Biotech Company Pasithea Therapeutics Teams Up With Evotec to Aid Mental Health Drug Discovery

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Pasithea Therapeutics KTTA, a Florida-based biotechnology company, has teamed with life sciences company Evotec SE EVTCY as its research partner to help discover new compounds aimed at treating depression and schizophrenia.

Drug Discovery program

Other Business Approaches

Pasithea, which trades on the Nasdaq under the symbol KTTA, wants to target the pathophysiology underlying psychiatric and neurological disorders, and the partnership with Hamburg, Germany-headquartered Evotec is an important first step in doing so, the company says. The move involves the creation of a so-called new chemical entity (“NCE”) development program with Evotec acting as the research partner.

“This is a significant step on our drug development path to ultimately develop new molecular entities to improve the lives of those suffering with brain disorders,” said Dr. Tiago Reis Marques, chief executive officer of Pasithea, and an academic psychiatrist at the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IOPPN) at King’s College London. 

Initially, Pasithea will work with Evotec to advance small molecule therapeutics with a focus on a specific neuroinflammatory pathway implicated in the neurobiology of depression and schizophrenia, the company said.

The road from drug discovery to actual approval and eventual use by patients can be a long one and Pasithea’s partnership with Evotec could help speed up such a process, says Professor Lawrence Steinman, chairman of Pasithea, and professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Pediatrics, and Genetics at Stanford University Medical School.

“This is an important initial step forward for our program, and we believe that Evotec’s high-quality science and scientific execution will expedite and increase the chances of progressing our drug candidate to the clinic,” he said. 

Evotec, which has operations at 14 different sites in 4 countries, aims to discover innovative therapeutics in currently underserved clinical areas such as oncology, neurology and infectious diseases. It has partnerships both with major pharmaceutical groups as well as biotechnology companies and currently has over 200 proprietary and co-owned R&D projects from early discovery to clinical development.

“Pasithea is pursuing an exciting approach to target the improvement of mental health,” said Christophe Muller, PhD, global head of business development at Evotec. “We are delighted to support Pasithea in addressing the very important area of mental health and look forward to working closely with the team to assist them in reaching their goal of tackling brain disorders.”

As well as its main focus on drug discovery, Pasithea has a secondary business approach through its offering of ketamine infusion services to help treat depression and other psychiatric conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

In the United States, Pasithea has entered into an exclusive agreement with IV Doc, one of the largest mobile medical infusions companies, to be able to deliver ketamine infusions in the comfort of a patient’s home. In the United Kingdom, the company has a similar agreement with Zen Healthcare in London.

The company, which is competing in the space with the likes of mental health-focused companies like Atai Sciences Corp. ATAI and Ketamine One Capital MEDI, closed its approximately $24 million public offering on September 17, 2021.

The preceding post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga. Although the piece is not and should not be construed as editorial content, the sponsored content team works to ensure that any and all information contained within is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and research. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

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