Atai Life Sciences’ Series C Financing dominated the news this week, with excitement building over a potential IPO next Spring. MindMed also announced a CAD $25m bought deal, with Novamind closing a CAD $10m private placement.
We also learned that the BBC has commissioned an hour-long programme dedicated to following Imperial College London’s psilocybin vs. antidepressants study. We will provide an update when The Psychedelic Drug Trial: A Cure for Depression airs.
We also released a new resource to help you stay up-to-date with psilocybin-related patent filings.
Psychedelic Sector News
ATAI Life Sciences Raises $125 million
ATAI Life Sciences has closed a Series C Financing having raised $125 million. Prominent investor Peter Thiel led the round, investing $12 million via his venture firm Thiel Capital.
This represents the largest private raise for a psychedelics company to date. Over $210 million has now been invested in the company. The Company is set to go public next spring, with an expected valuation of $1-2bn. COMPASS Pathways is among ATAI’s portfolio.
MindMed to Launch Digital Medicine Division, ‘Albert’; Raises $25m via Bought Deal
MindMed is to establish a digital medicine division known as Albert, which will be headed by a team (for which the company is currently recruiting) of technologists, therapists and clinical drug development experts. Digital therapeutics pairs digital tools such as wearables and artificial intelligence with therapies – in this case psychedelic-assisted therapy – to better understand and optimise the patient journey and outcomes.
As part of this initiative, MindMed is designing an experimental clinical trial that pairs microdoses of LSD with digital therapeutics to track, engage and influence patient behaviour. Note that the press release did not divulge specifics of the company’s plans for the Division, but we will be following developments closely.
MindMed also announced a CAD $25m bought deal consisting of approximately 13 million units at a price of CAD $1.90.
Novamind Raises $10 million via Private Placement
At the top of the week, we learned that Novamind closed a CAD $10 million private placement. Since its inception in 2019, Novamind has raised CAD $15.3 million. The Company is set to trade on the CSE under ticker symbol NM.
Champignon Announces Changes at the Top
Champignon Brands, which remains under a Cease Trade Order, has announced that it is recruiting a new CFO, Chief General Counsel, and Senior VP Investor and Public Communications. The Company is also seeking to expand its board. Gareth Birdsall, former CEO of Champignon, has resigned as director effective November 23rd 2020.
It’s clear that Champignon is attempting to distance itself from the ongoing review of its continuous filing compliance. The press release claimed emphasis is being placed on “transparency, full and accurate public reporting plus operational readiness to meet the accelerating, pandemic-drive demand for its clinical services.”
Field Trip: Earnings Call Dec 1st
Field Trip is set to release their Q2 financials after market close on Monday Nov 30th, with a conference call and webcast to review its results the following day, Tuesday Dec 1 at 8:00 am ET. A live webcast of the conference call will be available.
Entheon Begins Trading on Frankfurt Exchange
Entheon Biomedical is now trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol 1XU1.
Research Suggests Past Antidepressant Usage Reduces Efficacy of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD
New research published in Psychopharmacology suggests antidepressant use may reduce the efficacy of MDMA therapy for PTSD. The study (Feduccia et al., 2020) showed that recent exposure to serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants may reduce response to MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.
Interestingly, the study found no significant correlation between the time at which participants ceased SSRI intake and the observed dampening of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy’s efficacy. This may suggest that SSRIs have long-term effects on the brain.
BBC Programme to Follow Psychedelics vs. Antidepressants Trial
One of the world’s most respected media outlets, the BBC, has commissioned an hour-long programme dedicated to following a groundbreaking psychedelics for depression study. The programme, titled The Psychedelic Drug Trial: A Cure for Depression, follows Imperial College London’s study which puts psilocybin head-to-head with a conventional antidepressant.
Imperial’s trial is led by Professor David Nutt, Dr Robin Carhart-Harris and Dr Rosalind Watts. The study, which has 59 participants, compares the efficacy of psilocybin versus escitalopram: a popular SSRI.
We will be sure to provide an update when the piece airs.
New Resource: Psilocybin Patent Filings Tracker
While patent applications are kept secret for at least 18 months after filing, many companies opt to announce them. This has certainly been the case in the past year, as psychedelics companies have announced a flurry of provisional patent applications pertaining to psilocybin.
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