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Psyched: Canada Allows Psilocybin Use For Healthcare Pros, UK Begins DMT Trials, Cybin To Purchase Adelia

December 14, 2020 10:09 am
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Psyched: Canada Allows Psilocybin Use For Healthcare Pros, UK Begins DMT Trials, Cybin To Purchase Adelia

Canada Allows Professionals In Training To Use Psilocybin

The Canadian Health Minister Patty Hajdu has allowed 17 healthcare professionals to possess and use psilocybin to conduct professional training in psilocybin-assisted therapy.

The decision, announced Tuesday, marks the latest step in Canada’s path towards the legalization of psilocybin.

Since August 2020, Canada’s Health Minister has granted 14 exemptions to access psilocybin therapy, mainly for patients dealing with end-of-life distress.

“Health Canada now rightfully acknowledges that clinician experience with psychedelic medicines is an important part of their training. Therapists having psychedelic experience are able to more deeply empathize with patients and understand their experience,” said Bruce Tobin, founder and Board Chair of TheraPsil, a nonprofit working for patient access to psilocybin in Canada.

The UK To Begin First-Ever Clinical Trials On DMT For Depression

The Imperial College of London, in partnership with neuropharmaceutical research company Small Pharma, have been granted approval from UK authorities to begin clinical trials on the hallucinogenic drug DMT for the treatment of depression.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) gave the green light to begin the trials, which are expected to start in January 2021, The Guardian reported.

The trials will mark the first time that DMT is studied in the treatment of clinical depression. The institutions stated that the essays will be based on recent clinical research on psilocybin.

In its initial phase, 32 healthy volunteers will be given DMT in order to understand the minimum dose needed to achieve a psychedelic effect. After that, the drug will be administered to 36 separate patients, who have been diagnosed with clinical depression.

The parties still await Home Office approval given the scheduled condition of the drug. DMT remains illegal in the UK as in most countries around the globe.

Cybin to Acquire Adelia Therapeutics for $15.7M

This week, Canadian psychedelics company Cybin (NEO: CYBN) signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100% Adelia Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of proprietary psychedelic derivatives.

The purchase was done through an all-stock transaction of CA$20.1 million (approximately $15.7 million).

“Adelia’s focus on creating novel therapeutics, including novel delivery methods and innovative therapeutic regimens can support our goal of creating therapies that result in faster onset of action, smoother pharmacokinetic profiles, shorter treatment durations, and reduced side effects,” said Cybin CEO Doug Drysdale.

With the purchase, which is part of Cybin’s expansion strategy through M&A, the company expects to develop a novel drug discovery platform with efficient drug delivery aimed at enhancing dosing control and developing a potential novel treatment regimen. 

This Week’s Milestone Round

The Usona Institute, a Wisconsin-based nonprofit focused on psychedelics research published a new method of synthesis for 5-MeO-DMT, a psychedelic compound closely related to DMT, which is naturally produced by the Sonoran Desert toad.

The novel method emphasizes scalability, controllability, and reproducibility in order to support production of the compound for clinical research. According to Usona, previous synthetic routes did not achieve these goals.

Field Trip Health (CSE:FTRP) (OTCQB:FTRPF) announced a new private offering of CA$15 million ($11.7 million) to close on or about January 5, 2021. The company is offering 3,333,333 units (comprising one share and one-half of a common share purchase warrant) at a price of CA$4.50 per Unit. On Friday December 11, Field Trip stock closed at CA$5.60.

MindMed (NEO: MMED) (OTCQB:MMEDF) announced the closing of its last offering, for gross proceeds of CA$34.5 million ($27 million).

More companies are also looking at clinical research on DMT. On Wednesday, Entheon Biomedical (CSE:ENBI), a Canadian company focused on studying DMT’s medicinal potential, announced closing a drug-supply agreement with Psygen Labs Inc.

Entheon will receive DMT for future formulation, preclinical and clinical research, aimed at  post-approval commercialization of the drug. The company expects to start clinical trials on DMT by late 2021, in association with the Centre for Human Drug Research in the Netherlands.

Biotech company BetterLife Pharma (CSE:BETR) (OTCQB:BETRF), is entering the psychedelics space with the signage of an agreement to acquire Transcend Biodynamics, in an all-stock transaction of CA$10 million ($7.8 million).

Transcend is researching BOL-148, a derivative of LSD that is touted to offer several of the same therapeutic actions -like treating cluster headaches- without the psychedelic effect.