Meet The Top 12 CEOs In The Psychedelics Industry

By Natan Ponieman and Javier Hasse

The psychedelic medicine industry is growing by leaps and bounds. Leading this charge is a group of ambitious and visionary corporate leaders, working to create new methods for the treatment of mental health and other serious conditions. 

Running an early-stage biotechnology company while navigating the terrain of regulatory approvals is a tough business. Here’s a list of the psychedelic medicine industry’s top CEOs. 

Rob Barrow: MindMed 

Mind Medicine Inc. MNMD, also known as MindMed, is an industry leader. One of the first psychedelic medicine companies to go public, MindMed has a diverse development pipeline, impressive team and a loyal base of passionate investors. From LSD, to MDMA, to DMT, MindMed is working to treat everything from opioid addiction to headaches to ADHD. 

Rob Barrow is MindMed’s new CEO. A pharmaceutical executive and pharmacologist, Barrow has a wealth of experience leading drug development teams and navigating the pharmaceutical approval landscape. Barrow previously served as Director at the Usona Institute, where he managed the clinical and regulatory efforts focused on psychedelics. Taking over from founder and former CEO JR Rahn, Barrow seems a good fit to lead MindMed into its next stage of development.

Florian Brand: Atai Life Sciences 

Atai ATAI is currently the psychedelic medicine industry’s largest company (by market value). Debuting on the Nasdaq exchange earlier this year, the company owns and/or operates over 10 different companies developing a range of psychedelic and non-psychedelic medicines. Atai is the most well-funded company in the industry and is backed by s big-name investors like PayPal PYPL co-founder Peter Thiel.

See also: Study Points Towards Possible Cognitive Benefits Of LSD Microdosing

Florian Brand, co-founder and CEO of Atai Life Sciences, is a successful entrepreneur who is passionate about finding ways to solve mental health disorders. Co-founder and chairman Christian Angermayer is also a major part of the executive leadership team.

Doug Drysdale: Cybin 

Cybin CYBN is a Toronto-based psychedelic medicine firm. Having gone public on the NEO exchange in November 2020, the firm has been steadily growing its market cap and development pipeline. The company recently became the industry’s first to list on the NYSE American exchange.

CEO Doug Drysdale is an experienced director, having been CEO and chairman of the board of NASDAQ-listed companies and other pharmaceutical firms. Drysdale has spent nearly 30 years in the healthcare sector, helping turn around a variety of companies and take them to the next level. 

Joseph del Moral: Field Trip Health

Field Trip Health FTRP is the current industry leader of in-person treatment clinics. With locations across North America and Europe and with plans to open seventy-five clinics by the end of 2024, Field Trip has a first-mover advantage in the all-important area of actually delivering therapies to people in need. The company is also actively pursuing novel, proprietary drug development. 

Joseph del Moral, CEO and co-founder of Field Trip, has a successful background in founding and running cannabis companies and clinics (and then being acquired by and joining the team of industry-leader Aurora Cannabis in 2016) del Moral and his partners moved on to found Field Trip where they bring their vast experience to the psychedelic space. Del Moral's latest accomplishment was bringing Field Trip onto the prestigious NASDAQ exchange in late-July of this year. 

George Goldsmith: Compass Pathways

Compass Pathways CMPS was the first psychedelic medicine company to list on the NASDAQ exchange and is one of the industry’s current market-cap leaders. Compass received FDA Breakthrough Therapy designation in 2018 for its program of psilocybin therapy. Its clinical trial for depression is the most advanced in the industry.

George Goldsmith is Compass’ chairman, CEO and co-founder. His background is a mix of cognitive psychology, clinical psychology and computer science. He founded a number of successful companies and was a senior advisor to McKinsey & Company’s leadership team. Goldsmith partnered with Ekaterina Malievskaia (chief innovation officer) and Lars Christian Wilde (chief business officer) to form Compass Pathways. 

Payton Nyquvest: Numinus

Numinus NUMI was part of the first wave of psychedelic companies to go public. With a varied approach covering many sectors, Numinus has successfully established itself as a major player in the psychedelics space. The company operates a large state-of-the-art research and production facility in British Columbia, owns and operates in-person treatment clinics and is currently running several clinical and preclinical trials. 

See also: The DEA Seeks To Increase Federal Production Limits For Psilocybin And Marijuana Research

Payton Nyquvest is CEO, chair and co-founder of Numinus. Having worked with many major investment firms, he brings years of experience from the finance, investment and banking worlds. At Numinus, Payton leads a dynamic team looking to establish itself as a player across all sectors of the industry. Mr. Nyquvest is a leading voice for both Numinus and the psychedelic medicine industry. 

Dr. Joseph Tucker: MagicMed

MagicMed Industries is a biotechnology company manufacturing the next generation of psychedelic medicines, focused on the discovery and development of novel drug candidates. MagicMed’s “Psybrary” is their proprietary library of psychedelic derivatives. In addition, the company has already filed 13 patents for derivatives of psilocybin and DMT, with several other patent applications filed for mescaline, MDMA and LSD in process.

The company is in process of being acquired by NASDAQ-listed biotech firm Enveric Biosciences ENVB, making MagicMed a new member of the exclusive club of psychedelic companies on the NASDAQ.

As part of the deal, MagicMed CEO Dr. Joseph Tucker will become CEO of the new and improved Enveric. Tucker has two decades of experience as a biotechnology entrepreneur, co-founding several companies and raising tens of millions in capital. An expert in biotech and pharmaceuticals, Tucker holds 7 issued patents and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. This experience will help lead the new MagicMed and Enveric partnership into its next stage of development. 

Dr. Roger McIntyre: Braxia Health

Braxia Scientific BRAX SHRMF, is a research-driven medical solutions company looking to treat brain-based mental disorders with psychedelic medicines and other treatments. Previously known as Champignon Brands, Braxia is primarily focused on owning and operating multidisciplinary mental health clinics as well as researching, discovering and commercializing novel drugs and delivery methods.

Braxia CEO Dr. Roger McIntyre has an extensive background in academia. He is a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Toronto and heads the Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit at the University Health Network, among other charges.

Prior to joining Braxia, McIntyre implemented and developed the Canadian Rapid Treatment Centre of Excellence, a treatment center for persons with mood disorders, which is now a Braxia subsidiary.

Kelsey Ramsden: MindCure

MindCure MCUR MCURF is a life sciences company developing digital therapeutics technology and researching psychedelic compounds to support access to safe, evidence-based psychedelic-assisted therapies. The company is deploying iSTRYM, a software application developed to optimize the healing journey for both patients and clinicians, before, during and after therapy sessions. MindCure is also manufacturing pharmaceutical-grade ibogaine for use in research.

See also: What Do You Really Know About Psychedelics And Psychedelics Stocks?

CEO and president Kelsey Ramsden had already considered herself a successful entrepreneur before entering the biotech space. In the mid-2000s she founded Belvedere Place Development, a construction firm focused on public infrastructure building projects. In 2012 and 2013, Ramsden was named one of Canada’s top female entrepreneurs by Profit Magazine. She also sits on the Richard Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship as a mentor. Today, she says what excites her the most are “big ideas that deliver results with inspiration and the kind of tenacity that drives real change.”

Yaron Conforti: Novamind

Novamind Inc. NM NVMDF is a Toronto-based mental health company working on enabling safe access to psychedelic medicine through a network of clinics, retreats, and clinical research sites. The company provides ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and other novel treatments through its network of Cedar Psychiatry clinics located in Utah. Novamind also operates Cedar Clinical Research, a contract research organization specializing in clinical trials and evidence-based research for psychedelic medicine.

CEO Yaron Conforti is also the principal of EmmCap Corp., an investor in venture-stage companies. EmmCap actively participates in its early-stage investments via board and management roles. Conforti has over 20 years of venture capital investing and operating experience, which includes being the founder and CEO of various companies across different industries. He also served in senior investment banking roles at Desjardins Securities and Sandfire Securities where he focused on micro/small-cap equities.

Daniel Carcillo: Wesana Health

Wesana Health Holdings Inc. WESA is a company focused on finding novel solutions for treating traumatic brain injury (TBI) through psychedelics and naturally sourced therapies. The company is following the development of innovative approaches for better understanding, protecting and improving neurological health and performance, through extensive clinical research and academic partnerships.

Wesana was founded by its CEO, former NHL left-winger Daniel Carcillo, who was inspired to launch the company after experiencing significant improvement of his own TBI-derived health disorders by using psilocybin therapy and other alternative mental health practices. Throughout a successful Hockey career where he won two Stanley Cups, Carcillo developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease related to repeated blows to the head that affects athletes, military personnel and victims of household violence, among others. Wesana was founded on a quest to develop scientific protocols that can take Carcillo’s own success story to other TBI survivors.

Raj Mehra: Seelos Therapeutics

Seelos Therapeutics, Inc. SEEL is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and advancing novel therapeutics to address unmet medical needs for patients with central nervous system disorders and other rare diseases. The company's portfolio includes several late-stage assets targeting indications that include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson's disease. Seelos’ lead program, SLS-002, is an intranasal ketamine device focused on the rapid treatment of acute suicide ideation behavior in major depression.

Dr. Raj Mehra is chairman, president, CEO and chief financial officer at Seelos. He boasts an impressive background in finance and healthcare investing. Before founding the company, Mehra spent nine years at Auriga USA, as a managing director, focusing on private and public equity investments in global health care companies. Before that, Mehra served as sector head for health care equity investments at Bennett Lawrence Management. He also founded and managed an equity hedge fund at Weiss, Peck & Greer.

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Photo: National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

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