Psychedelics M&A: Beckley Psytech Acquires Eleusis Therapeutics, Strengthening Drug Pipeline And R&D Team

Private psychedelics medicine company Beckley Psytech Ltd. has acquired 100% of clinical-stage life sciences company Eleusis Therapeutics Ltd., entitling the former to full developmental and commercial rights of the latter’s assets. 

Eleusis CEO Shlomi Raz will become Beckley’s CBO, while the Eleusis research and development team will be immediately integrated into the company.

“This is a hugely exciting acquisition for Beckley Psytech, and we are delighted to add Eleusis’ innovative products to our portfolio of differentiated clinical assets. Our highly focused pipeline, now strengthened with a Phase 1 ready, next generation, short-acting psychedelic, will deliver multiple value inflection points over the next 18 months,” said Beckley’s CEO Cosmo Feilding Mellen.

Feilding added that the former Eleusis team has “exceptional knowledge and experience” and that Beckley anticipates its proprietary R&D pipeline will be greatly benefited by it. It still has not been clarified whether Eleusis scientific founder and renowned psychedelics researcher Dr. Charles Nichols will join the team.

Beckley’s CEO said that together with the company’s current cash runway for operations extending into 2025, the acquisition will reinforce the company’s position as a market leader in the development of psychedelic therapies.

Raz said he's thrilled to be joining the leadership team toward developing meaningful, practical and cost-effective psychedelics solutions and treatments. “Beckley have been pioneers in psychedelic science for more than two decades and we are excited to become a part of that story through this transaction," he said. "We believe Eleusis represents an excellent acquisition for Beckley Psytech given our shared commitment to developing psychedelic drug therapies for patients in urgent need of new treatment options.”

The acquisition adds ELE-101, a next-gen, short-duration psychedelic ready for Phase 1 clinical trials, to Beckley’s pipeline, as well as a library of novel psychedelic compounds (novel chemical entities of NCEs) for use in psychiatry and beyond.

ELE-101 is an intravenous (IV) formulation of psilocin with the potential to deliver a more consistent and controllable response in patients, with a rapid onset, significantly shorter treatment duration and less variability compared to oral formulations of psilocybin. 

This proprietary psilocin drug holds US patents for the composition of matter and is a potentially great fit for Beckley’s current focus on short-duration psychedelic therapies. The company aims to initiate a Phase 1 single-ascending dose study of the compound in healthy patients before the end of 2022, and a proof-of-concept Phase 2a trial in patients with depression following soon after.

Beckley has selected its BPL-003, a patented intranasal benzoate formulation of 5-MeO-DMT currently undergoing a single-ascending dose Phase 1 trial, as a lead drug candidate for upcoming MHRA-approved Phase 2 clinical studies on depression and Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) in combination with psychotherapy. 

As for other compounds under development, Beckley’s team decided to put a hold on its clinical program of oral psilocybin for the treatment of Short-lasting Unilateral Neuralgiform Headache Attacks (SUNHA), with the intention of applying the Phase 1b clinical study’s existing data to other, more promising pipeline candidates.

Photo courtesy of Thapana_Studio and ANCH on Shutterstock.

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Posted In: CannabisM&ANewsPsychedelicsMarketsBeckley PsytechCosmo Feilding MellenDr. Charles NicholsEleusisShlomi Raz
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