international patents, 11 pending patents and several registered trademarks. Dr. Castor has collaborated with and consulted to several companies/institutions including Baxter, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, General Electric, Novartis, Pfizer, NIH and the United Nations.

Mr. James J. Falese
Chief Financial Officer and Controller

Mr. James J. Falese has over 30 years of experience in all areas of accounting, cost and financial analysis, strategic planning, budgeting, inventory, financial controls and reporting with a strong expertise in manufacturing cost accounting, implementation of accounting systems, and information technology and human resources management. Prior to joining Aphios, he worked as Controller of Serica Technologies, Inc., Medford, MA (acquired by Allergan), Plant Controller at Wyeth Biopharma, Andover, MA (acquired by Pfizer) and Controller of Endogen, Inc., Woburn, MA (acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific). He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Merrimack College, North Andover, MA. Jim has been the Controller of Aphios Corporation since 2011, and Chief Financial Officer and Controller of Aphios Pharma since July, 2018.

Dr. Judith Palmer-Castor
Director of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs

Dr. Judith Palmer-Castor is a behavioral health scientist with over 20 years of research, clinical and regulatory experiences in industry and academia. Dr. Palmer-Castor was a Project Director on a NIH-funded Adolescent HIV/AIDS Clinical Trial Network Project at Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA, a consulting scientist for Mass General Hospital- Division of Global Health and Human Rights, Boston, MA, as well as holding similar behavioral health and research and clinical positions at Northeastern University, Boston, MA, SAMSHA, CDC and other non-profit health and human service agencies. Dr. Palmer-Castor graduated with a Ph.D. in Policy with an emphasis on Behavioral Health and Adolescent Development from Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, and M.S. and B.S. degrees in Psychology from Santa Clara University, CA. She has been the Director, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs of Aphios Corporation since 2007, and of Aphios Pharma since July, 2018.

Advisors and Investors

Mr. Joseph F. Faris
CPA, Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Joseph F. Faris has served as a transitional hands-on CFO/Controller to several different industries on a time-sharing/consulting basis over the last 30 years. Some of his clients include Hemagen Diagnostics, Inc., Medical Research, Inc., T Cell Sciences, Inc., Innovative Polymers, Inc. and Neurogen, Inc. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, cum laude, from Northeastern University, Boston, MA. He has served as the Chief Financial Officer of Aphios Corporation since 1997, and of Aphios Pharma since July, 2018.

Dr. Jonathan Steven Alexander, Ph.D.
Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA

Dr. Jonathan Steven Alexander received his B.S. in Biology from Boston University, Boston, MA and his Ph.D. in Vascular Biology in the area of on mechanisms of endothelial barrier and inflammation also from Boston University. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Pulmonary Medicine/Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN,before joining the faculty at LSUHSC-S in 1994. As an endothelial biologist working on mechanisms of central nervous system injury in stroke, Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease at LSUHSC-Shreveport, Dr. Alexander has developed assays, models and methods for evaluating neuron, astrocyte and endothelial mechanisms in different forms of neurovascular inflammation. He is an executive member of the International Society for Neurovascular Disease (ISNVD). Dr. Alexander is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and the author of several patents, one of which is licensed to Aphios Corporation and others which were co-invented with scientists and engineers at Aphios Corporation. Dr. Alexander, Ph.D. is currently employed at LSU Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA, and has been a Scientific Advisor to Aphios Corporation since 2012 and to Aphios Pharma since July, 2018.

Mr. Anthony Janiuk, J.D., R. Ph.
Retired intellectual and corporate attorney

Previously, Mr. Anthony Janiuk was Of Counsel at Lathrop & Gage, LLP, Boston, MA and Partner at Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer, Boston, MA. Prior to that, he was Corporate Attorney for Waters Corporation, Milford, MA, where he was entrusted to establish a law office for this public company and in which he was involved in the maintenance of corporate records, contracts, litigation, planning, intellectual property issues and acquisitions. Atty. Janiuk served as Of Counsel for Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, P.C., Boston, MA, Chief Legal Counsel of Gene-Trak Systems Corporation, Framingham, MA, Patent Attorney for Amoco Corporation, Chicago, IL and Patent Attorney for Emrich and Dithmar, Chicago, IL. Atty.. Janiuk received his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, and his Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, IL. Now retired, Mr. Janiuk's employment over the last three years has been with Wellesley IP and Lathrop & Gage, LLP. He has been a Director of Aphios Corporation since 2002 and of Aphios Pharma since July, 2018.

Dr. Val R. Livada, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO of Weybridge Partners, Winchester, MA

Dr. Val R. Livada which is focused on successful technology commercialization. Dr. Livada was also a Senior Lecturer (retired) on Corporate entrepreneurship at the Sloan School of Management, MIT, Cambridge, MA. There he has led a joint research project, with the Wharton Business School, on Corporate Venture Capital, is a Catalyst at the Deshpande Center, and a consultant at the Cambridge University/MIT Institute. Prior to establishing Weybridge Partners, Dr. Livada was a Director at Braxton Associates, an international strategy planning consulting firm, and a Vice-President at Pugh-Roberts Associates, a technology management firm. With over over 30 years of experience in the areas of strategic planning and organizational dynamics with detailed knowledge in the areas of innovation, product development and R&D management. Dr. Livada’s clients have included Fortune 500 companies such as GM and Eli Lilly. He received his undergraduate degree from MIT and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Tufts University, Boston, MA. Dr. Livada recently retired form MIT, has been employed at Weybridge Partners since 1996, and is a Director of Aphios Corporation since 2012 and of Aphios Pharma since July, 2018.

Dr. Arthur D. Lander, M.D., Ph.D.
The Donald Bren Professor of Developmental and Cell Biology, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, at the University of California, Irvine

Dr. Arthur D. Lander is the Donald Bren Professor of Developmental and Cell Biology, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, at the University of California, Irvine. He is also the Director of the Center for Complex Biological Systems, an NIGMS National Center for Systems Biology. Dr. Lander is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received his B.S., summa cum laude, in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale College, New Haven, CT, and Ph.D. in Neuroscience and M.D. degrees from University of California, San Francisco. He is the author of over a hundred peer-reviewed publications, and four patents, including two that were co-invented with scientists and engineers at Aphios. Dr. Lander is currently employed at the University of California, Irvine, and has been a Scientific Advisor of Aphios Corporation since 1993 and of Aphios Pharma since July, 2018.

Dr. Gordon M. Cragg, Ph.D.
NIH Special Volunteer

Dr. Gordon M. Cragg, Ph.D. obtained his undergraduate training in chemistry at Rhodes University, South Africa, and his D. Phil. (organic chemistry) from Oxford University in 1963. After two years of postdoctoral research at the University of California, Los Angeles, he returned to S. Africa to join the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. In 1966, he joined Chemistry Department at the University of South Africa, and transferred to the University of Cape Town in 1972. In 1979, he returned to the US to join the Cancer Research Institute at Arizona State University working with Professor G. R. Pettit. In 1985, he moved to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, and was appointed Chief of the NCI Natural Products Branch in 1989. Dr. Cragg has established collaborations between the NCI and organizations in many countries promoting drug discovery from their natural resources. He has published over 150 chapters and papers related to these interests. He retired from the NCI in December, 2004, and is currently serving as an NIH Special Volunteer. Dr. Cragg has been a Scientific Advisor to Aphios Corporation since 2013 and to Aphios Pharma since July, 2018.

Dr. Glenn T. Hong, Sc.D.
Founder and Vice President, CounterCurrent Systems, Inc., Westborough, MA

Dr. Glenn T. Hong, Sc.D. is Founder and Vice President, CounterCurrent Systems, Inc., Westborough, MA, a company that provides consulting services in the areas of chemical engineering, supercritical fluids, and biotechnology. He received his B.Sc. in Biology from the State University of New York at Albany, NY and his Sc.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA. Dr. Hong is a Senior Technology Consultant, General Atomics, San Diego, CA where he contributes to all aspects of the development of supercritical water technology, especially including supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) and supercritical water gasification (SCWG). He has utilized computational fluid dynamics (CFD) as an aid in designing the scaled-up plant. Previously, he was Vice President, Engineering, Aphios Corporation, Woburn, MA where he directed research and engineering in environmental and biotechnological applications of supercritical fluids. Prior to being employed by Aphios, Dr. Hong served as a consultant to Aphios and its predecessor companies for approximately 10 years. Dr. Hong is the author/co-author of numerous publications in the field of supercritical fluids as well as 16 US patents, some of which are assigned to Aphios Corporation. Dr. Hong is currently employed at Counter Current Technologies LLC, and has been a Scientific Advisor to Aphios Corporation since 2002 and to Aphios Pharma since July, 2018.

Financial and Exit Strategy

  • Raise $1.07M to establish operations and support services required to roll Company out.
  • Raise $3.93M to take the developed cannabinoid nanoformulations through the IND development cycle
  • Raise an additional $20 million in 2019 to conduct Phase 2 clinical trial
  • If feasible, license APH-1501 to pharmaceutical or biotechnology company
  • If license deal is not feasible, raise $100M through an IPO within a 2-year period to conduct Phase 3 clinical trials and FDA approval and commercialize APH-1501 product
  • Investors can exit at product license, IPO or at a later stage

Use of Funds

Use of Proceeds

If the offering's maximum amount of $1,070,000 is raised:

UseValue% of Proceeds
General & Administrative$224,25021.0%
Business Development$69,5706.5%
Research & Development$463,30043.3%
Intermediary fees$52,4304.9%


This is an offering of Common Units, under registration exemption 4(a)(6), in Aphios Pharma LLC. This offering must raise at least $10,000 by January 31, 2019 at 3:00pm ET. If this offering doesn’t reach its target, then your money will be refunded. Aphios Pharma may issue additional securities to raise up to $1,070,000, the offering’s maximum.

If the offering is successful at raising the maximum amount, then the company’s implied valuation after the offering (sometimes called its post-money valuation) will be:

21,023,498 units
$1 per unit
$21,023,498implied valuation

Pitch Deck

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These financial statements have been reviewed by an independent Certified Public Accountant.

SEC Filings

The Offering Statement is a formal description of the company and this transaction. It’s filed with the SEC to comply with the requirements of exemption 4(a)(6) of the Securities Act of 1933.

We’re also required to share links to each of the SEC filings related to this offering with investors.

Understand the Risks

Be sure to understand the risks of this type of investment. No regulatory body (not the SEC, not any state regulator) has passed upon the merits of or given its approval to the securities, the terms of the offering, or the accuracy or completeness of any offering materials or information posted herein. That’s typical for Regulation CF offerings like this one.

Neither Netcapital nor any of its directors, officers, employees, representatives, affiliates, or agents shall have any liability whatsoever arising from any error or incompleteness of fact or opinion in, or lack of care in the preparation or publication of, the materials and communication herein or the terms or valuation of any securities offering.

The information contained herein includes forward-looking statements. These statements relate to future events or to future financial performance, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, which are, in some cases, beyond the company’s control and which could, and likely will, materially affect actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements. Any forward-looking statement reflects the current views with respect to future events and is subject to these and other risks, uncertainties, and assumptions relating to operations, results of operations, growth strategy, and liquidity. No obligation exists to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.

More Info


  • Jan 31, 2019
    Primary offering finalized, selling 46,502 units
    Sold 46,502 units at $1 for a total of $46,502
  • Sep 7, 2018
    Primary offering of 1,070,000 units at $1
  • Sep 7, 2018

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