Psychedelic firms list en masse in 2020, more to launch this year

Bright Minds Biosciences (CSE:DRUG) lists on the CSE, to start trading from 8th February 2021

2020 was the seminal year when several biotechnology firms from the psychedelic space IPOed as investments into curing mental illness continued to gain traction among investors. With the cost of conducting drug trials pretty expensive and time-consuming, the competition is fierce in the intellectual property race for new molecules and access to more capital from institutional and retail investors.

Although the industry is still in its infant stage, the potential to treat various psychological disorders has offered investors an emerging opportunity in a multi-billion market. With the US Food and Drug Administration, Health Canada, UK's MHRA, health regulatory agencies in Europe and a handful of other countries clearing clinical trials, psychedelic firms are testing various drugs to treat everything from depression to addiction. In this report, we review the profile of a few companies that went public in 2020 and a couple of names that would generate interest this year.

Compass Pathways (NASDAQ: CMPS)

Compass Pathways started trading on 18th September 2020 and are the first psychedelic firm to list on the NASDAQ. The firm is developing a new model of psilocybin therapy in which its synthetic psilocybin, COMP360, is administered in conjunction with psychological support. The company received FDA Breakthrough Therapy designation for its programme of psilocybin therapy in treatment-resistant depression in 2018. The company is currently conducting a randomised controlled Phase2a study of psilocybin therapy amongst 216 patients with treatment-resistant depression in 21 sites across Europe and North America.

Mind Medicine (NEO: MMED)

Mind Medicine Inc became the first psychedelic pharma company to go public by listing on the NEO Exchange on 3rd March 2020. The firm focuses on solving illnesses around Anxiety, Addiction and Adult ADHD. They have four on-going projects

  1. LSD Assisted Therapy: Named Project Lucy to treat anxiety, the project is nearing completion of Phase 2a in Q1 2021 and preparing for FDA IND Submission.
  2. 18-MC: Labelled the next-generation addiction therapeutic, 18-MC aims to treat addiction without the harmful side effects of the current drug Ibogaine. Currently, in Phase 2a, the firm expects to file for New drug application (NDA) and review by Jan 2024.
  3. LSD Microdosing: This project aims to test a Silicon Valley trend and treat adult ADHD that afflicts 10 million patients. It is undergoing a 6-week Phase 2a trial in Europe.
  4. Mind Med Discover: In association with Liechti Lab to develop the next generation therapies, compounds and dosing technologies.

Cybin Inc (NEO: CYBN)

Cybin Inc is a Toronto based biotech, and life sciences company focused on psychedelic pharmaceutical therapies and listed on the NEO Exchange on 10th November 2020. The focus of the firm is on the following three pillars –

  1. Developing drug discovery platforms,
  2. Efficient drug delivery systems and formulation approaches and
  3. Treatment regimens to treat psychiatric disorders

The current clinical pipeline has four molecules

  1. PSY001: Psilocybin to cure major depressive disorders. Currently in Phase 2 trial.
  2. PSY003: Deuterated tryptamine to cure therapy-resistant psychiatric disorders. Currently in a pre-clinical trial.
  3. PSY004: To be used in psychiatry/neurology. Currently in the discovery phase
  4. PSY005: Phenethylamines for use in psychiatry/neurology. Currently, in the discovery phase.

Numinus Wellness Inc (NUMI.V)

Numinus Wellness is a Vancouver based fully integrated company in the psychedelic space. It listed on TSX and started trading in May 2020.
The company has put in place three pillars of growth

  1. Numinus Wellness: Aims to provide physical locations where psychedelic-assisted therapies that comply with all the norms put down by the regulators. To this objective, Numinus acquired 3 Montreal clinics to add to its Vancouver clinic acquisition in Jun 2019.
  2. Numinus R&D: The company is partnering with leading research groups to advance the practice
  3. Numinus Biosciences: Licenced by Health Canada to test, distribute and eventually conduct research on psychedelic substances

Field Trip Health (FTRP)

Field Trip Health (FTRP) listed on the CSE on 7th October 2020 after completing a reverse takeover deal with Newton Energy Corporation. The company has two lines of businesses

  1. Drug Development: FTRP developed the FT-104 molecule, that it describes as the next generation psychedelic molecule, for which it filed a provisional patent. FT104 is faster acting than psilocybin. It goes into Phase 1 trials in Q4 2021.
  2. Delivery: FTRP has 6 centres currently open and aims to expand its footprint to 75 centres by 2024. These centres serve to collect data, develop know-how, generate IP and provide training to therapists.

The other publicly-listed psychedelic firms include Revive Therapeutics (RVV), HAVN Life Sciences (HAVN), Mydecine Innovations Group (MYCO), Red Light Holland (TRIP) and Tryp Therapeutics (TRYP). While some of the firms are trading on popular stock exchanges such as the NEO, CSE and TSX, the others are accessible on the OTC markets. Click HERE for the complete list of publicly-traded psychedelic companies.

Besides the above, a few private psychedelic firms are going public in 2021. Among them, two names stand out-

  1. ATAI Life Sciences
  2. Bright Minds Biosciences

Here's an overview of the two firms and their product pipeline

Atai Life Sciences

Founded in 2018, ATAI operates from Berlin, Germany. The firm is working on various treatments to cure mental health disorders using psychedelic and non-psychedelic compounds. The innovative treatments address unmet medical needs, and shortcomings of existing therapies that range from slow onset, high relapse rate to side effects such as addiction and sexual dysfunction.

Product pipeline

ATAI is among the most prominent startups in the psychedelic space and has the backing of Peter Thiel, a renowned VC, recognised for co-founding PayPal and Palantir Technologies. The well-capitalised firm successfully raised $125 million from the Series-C funding in November 2020. ATAI's acquisitions include Perception Neuroscience in 2019 and Recognify Life in January 2021. The firm also has a significant stake in Compass Pathways (CMPS).

Bright Minds Biosciences

Founded in 2017, Bright Minds Biosciences operates out of Vancouver, British Columbia. The firm has made quite a bit of progress in developing the next generation of psychedelic drugs to treat a range of mental health disorders with some of the most experienced drug developers, pharmacologists, clinicians and discovery scientists included in the core team. The aim is to advance in creating new molecules to treat a range of mental health and other CNS disorders with minimal side effects and enhanced therapeutic action. Bright Minds has successfully developed two classes of compounds- the first has the essential elements of serotonin & other elements, while the second is on the structure of psilocybin. Many of the patented compounds are in-licenced from the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Bright Minds has provincial patents on the compounds from the psilocybin structure. These compounds factor out 5HT2B activity, thereby eliminating heart valve diseases while retaining 5HT2A and 5HT2C to give patients the best psychedelic experience.

Product pipeline

Last week, Bright Minds Biosciences officially announced its initial public offering, making them the first private psychedelic firm to go public in 2021. The most promising biotech firm is ready to start trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) from 8th February 2021 under the ticker symbol DRUG.
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