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Origin Therapeutics: supporting growth in the psychedelics space

Origin Therapeutics CEO Alexander Somjen discusses the company’s mission to provide investors with access to the psychedelics sector.



Origin Therapeutics: supporting growth in the psychedelics space

One company is providing investors with the opportunity to contribute to novel mental health care solutions by participating in the growth of companies in the psychedelics space.

A Our World in Data report estimates around 792 million people lived with a mental health disorder in 2017, and current treatment regimens are insufficient for many living with resistant disorders. The problem calls for revolutionary solutions, and the emerging psychedelics space looks promising for patients who need effective treatments.

Data Bridge Market Research estimates that the psychedelics industry will grow to $6.9bn by 2027 – it is statistics like this that are attracting socially conscious investors to the space who are looking to make a difference.

Actively managed investment issuer Origin Therapeutics is aiming to provide investors with diverse exposure to a portfolio of private companies in the sector to enable participation in their growth and contribute to this possible solution to the global mental health crisis.

Why invest in mental health

With the mental health crisis compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, Origin Therapeutics CEO Alexander Somjen, says providing growth capital to companies that are actively seeking solutions through psychedelics is an exciting prospect.

Somjen commented: “The vast majority of companies created to capture this opportunity are privately held, and retail investors often don’t have access to the most promising privately-held deals in the space or have access to investment opportunities in early-stage psychedelic companies in the proof-of-concept stage of the deal cycle. 

“You’re seeing a lot of ESG mandates and I don’t see any reason why investors wouldn’t want the ability to deploy their capital to something that is a very exciting, emerging space that is focused on combating mental illness.

See also  Psychedelics may change behaviours by changing perception of core self

“The pandemic had a hugely detrimental effect on mental health, and I think mental health and mental illness are top of mind for society in general. Being able to provide growth capital to companies is a very exciting prospect for me and for Origin. I think that that society is becoming much more open-minded and embracing alternative treatment methods for mental illness as an adjunctive to more conventional treatment methods that have had some success but also do leave a lot to be desired.

“Speaking to Canada, one in five Canadians experience mental illness or addiction, every year. It’s the leading cause of disability in Canada and a major cause of premature deaths. Globally, the numbers are very staggering – 150 million people are affected by substance abuse, 250 million people are affected by anxiety, 300 million people are affected by PTSD and depression. So, there is maybe a billion people globally per year that could benefit from psychedelic-based treatments. That’s a big part of the impetus for starting Origin – to be able to provide growth capital to companies that are exploring this.”

Supporting growth

Somjen highlights that increasing awareness of the benefits of psychedelics will pave the way for mainstream acceptance of the medicines and the implementation of regulatory frameworks to allow for treatment programmes. 

“As society gets better informed on mental health and becomes more aware of how to treat mental illness, interest in psychedelics has really been renewed. There was a counterculture movement in the 60s that stigmatised psychedelics. But now, we are seeing regulatory frameworks; the laws that have been put in place to prohibit their use and the rationales used to set up those prohibitions are being challenged left right and centre and that’s becoming a global phenomenon. 

See also  Awakn: democratising access to psychedelic treatments

“As the public becomes more open to the idea of psychedelics it is not only a treatment option but an effective one. I think we are going to see more regulatory frameworks getting put in place to allow for psychedelic treatment programmes to be funded and to operate in the context of being beneficial to society. 

“I think a combination of public sector and private sector are going to play an important role. In Canada, we have got the Section 56 Exemption under the CDSA that allows for a licenced dealer programme of psychedelics provided that they are being distributed to a company that is using psychedelics in the context of healthcare.”

Origin Therapeutics has raised nearly $7m which has been deployed across five investee biotech companies that are using psychedelics, both naturally occurring and synthetic, and exploring their treatment potential for mental health.

“We have also invested in companies that are involved in marketing, conferencing, awareness and education around the psychedelic industry. We have invested in a company that offers a telehealth platform connecting patients with clinicians trained in ketamine assisted psychotherapy, for example, and have invested in a company, Dimensions Healing, that is building wellness retreats with comprehensive treatment programmes involving psychedelics so – a broad basket of companies in the space.

“Dimensions Healing has also funded a psychedelic research facility at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, so, I think we are definitely going to see more collaborations between institutions and private companies as more capital gets deployed to the space. I think that is a very paramount piece of the equation to really make psychedelics more mainstream.

See also  Where can I find training for psychedelic therapy?

“Canada was the first G7 country to legalise cannabis. So, it made sense that now there are regulatory frameworks in Canada that make it possible to start a psychedelics-related business. The United States is fairly progressive in terms of cannabis at a state level, so I expect North America will be a trailblazer. I think the psychedelics sector is going to be very fragmented until more capital is deployed and governments ultimately see a benefit to society – and potential tax revenue from larger-scale businesses.”

Origin Therapeutics expects to list on the Canadian Securities Exchange towards the end of Q4 of this year, which will enable greater access to capital for Origin to broaden its investor base and continue to build out its portfolio.

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Psychedelic therapy programmes launch to address heartbreak, burnout and more



Psychedelic therapy programmes launch to address heartbreak, burnout and more

Mindbloom has launched its new Mastermind Series of psychedelic programmes for overcoming heartbreak, burnout and other unique mental health challenges. 

Led by and developed with leading experts in the field, each programme combines specialised teachings with ketamine therapy.

All programmes will include six ketamine therapy sessions focusing on a specific mental health issue, expert-led audio, video, and written content for preparation, treatment, and integration, practical tools such as meditation, one-on-one coaching and group integration sessions.

See also  Psychedelics for frontline workers, palliative care and eating disorders

The first programme in the Series is ‘Recovering from Rejection and Failure’, led by Dr Guy Winch who is a leading authority on emotional health, and a best-selling author and TED speaker whose talks have received over 30 million views.

Winch’s programme focuses on healing and preventing emotional injuries that people suffer in their personal, professional and romantic lives.

Mindbloom CEO and Founder Dylan Beynon stated: “More than 100 studies and 20 plus years of clinical use show that ketamine therapy may be the most transformational mental health treatment available today.

“In the face of epidemics of mental illness, addiction, and loneliness, we’re thrilled to offer our clients access to top experts across a range of issues – and to pair their expertise with our best-in-class ketamine therapy honed over hundreds of thousands of treatment sessions.”

“Emotional wounds like rejection and failure can be even more devastating than physical wounds, yet we don’t give them the same time and attention,” added Dr Winch.

“I’m thrilled to combine my techniques for emotional first aid with ketamine therapy, which has been shown to increase neuroplasticity and help build emotional resilience.”

Additional Mastermind programmes will be released in the coming months, including: Getting Unstuck, by Dr Elizabeth Lombardo; Beating Burnout, by Dr Shauna Shapiro; and Coping with Cravings, by Dr Jud Brewer

“Americans are struggling with heartbreak, burnout, and other challenges every day, and they’re looking for new tools to address them,” said Mindbloom’s Medical Director Dr Leonardo Vando.

“I’m grateful to these experts for providing Mindbloom’s clients with the unique practices and insights they’ve cultivated during their distinguished careers, to help them overcome the biggest obstacles in their lives.”

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Mychedelica launches to revolutionise psychedelic medicine



Mychedelica launches to revolutionise psychedelic medicine

A new company specialising in psychedelic medicine – mychedelica – is offering a comprehensive suite of services to support the advancement of this transformative field. 

With a team of experienced medical writers and research support specialists, mychedelica is committed to providing the highest quality services to researchers, clinicians, and pharmaceutical companies working in the psychedelic medicine space.

Psychedelic medicine is rapidly gaining recognition for its potential to treat a wide range of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the field is still in its early stages of development, and there is a critical need for high-quality medical writing and research support services to facilitate its progress.

CEO of mychedelica, Bilal Bham, commented: “We are thrilled to launch mychedelica and contribute to the advancement of psychedelic medicine.

“Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to providing the highest quality services to researchers, clinicians, and pharmaceutical companies working in this groundbreaking field.”

mychedelica provides a comprehensive range of services, including:

Medical writing: Experienced medical writers will craft clinical trial protocols, regulatory submissions, and peer-reviewed publications, ensuring that research findings are communicated clearly and effectively.

Funding research support: Experts in grant writing and fundraising strategies will assist researchers in securing funding for their psychedelic medicine studies.

Regulatory consulting: mychedelica’s team of regulatory experts will navigate the complex regulatory landscape surrounding psychedelic medicine, ensuring that clinical trials and products comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

With its commitment to quality and innovation, mychedelica is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of psychedelic medicine. The company’s services will empower researchers to conduct rigorous clinical trials, clinicians to provide effective treatments, and pharmaceutical companies to develop safe and effective psychedelic medicines.

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Short Wave Pharma: innovating eating disorder care with psychedelics



Short Wave Pharma: innovating eating disorder care psychedelics

Psychedelic Health speaks to Short Wave Pharma CEO Rivki Stern about the company’s plans to innovate eating disorder care through psychedelics and its recent acquisition by Psych Capital.

Short Wave Pharma was recently acquired by global investment firm Psych Capital. The companies are on a mission to transform mental health care, focusing on innovative approaches and treatments, including psychedelics, which are increasingly gaining acceptability as clinical research results accumulate.

Short Wave Pharma’s clinical programmes are particularly focused on Anorexia nervosa – a complex mental health condition with one of the highest fatality rates. Despite the condition being associated with high rates of suicide, it is a hugely underserved area of mental health, with no FDA-approved pharmacological drug, and a high rate of chronicity. 

See also  Psych Capital completes acquisition of Short Wave Pharma

The company has developed a novel delivery method and drug combination specifically designed to address the requirements of this vulnerable population. Short Wave focuses on methods of delivery that will be effective for Anorexia, which is a metabolic disease as well as a mental health condition. Its unique buccal film delivery method is intended to affect the brain while bypassing the liver and gut degradation through mucoadhesive absorption.

“Our goal is to alleviate, solve, and treat mental health conditions. It’s a dire need in our global society, and it’s constantly on the rise,” commented Stern. “Eating disorders are a very good example of that and we have seen a very alarming growth since COVID. 

“What drew our attention to psychedelics is that they have the potential to address very complex mental health diseases and have been designated by FDA as breakthrough medicine for life-threatening conditions.

“Because there are no current solutions, we must harness very innovative approaches and potential solutions. That’s why we started working with psychedelics which may be difficult because they are not regulated, but we don’t shy away from challenges.”

The company’s drug is based on psilocybin and another API which together utilise an expanded mechanism of action and a therapeutic effect superior to psilocybin alone, impacting more than one group of receptors in the brain. 

The delivery method is sensitive to the patients’ needs – who may not want to swallow or be injected – and is known for its high bioavailability. 

“By mucosal absorption, we are speeding the onset of the medicine and amplifying the impact which will help tackle the patients’ metabolic challenges and improve acceptance,” says Stern. 

The drug product and delivery method are currently in preparation for Phase 1 clinical studies, and in its current preclinical studies, the company is validating its delivery and expanded mechanisms of action. So far, initial safety results are positive, with a further, more in-depth toxicity study taking place. 

Psych Capital – which is a public investment and awareness platform for mental health, and has a portfolio of innovative companies – has supported Short Wave Pharma’s IP-driven approach to eating disorder care through its recent acquisition of the company.

Short Wave and Psych Capital say they are aligned in their missions to innovate mental healthcare and deliver transformative care in areas of high unmet need.

Stern commented: “We all share a passion for innovation and together have decades of experience in evaluating investments as well as scaling up R&D projects and start-ups in life sciences. 

“We have a shared commitment to alleviate the suffering from mental health. Every one of us has experienced the frustration and challenges of dealing with mental health issues.

“Together, we’re going to put this commitment into action, by bringing forth innovative solutions and developments and getting them through the first stages of development, from discovery through to early phases of clinical study. 

“With psychedelics components, this is extra challenging because of their status as scheduled drugs within a still evolving regulatory framework, which adds uncertainty to the drug development process. 

“Short Wave Pharma has operational expertise in early-stage drug development which will bring extra value to the group’s projects as they develop through our funnel and grow into promising candidates for mental healthcare.  

“We want to identify the gems, guide them through clinical development, and create the right network to attract the right partners for further development and commercialisation.”

Short Wave Pharma is planning to enter its treatment into clinical studies in 2024.

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