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Psyched: Compass Joins Nasdaq, Field Trip Goes Public, MindMed Begins Trials, ATAI Launches MDMA Subsidiary

September 4, 2020 8:51 am
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Compass Pathways Files for an IPO at NASDAQ

UK-based Compass Pathways wants to become the first psychedelics company to list on a major U.S. stock exchange.

The psilocybin research company intends to make its initial public offering (IPO) through NASDAQ under the ticker symbol CMPS.

With the filing, Compass expects to raise about $100 million that will be used to fund clinical trials for psilocybin-assisted therapy for treatment-resistant depression. The company is currently at phase 2 for a proprietary formulation of psilocybin called COMP360.

ATAI Life Sciences is Compass’ largest shareholder. Another early backer is PayPal co-founder and Facebook investor Peter Thiel, who owns a 7.54% share in the company.

MindMed to Begin Clinical Trials Combining LSD and MDMA

On Aug. 25, Mind Medicine Inc. (NEO: MMED)(OTCQB:MMEDF) announced the launch of a phase 1 clinical trial that will combine LSD and MDMA.

The trial will be executed in Switzerland, in accordance with the company’s research deal with University Hospital Basel's Liechti Lab, and is scheduled to begin before the end of this year. The goal of the study is to assess whether MDMA can help reduce some of the unpleasant symptoms triggered by psychedelics like LSD and Psilocybin during psychedelics-assisted therapy, which can include negative thoughts, rumination, panic and paranoia.

Field Trip Launches New App, Announces RTO and $11M Series B Round

Mental wellness company Field Trip Psychedelics Inc. announced plans to go public in Canada via a reverse merger with Newton Energy Corporation (TSXV:NTN), a Canadian mining exploration company.

The transaction, by which Newton will purchase Field Trip and change its name to Field Trip Health Ltd., is expected to occur by Sep. 29.

The company, which has psychedelic treatment clinics in Toronto and New York, also announced closing the first tranche of a Series B financing round of CA$11 million ($8.38 million). Canaccord Genuity Corp. and Stifel Nicolaus Canada Inc. led the effort.

Proceeds from the Series B round will support the rollout of mental health centers across North America.

The company is also hoping to advance work with its next generation psychedelic molecule, FT-104, and its research and development on psilocybin producing mushrooms in partnership with the University of West Indies.

Field Trip's new mobile app, Trip, is meant to accompany users in self-exploration and consciousness expansion practices, including intention setting, mood tracking, guided journaling, integration and personalized music. The app "assists self-guided consciousness explorers to expand their minds, break from everyday thinking and develop a deeper connection to their emotions and psyche,” the company claims.

Cannabis PR Entrepreneur Launches Psychedelics Firm

Olivia Mannix spent the last seven years working on marketing and branding for the cannabis industry. The entrepreneur has now launched a marketing and PR practice focused on the legal psychedelics industry.

Named Psilocybrand, the firm offers specialized marketing and communications advisory, branding and business consultation services, scaling services, strategy and media relations.

“It is time for people to start speaking their truth, and the truth is, plant medicines are the ultimate healers and will heal the world, but we need to start talking about this to the mainstream," Mannix told Benzinga.

Having started a cannabis branding agency in 2013, Mannix felt psychedelics were the next logical step.

“The collective consciousness is going through a great awakening, and our time is now to open up this sacred plant to people who have been kept from it because of negative stigmas created by politics and big pharma wanting to keep this hidden,” she added.

ATAI Launches Subsidiary to Develop MDMA Derivatives

Psychedelics and biotech company ATAI Life Sciences recently announced the launch of a new subsidiary that will focus on the development of MDMA derivatives for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and other indications.

EmpathBio will be a wholly owned subsidiary of ATAI under the helm of CEO Glenn Short. Its goal is to improve MDMA in its practicality, accessibility and scalability.

EmpathBio’s program is expected to be conducted on an outpatient basis and not require multiple back-to-back days of therapy. Additionally, the company expects to be able to develop formulations that allow for virtual sessions of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy through a DTx platform.

“Our rationale for [EmpathBio] is only to scale, expand access to underserved populations, and improve the overall safety profile of MDMA-like therapy,” said Srinivas Rao, MD, PhD, chief scientific officer of ATAI to Benzinga.

Former Actavis Executive Joins Cybin As CEO

Psychedelics company Cybin Corp. named pharma industry veteran Doug Drysdale CEO.

Drysdale started his career in pharma in the early 1990s. He went on to become the head of mergers and acquisitions at Actavis in 2004, where he served for four years, leading 15 corporate acquisitions across three continents and assisting in the raise of approximately $3 billion of capital.

After that, Drysdale worked as CEO of Pernix Therapeutics. Under his wing, Pernix grew its valuation from around $80 million to roughly $800 million, raising over $465 million of capital.

“I am happy to be able to bring my pharmaceutical experience to Cybin and help the team develop psychedelic molecules into meaningful treatments for patients,” said Mr. Drysdale to Benzinga.

The exec said that Cybin’s primary focus is to optimize the patients’ treatment experience. The company’s product development is based on improving how psychedelics work in the body, potentially reducing hallucinogenic effects and providing digital tools to support the patients’ treatment journey.

“My experience building R&D teams and bringing FDA approved products to market will help Cybin transform these psychedelic molecules into approved medications for patients with mental illness,” added Drysdale.

Delic Corp. to Go Public Via RTO

Multimedia company Delic Corp. announced plans to go public by way of a reverse take-over with Molystar Resources Inc., a Canadian mining company.

"Delic's medium-term plan is to use the liquidity provided by this listing to expand our current businesses and work with best in class entrepreneurs to grow and scale their business — all in the name of mainstream psychedelic wellness," Delic CEO Jackee Stang said.

Stang served as Vice President ‎of Content and ‎Programming for High Times from 2015 to 2018.

The intention for the transaction between Delic and Molystar was made explicit in a non-binding letter of intent. In connection to the transaction Delic announced the closing of a private placement raise of CA$3.47 million ($2.64 million).


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