Many expected atai’s IPO to lift the entire psychedelics market, but this has failed to materialize thus far. Rather, the sector is lagging, according to a number of metrics:
- PsyIndex’s Psychedelics Index closed at $134.6 last Friday. Today, it’s sitting at $125.8, down 6.8%
- Horizons’ Psychedelics ETF, PSYK, was trading at $8.38 last Friday, and closed at precisely the same price today: no change.
- Note: Cybin represents >10% of the ETF’s holdings. Stock in the company is up around 24% in the past week. Stifel set a price target of $15.00, with the stock currently trading at $2.72.
- Psychedelic Invest’s index of the space was at $75.8 last Friday, down to $73.07 today.
However, the IPO undoubtedly brought a great deal of attention to the space. This heightened interest looks set to continue, with next Tuesday’s vote on California Bill 519—which seeks to decriminalize psychedelics—likely to pique local and international media interest regardless of the outcome.
Psychedelic Sector News
Former FDA Psychiatry Division Director Joins Cybin’s Clinical Advisory Board
Thomas Laughren, who served as director of the FDA’s psychiatry division for 29 years, is joining Cybin’s clinical advisory board. Laughren will join a handful of other recent additions to the board, including Maurizio Fava, MD: psychiatrist-in-chief at Mass General Hospital.
A day prior to Cybin’s announcement, MindMed announced that Fava is joining its own Scientific Advisory Board.
Numinus Files Patent Application for Psychedelic Fungi Extract Production Process
Yesterday, Numinus announced the filing of a provisional patent application for a process that “dramatically increases the production of therapeutics for use in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.”
This is thought to be the first patent application announced publicly by the Vancouver-based company.
A number of other companies are understood to be working on psilocybin cultivation and extraction processes. These include Filament Health (also based in Vancouver), Mimosa Therapeutics, Field Trip, Nextleaf, Mydecine, and Havn Life Sciences, to name a just a sample.
- Albert Labs announces clinical and scientific advisory board;
- Awakn Life Sciences commences trading on the NEO under AWKN; appoints David Nutt as Chief Research Officer;
- Clerkenwell Health closes pre-seed round, aims to make the UK a hub for psychedelic research;
- Field Trip reports 4Q and FY2021 results;
- Filament Health lists on the NEO under FH;
- Mydecine targets substance use disorder and smoking cessation for MYC-004;
- Nova Mentis autism clinical study approved by IRB;
- Wesana Health partners with University of South Carolina.
Texas Bill Approves the Study of Psychedelics
Earlier this week Texas became the latest state to encourage the study of psychedelics via the allowance of H.B. 1802. The bill called for the study of the potential therapeutic efficacy of ‘alternative therapies,’ listing MDMA, psilocybin, and ketamine by name.
These research endeavours will seek to target conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, chronic pain, and migraine; all of which were listed in the bill.
The timeline for these studies is stipulated as such:
Not later than December 1, 2022, the department shall prepare and submit to the governor, the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, and each member of the legislature a written report containing the results of the study conducted under this section and any recommendations for legislative or other action.
Earlier this month, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamott signed a similar bill (S.B. 1083), which permitted psilocybin research in the state.
Read more at Bloomberg Law.
Forbes: The Future of Psychedelic Medicine Might Skip the Trip
This piece centers around the work of Bryan Roth, a pharmacologist at UNC, who states that his goal “is to find compounds that are therapeutic and not psychedelic.”
Roth’s lab is supported in this endeavor by a $27m grant from DARPA, providing rocket fuel for his “moonshot mission to find the next perfect drug: one that is effective at treating depression and post-traumatic stress disorder quickly like clinical trials suggest psilocybin and MDMA, which is more commonly known as the party drug molly or ecstasy, can, but without the hallucinogenic ride.”
MAPS’ Rick Doblin, meanwhile, is not so impressed by such efforts, characterizing ‘non-psychedelic psychedelics’ as a “bogus” pipedream, and suggesting DARPA’s funds may be better placed in clinical-stage research:
“The tragedy that I see is that DARPA could have a winner right now with MDMA for PTSD,” says Doblin. “But DARPA is trying to say screw the psychedelic experience and let’s invest in non-psychedelic psychedelics while 20 vets a day are killing themselves.”
Read the full piece here: Will Yakowicz for Forbes.
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