Psychedelics Sector Hits New Milestones Driven By Healthcare Heavyweights

January 12, 2021 - Baystreet.ca


On May 11, 2020 Netflix released a controversial documentary to its 190 million global subscriber base. 

The film, Have A Good Trip: Adventures In Psychedelics, featured celebrities detailing their personal experiences with psychedelic drugs.

Have A Good Trip soared to the top of Netflix’s viewing charts and stayed there.

Although Netflix doesn’t reveal viewership data on individual titles, FlixPatrol, a site which compiles data on Netflix’s Top 10 most viewed list, says Have A Good Trip held a spot in the streaming giant’s most-viewed content for 16 days. 

The film also earned feature reviews in a number of large media outlets including Variety, The Guardian, and the New York Times. 

Although reviews for the merits of A Good Trip as entertainment were mixed, Arstechnica summed up the film’s high-profile debut importance as, “A gateway drug to de-stigmatizing psychedelics.”

In the months which followed the release of the documentary, psychedelics have pushed further into the mainstream with backing by medical researchers and some of Silicon Valley’s most successful investors.

The medicinal potential of psychedelics has reached mainstream medical research publications as well. For example, the Journal of Palliative Medicine has stated, “Psychiatric research in the 1950s and 1960s showed potential for psychedelic medications to markedly alleviate depression and suffering associated with terminal illness. A single or brief series of sessions often results in substantial and sustained improvement among people with treatment-resistant depression and anxiety.”

Medicinal psychedelics are quickly becoming serious business. To date, investors backed a number of leading psychedelics companies conducting research and clinical trials aimed at unlocking psychedelics’ inherent medicinal potential for many chronic conditions. These companies include COMPASS Pathways (NASDAQ:CMPS), Field Trip Health (CSE:FTRP) (OTC:FTRPF)Cybin Inc. (NEO:CYBN) (OTC:CLXPF), and Numinus Wellness (TSXV:NUMI) (OTC:LKYSF).

The rapid rise of these companies has helped propel psychedelics into the mainstream in 2020 and, based on some recent developments in the sector, the trend of increasing acceptance and interest in psychedelics is will continue into 2021. 

The first psychedelic sector development came from Mount Sinai Hospital, the hospital ranked 14th in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.

On January 7, 2021 Mount Sinai Hospital revealed it will be opening The Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma Research.

The Center will pursue “a multipronged clinical and research approach to discovering novel and more efficacious therapies for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and other stress-related conditions in the veteran and civilian population,” according to the hospital. 

Another recent major psychedelics sector development came from Mind Cure Health (CSE:MCUR) (OTC:MCURF), a rapidly rising life sciences company with a focus on psychedelics, research, technology, and becoming a full-spectrum psychedelics health company. 

Mind Cure announced a non-binding letter of intent for strategic investment and commercial cooperation with ATMA Journey Centers. 

ATMA is a Calgary, Alberta-based company which made major headlines in early 2021 when it announced it had started the first medicinal psychedelics treatment in all of Alberta. 

ATMA treated the patient with psilocybin, the active hallucinogenic found in “magic mushrooms.”

The treatment was conducted using a Section 56 Exemption from Health Canada. This exemption allows palliative care for new treatments. Since it can now be used for medicinal psychedelics, the exemption is becoming a driving force in Canada’s prominence in the rapidly rising field of medicinal psychedelics research.

The proposed Mind Cure and ATMA agreement could be a landmark agreement between the two companies that will give ATMA access to Mind Cure’s iSTRYM digital therapeutics platform, a direct cash investment, and other access to Mind Cure’s leading research and advisors. 

ATMA Journey Centers co CEO stated in the announcement, “Psilocybin-assisted therapy offers healing and understanding that is unmatched by traditional methods. Patients dealing with end-of-life anxiety, pain, depression, trauma, and addiction have been at the mercy of ineffective and underwhelming treatments for much too long. The resources are here, and we are extremely grateful to be at the frontlines of this world-changing, innovative, and extremely alleviating solution, to help bring peace to sufferers. We are witnessing an inflection point for mental health treatment as the commitment to wellness in Canada takes a huge step forward.”

These recent developments, the signed letter of intent between Mind Cure and ATMA and the Mount Sinai Hospital announcement, are both positive steps forward for the medicinal psychedelics sector. 

They were not the only new developments in the psychedelics sector though. 

Here are a few of the most significant developments and the psychedelics sector companies behind them:

Mind Cure Health (CSE:MCUR) (OTC:MCURF):

Mind Cure Health is a health and wellness company focused on the many aspects of the rapidly growing medicinal psychedelics sector.

The company seeks to identify and develop products that ease suffering, increase productivity, and enhance mental health through products and therapies based in the psychedelics.

Since its initial public offering (IPO) in September 2020, Mind Cure Health has been steadily advancing its business.

The company has demonstrated its aggressive growth strategy with many recent advances.

One of the most significant recent developments for Mind Cure came when it announced the scheduled opening of its first psychedelics clinic in Kelowna, BC.

The facility, called the Mind Cure Health Center, will be the company’s first physical location to offer Psychedelic Assisted Therapies and will have the capability to treat patients with ketamine and psilocybin-based therapies.

Mind Cure’s CEO stated, “We have always seen our business as caring for individual mental health and wellness on a spectrum, from those who are suffering and are in need of relief to those who are looking for enhanced clarity, focus and overall well-being.”

The facility is expected to open in May of 2021.

Mind Cure also recently announced the release of iSTRYM, the company’s digital therapeutics tool. The company stated iSTRYM was “designed to provide close to real-time data regarding patient care, procedures and protocols, and other resources for therapists, clinicians, and patients with mental health concerns.”

This announcement lays the foundation for Mind Cure to expand into the rapidly rising digital therapeutics sector at a time when clinical researchers, technology companies, and investors are realizing digital therapeutics will be an essential foundation for psychedelics biotech research companies.

COMPASS Pathways (NASDAQ:CMPS):

COMPASS Pathways has emerged as one of the early leaders in the psychedelics sector. 

COMPASS describes itself as a “mental health care company dedicated to accelerating patient access to evidence-based innovation in mental health.”

The company’s initial research is into how  psilocybin therapy can help sufferers of treatment-resistant depression.

The research is currently in FDA Phase IIb study of 216 patients with treatment-resistant depression in 21 sites across Europe and North America.

COMPASS went public in September of 2020 when it raised more than $120 million as part of an initial public offering. 

The shares rose 71% above the placement price and it went on to reach a peak market valuation of more than $2 billion. 

Numinus Wellness (TSXV:NUMI) (OTC:LKYSF):

Numinus is a company that develops and deploys psychedelic therapies.

It is the first company in Canada to receive a license to extract psilocybin from mushrooms, to complete a legal harvest of psilocybe mushrooms using this licence, and the holder of a Health Canada dealer's licence to import, export, possess, test, and distribute MDMA, psilocybin, psilocin, DMT, and mescaline.

Numinus states on its web site that it foresees, “Safe, legal access is going to become increasingly available for a range of conditions, including depression, PTSD & substance use disorders.”

The company recently announced a collaboration with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Public Benefit Corporation to seek approval of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.

MAPS is a leading advocate for medicinal use of psychedelics. Since its founding in 1986 it has sought to design and fund studies covering medical applications of psychedelic substances. It recently raised more $30 million to continue its mission.

Numinus recently announced the closing of a bought deal financing for C$17 million. 

Field Trip Health (CSE:FTRP) (OTC:FTRPF):

Field Trip Health de describes itself as “leading the medical and scientific re-emergence of psychedelics and psychedelic-enhanced therapies.”

It is developing its proprietary drug candidate FT-104, a novel, synthetic psychedelic molecule that  is a serotonin 5HT2A receptor agonist.

It also operates six clinical hubs for psychedelic therapies.

Field Trip was recently selected as a trial location for a Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Public Benefit Corporation-sponsored study to research the safety, feasibility and preliminary outcomes of MDMA-assisted therapy to treat eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa. 

Cybin Inc. (NEO:CYBN) (OTC:CLXPF): 

Cybin is a life-sciences company focused on advancing psychedelic and nutraceutical-based products. 

It is also directly supporting clinical studies across North America and other regions through strategic academic and institutional partnerships.

Cybin recently announced another step in its strategic growth plan with the acquisition of Adelia Therapeutics. 

Adelia is a biopharmaceutical company targeting unmet mental health needs through the development of proprietary psychedelic therapeutic. It has developed novel therapeutics, delivery methods, and therapeutic regimens. Adelia also has six patent applications.  

Cybin also announced an agreement with neurotech pioneer HI LLC, doing business as Kernel, to leverage its innovative technology, Kernel Flow, for its upcoming sponsored clinical work. 

In the announcement of this agreement, Cybin stated, “Flow is a full-head coverage, time-domain functional near-infrared spectroscopy system designed to detect hemodynamic changes in the brain that pulses light through the skull and into the bloodstream in order to measure how much oxygen the blood is carrying at any given time. Flow measurements can be used as analogues of local neural activity during a psychedelic experience. Cybin expects the quantitative measurements enabled by Flow may improve the development, delivery and scaling of its psychedelic therapeutics.”

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