Psilocybin Could be an Effective Treatment for Millions Battling Obesity

September 29, 2020 - Baystreet.ca


Psilocybin could soon help millions of people tackle obesity and eating disorders. After all, the global obesity epidemic is still bursting at the seams. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) obesity has tripled in size over the last 50 years. In 2016, they note, 1.9 billion adults were overweight around the world. Of those, 650 million were considered obese. Just in the U.S., nearly 34% of adults and up to 20% of children are obese. By 2030, almost half of U.S. adults will be considered obese. 

However, a solution may be found in psychedelics such as psilocybin, which activates serotonin receptors, or "nature's own appetite suppressant," as noted by Psychology Today. "This powerful brain chemical curbs cravings and shuts off appetite. It makes you feel satisfied even if your stomach is not full. The result is eating less and losing weight." As we learn more about psilocybin and how it could impact mental and health issues, some of the top companies to watch include Better Plant Sciences Inc. (CSE:PLNT)(OTC:VEGGF), Mind Medicine Inc. (OTC:MMEDF), COMPASS Pathways (NASDAQ:CMPS), Numinus Wellness Inc. (TSXV:NUMI), and HAVN Life Sciences Inc. (CSE:HAVN).

Better Plant Sciences Inc. (CSE:PLNT)(OTC:VEGGF) BREAKING NEWSBetter Plant Sciences Inc. is pleased to announce that its majority owned subsidiary NeonMind Biosciences has entered into a definitive agreement with Psygen Labs Inc. for the supply of psilocybin for NeonMind’s planned preclinical, and clinical trials to study the use of a drug product including Psilocybin for the treatment of food cravings and anxiety.

Psygen is currently acting as broker between NeonMind and a licensed dealer of restricted drugs . The Licensed Dealer holds a dealer’s licence issued under Part J of the Food and Drug Regulations. The Supply Agreement provides that Psygen will supply the psilocybin directly once Psygen holds a Dealer’s Licence. Psygen currently has a pending application for a Dealer’s Licence.

“Psilocybin is known to activate serotonin receptors,” says Dr. William Panenka, lead scientific advisor to NeonMind, “as a neurotransmitter, serotonin helps to relay messages from one area of the brain to another. Serotonin is responsible for some of the drivers which govern eating. We are very interested in furthering studies to test various dosing regimens for NeonMind to see the effects that psilocybin may have on the serotonin receptors that regulate food cravings.”

“Psygen's mission is to fill a supply gap for restricted drug substances and restricted drug products for use in clinical trials and in pre-clinical research,” says Danny Motyka, CEO of Psygen Labs Inc. “We have brokered supply of various restricted drugs for pre-clinical studies and clinical trials through our relationship with a Licensed Dealer. Psygen is currently building out a commercial manufacturing facility designed for high-volume output of psychedelic drug substances and drug products, filling a niche in the evolving psychedelic medicine ecosystem. Today these psychedelic drug substances are classified as restricted drugs, meaning no recognized medical use in Canada, and we are playing our part in moving those substances to the controlled drugs schedule of the Food and Drug Regulations or otherwise providing compliant access to psilocybin and other psychedelics.”

In December 2019, NeonMind filed a U.S. provisional patent application in the United States for the invention relating to therapeutic administration of psilocybin to provide weight loss benefits and potential treatment or regulation of diabetes, and regulation of blood glucose, and to reduce susceptibility to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, chronic renal failure, sleep apnea, asthma, and certain forms of cancer.

In May 2020, NeonMind completed the design of a preclinical trial to confirm that psilocybin is an effective treatment for weight loss and food cravings (the “Trial”). In July 2020, the scientific investigator chosen to lead NeonMind’s preclinical trial submitted a Section 56 Exemption application to Health Canada for the use of psilocybin in the Trial. An exemption must be granted and a final agreement entered into with the laboratory before the Trial can begin.

According to the World Health Organization, in 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults or 39% of adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Grandview Research projects that the global weight management market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.3% from 2019 to 2025 to reach USD $442.3 billion by 2025.

Other related developments from around the markets include:

Mind Medicine Inc. (OTC:MMEDF), the leading drug development company for psychedelic inspired medicines, announces that the company has been conducting R&D work on psilocybin in collaboration with the University Hospital Basel's Liechti Lab in a study to better understand and compare the altered states of consciousness induced by psilocybin and LSD. MindMed is interested in understanding how psilocybin or LSD affects humans differently so that it can design better later stage trials or potentially even combine substances in future next-generation psychedelic assisted therapies for patients. As part of MindMed's exclusive license agreement with the University Hospital Basel, MindMed will retain an exclusive license to all IP and any patents generated from data or findings in the study and related work on psilocybin, such as pharmacokinetic data and information on the metabolism. The study is anticipated to finish in Q2 2021.

COMPASS Pathways (NASDAQ:CMPS), a mental health care company dedicated to accelerating patient access to evidence-based innovation in mental health, today announced the closing of its previously announced initial public offering of 8,625,000 American Depositary Shares (“ADSs”) representing 8,625,000 ordinary shares at an initial public offering price of $17.00 per ADS, which includes 1,125,000 additional ADSs issued upon the exercise in full by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional ADSs. The total gross proceeds to COMPASS from the offering were $146.6 million. All ADSs sold in the offering were offered by COMPASS. The ADSs began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on September 18, 2020 under the ticker symbol “CMPS.” Cowen, Evercore ISI and Berenberg are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering. Canaccord Genuity is acting as lead manager and H.C. Wainwright & Co. is acting as co-manager for the offering.

Numinus Wellness Inc. (TSXV:NUMI), a company creating an ecosystem of health solutions centred on developing and supporting the safe, evidence-based, accessible use of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies, is pleased to announce it has begun cultivating Psilocybe mushrooms, for the purpose of psilocybin production, at its 7000 square-foot Health Canada licensed facility. Psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy is currently being studied as a treatment for a range of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. 

HAVN Life Sciences Inc. (CSE:HAVN) a biotechnology company focused on unlocking human potential using evidence-informed research and developing standardized psychoactive compounds derived from plants and fungi, is pleased to announce it has submitted formulations for its natural health products to Health Canada. “At Havn Life we are focused on developing Natural Health Products for Havn Retail that build on and complement the work being done in our Havn Labs division with psychedelic compounds,” Gary Leong, Havn Life’s Chief Scientific Officer. Leong formerly served as Chief Scientific Officer for natural health manufacturer, Jamieson Laboratories Limited, for fourteen years and with Aphria Inc., where he established and oversaw the quality assurance, quality control, regulatory affairs and research and development functions.

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