This week’s Psychedelic Bulletin rounds off a remarkable year for psychedelics, and the world more broadly. Against an incredibly challenging backdrop, psychedelic medicine has gained a great deal of traction in 2020. Research and development—including clinical trials—has continued to gain momentum and maturity, while public opinion, regulatory bodies, and mainstream media outlets all appear to be increasingly amenable to the prospect of psychedelic medicines and therapies.
The Psychedelic Renaissance shows no signs of slowing as we enter a new year. 2021 will offer further milestones and events that should serve to catalyse the psychedelic space. In our Year in Review, we look back at some of the pivotal moments for psychedelics in 2020, and look ahead to the New Year, which is poised to be another exciting and productive year in the psychedelic space.
In a slight change to our regular weekly bulletins, this edition covers the fortnight Dec 18 – Jan 1. During this period, we learned that the first psychedelic ETF is expected to launch this month. The development is yet to be addressed publicly by the provider or the exchange, but Psilocybin Alpha revealed the news via analysis of regulatory filings made by Horizons ETFs.
Capital continued to flow into the space, with Beckley Psytech closing a £14m round, and Numinus raising $17m. A number of smaller financings closed, and we learned that Novamind is set to commence trading on the CSE next week.
Psychedelic Sector News
First Psychedelic ETF Expected to Launch Jan 2021 (NEO:PSYK)
We broke the news that the world’s first Psychedelic ETF looks set to launch in January 2021, providing exposure to publicly-listed, psychedelics-focused life sciences companies in North America. Horizons ETFs filed documents pertaining to ‘Horizons Psychedelic Stock Index ETF’ on 24th December, but is yet to make a public statement.
Horizons is the fourth-largest ETF provider in Canada, with more than CAD$16 billion in assets under management across 93 ETFs. It brought the first cannabis industry ETF (TSE:HMMJ) to market in 2017. Now, Horizons looks set to provide investors with the first Psychedelic Stock Index ETF in the New Year.
Beckley Psytech Raises £14m ($18.6m) to Advance Development of 5-MeO-DMT for Neuropsychiatric Diseases
The UK-based psychedelics company, boasting a strategic partnership with the Beckley Foundation, is developing 5-MeO-DMT into a licenced pharmaceutical medicine for neuropsychiatric diseases such as depression and addiction. Read our coverage of the news for more.
Tryp Therapeutics Appoints VP Drug Development
Tryp Therapeutics has appointed Dr. Pete Guzzo as VP of Drug Development. Guzzo has co-authored 47 scientific publications and is an inventor on 43 patents.
MagicMed Announces Establishment of Psilocybin Derivatives Portfolio
MagicMed has announced it has completed the establishment of their psilocybin-derivatives patent portfolio, which it calls the Psybrary. The patent portfolio also includes DMT derivatives, and “now includes 12 filed patent applications directed to 9 different chemical compound categories covering over 125 million individual molecules.”
The company also announced the launch of the Candidate Selection program, with CSO Dr. Peter Facchini explaining: “we certainly don’t expect to synthesize all of these molecules during the development of new drug candidates”. He went on to note that MagicMed “have already synthesized more than 100 distinct psilocybin-derivative drug candidates in our state-of-the-art research and development facilities.”
Red Light Holland Invests in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Red Light Holland has announced its intent to acquire 100% of Mera Life Sciences, a company based in the Caribbean nation of St Vincent and the Grenadines with a broad focus across the psychedelic value chain: from cultivation right through to clinics.
The small nation, with a population only slightly over 110,000, earlier this year announced an initiative that seeks to allow psychedelic research and treatment (e.g., clinics and retreats) activity to flourish. Through the acquisition, Red Light Holland would gain access to Mera’s licences, allowing them to conduct R&D with a number of psychedelic substances.
The Company also announced their appointment of Graham Pechenik as Senior Advisor. Graham is editor-at-large here at Psilocybin Alpha, covering intellectual property developments in the psychedelic space.
Revive to Acquire PharmaTher’s Psilocybin Program
On Dec 21, Revive Therapeutics announced their intent to acquire PharmaTher’s intellectual property pertaining to its work on psilocybin. The work conducted thus far largely focuses on pre-clinical research related to traumatic brain injury and stroke.
Year in Review: The Psychedelic Renaissance in 2020
Financings and IPOs
Financings continued apace in the last fortnight, with Numinus’ and Beckley Psytech’s raises leading the pack.
Numinus Closed $17m Round
Numinus has announced the closing of a $17m public offering, with units priced at $0.68. This announcement was heavily anticipated after the Company requested that trading of NUMI be halted ahead of news. Prior to the halt, NUMI was trading at $1.25.
Beckley Psytech Raises £14m
See above for our analysis on this round.
Entheon Closes $3.2m Private Placement
Entheon Biomedical closed a $3.2m private placement, with units priced at $0.75 each.
Mindset Pharma (MSET) Commences Trading on CSE
Mindset began trading on the CSE on 23rd December, under ticker symbol MSET.
Novamind Expected to Begin Trading Jan 5th
Having received conditional listing approval from the CSE, Novamind is expected to commence trading under ticker symbol NM on Jan 5, 2021. The company appears on-track for this listing date, announcing the completion of the RTO on Christmas Eve.
Aion Therapeutic Closes $1m Placement
Toronto-based Aion Therapeutic has closed a private placement of 15.4m units for gross proceeds of $1m. Units were priced at $0.065.
Lobe Sciences Upsizes and Closes (First Tranche) of $2.7m Placement
Lobe Sciences upsized their $2m private placement to $2.7m, and closed the first tranche of 23.3m units (priced at $0.10 each) on Christmas Eve.
NeonMind Closes $4.6m IPO
Better Plant Sciences’ partially-owned subsidiary, NeonMind, closed a $4.6m IPO round. Shares of NeonMind will trade on the CSE from Jan 4, under ticker symbol NEON.
Wired: Big pharma is about to tune in to the potential of psychedelics
Renowned psychedelic researcher Robin Carhart-Harris spoke to Wired about how he expects mainstream mental health care will embrace psychedelics as we enter the new year.
As patents on many conventional antidepressants begin to expire – and public and regulatory opinion regarding psychedelics is changing – 2021 will be the time that psychedelic therapy casts a spotlight on the limitations of current mental-health care treatments, and highlights a bold alternative.
Alberta Man Facing End-of-life Mental Health Challenges Approved for Psychedelic-assisted Therapy
SYNTAC Institute announced that it has facilitated the first known approval from Health Canada for an Alberta-based patient facing a terminal illness diagnosis. The Section 56 exemption allows Calgary resident Anthony White to undergo psilocybin-assisted therapy immediately.
This exemption is the latest in a number of such moves by Health Canada, which have to date been facilitated by TheraPsil. SYNTAC’s Executive Director David Harder acknowledged this: “We are also deeply appreciative of the tireless efforts of Dr. Bruce Tobin and his team at Therapsil in Victoria B.C. for putting in so much of the groundwork required for this kind of announcement to be possible.”
Vice: 2020 Was the Year of the Magic Mushroom
Vice takes a look at how psilocybin was “welcomed with open arms and open minds” in 2020.
Stay Informed in 2021
We can only expect the rate of change and development in the psychedelic space to continue accelerating in 2021. Stay informed via our various platforms and channels…
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