Have Psychedelics Become The Next Neuroscience Biotech Frontier?

Have Psychedelics Become The Next Neuroscience Biotech Frontier?

The following post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga.

Mind Cure was one of the sponsors for the Benzinga Global Small Cap Conference that took place on December 8-9, 2020.

The world is currently undergoing a mental health crisis. Before the pandemic, the number of people suffering from depression globally was reported to be 300 million. But since the pandemic, the number of individuals struggling with their mental health has only worsened. 

The global Anxiety Disorder and Depression Treatment market for mental health and neurological disorders is expected to reach 18.9 billion by 2026. Due to this increasing need for therapeutic treatments, researchers have been looking into alternative drugs to hopefully provide a solution.

Among the possible forms of treatments that are currently being studied are psychedelics. 

“Thirty-percent of people with depression who are actually undergoing treatment are resistant to the drugs or they haven’t found the right mix of drugs and psychedelics are a direct solution for that kind of situation,” said Kelsey Ramsden, Co-Founder & CEO of Mind Cure Health.

Mind Cure Health Inc MCURF MCUR is a mental health and wellness company that’s addressing the mental health crisis through the development of psychoactive and psychedelic treatments. Given this mission, the company is committed to providing an integrated therapeutic system.

Mind Cure’s approach to product development is done through a framework they refer to as “Five Spheres.” This holistic approach to mental health encompasses clinical research, tech, drug development, and nootropics. And they are stacking their advisory board with some of the top minds in psychedelic and neuroscience research to execute this mission. On their board of experts are Dr. Dan Engle, Dr. Wolfram Tetzlaff, Hamilton Morris, and Jason Wallach.

Mind Cure’s Five Spheres work to deliver the following outputs:

  • Clinical Research in Psychoactive compounds
  • Investigating new Psychedelic compound  candidates and new psychoactive substances (NPS)
  • Digital Therapeutics platform for Mental Health
  • Manufacturing and supply of adaptogens
  • cGMP and API Psychedelic Manufacturing & Supply

"Despite social stigmas, many classical psychedelics have safely demonstrated profound therapeutic effectiveness with alleviating all forms of pain associated with neurological trauma and chronic diseases. We begin our research with tremendous promise for new medicines that share structural similarities with improved receptor targeting, dosing, and therapeutic profiles," stated Dr. Ryan Hartwell.

Investment In Psychedelic Research Explodes

Investments in psychedelic-focused companies have increased rapidly over the past few months.

After raising $146 million for its IPO, mental health care company COMPASS Pathways PLC CMPS became the first psychedelics company to make unicorn status. 

Mind Medicine (MindMed) Inc MMEDF MMED recently announced a public offering of $39.1 million. Some of which will go towards financing the company’s recently-launched digital medicine division for psychedelic medicine. 

Cybin Inc CLXPF CYBN raised approximately CAD$45 million which is Canada’s largest go-public capital raise in the psychedelics sector to date.

Lastly, on September 10th, Numinus Wellness Inc LKYSF NUMI announced the closing of an oversubscribed offering of shares for CAD$4.6 million. The company said net proceeds of the offering will be used to develop MDMA and psilocybin treatment implemented under the Compassionate Access protocol.

In addition to investments in public companies, various research companies have received substantial funding over the past few years for their research efforts on psychedelics

In 2019, John Hopkins University opened the $17 million Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, all backed by private donors. The research center focuses on the effects of psychedelics on the brain and how it affects function, mood, behavior, learning, and biology. 

Their researchers also look at the effects of psilocybin — the psychedelic chemical found in mushrooms. Psilocybin studies will be done to test the effectiveness of this drug as a therapy for Alzheimer’s PTSD, depression, and more.

The Multidisciplinary Association For Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) raised $30 million in less than six months from non-profit donations for phase 3 trials of MDMA (ecstasy or molly) to treat PTSD.

In addition, the U.S. Military invested $27 million into psychedelic research. This new project from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), aims to create new medications to help treat anxiety, depression, and substance abuse without major side effects.

Increasing Acceptance

We are beginning to see an increase in the acceptance of psychoactive drugs as a form of therapeutic treatment, especially in North America. This can be seen not only through the various examples of recent funding but also through the FDA and regulatory changes.

In recent years, the FDA granted breakthrough therapy status for both MDMA and psilocybin. Breakthrough therapy is granted to a drug when there is evidence to suggest that it may be an improvement over already existing therapy. This action is also meant to accelerate the drug development and review process, which is typically slow-moving.

Breakthrough therapy status was granted to MDMA for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And for Psilocybin, breakthrough therapy status was granted for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD).

“There is a reason we are called Mind Cure,” began Ramsden. “A number of people actually walk out of treatment with material differences, and/or in the case of PTSD, coming in at the highest quartiles and leaving with no measurable posttraumatic stress disorder coming out. So, the appetite for alternatives by the general public and organizations is tremendous.”  

Recent ballot initiatives have also demonstrated notable advancements in this sector. 

On November 3, 2020, Oregon became the first U.S. state to decriminalize the possession of all drugs. Similar groundbreaking reform was also seen in places such as DC, Santa Cruz, Oakland, and Denver.

The regulatory changes, new funding, and continued research are fueling what some have referred to as the “renaissance of psychedelics.” Research that was initially started in the ‘60s and ‘70s is now being picked up again. Although this time around, researchers can utilize a wealth of data that was not previously available back then. 

The significant investment has signaled a renaissance in psychedelic research, allowing for new and novel compounds to be researched and proven effective. The potential for these compounds will hopefully provide much-needed new therapies for those impacted by the growing mental health crisis.

Photo by Tony Sebastian on Unsplash

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.

Posted In: Benzinga Global Small Cap ConferenceMind Cure Health Inc.Mind MedicineNewsPenny StocksHealth CareSmall CapMarketsGeneral