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.
“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.”
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.
“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.
“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.
Small Pharma receives patent grant for DMT injectable formulation
The patent will also protect novel injectable formulations of other known psychedelic compounds.
UK-based Small Pharma has announced that its DMT patent strategy has been strengthened with a new US patent protection on injectable DMT delivery in its lead programmes SPL026 and SPL028.
Small Pharma has received Issue Notification from the United States Patent and Trademark Office that its patent application will be granted on 9 August, 2022 in the US.
The patent is for novel injectable formulations of N, N-dimethyltryptamine (“DMT”) based compounds, and includes novel injectable formulations of other psychedelic compounds, including 5-MeO-DMT and psilocybin.
Chief Innovation and Intellectual Property Officer of Small Pharma, Peter Rands, said: “Our focus is on developing novel and scalable mental health treatments for patients who are under-served by current medicines.
“This means diligent assessment of both clinical and commercial potential, and requires a strong patent approach to protect our formulations. We believe that this patent, covering our two most advanced DMT programmes, SPL026 and SPL028, will provide protection of those assets until August 2041.
“We have focused on protecting our pipeline assets through novel chemistry and, in this case, optimized finished dosage forms.”
The patent represents Small Pharma’s ninth issued patent, and will be the first US patent grant within the company’s psychedelic portfolio, which includes over 70 pending applications, and includes formulations of DMT, the active ingredient in SPL026, and of deuterium-substituted DMT, including the active ingredient in SPL028.
George Tziras, Chief Executive Officer, added: “This US patent represents a major milestone in our development strategy. It is also timely, as we anticipate dosing completion in our SPL026 Phase IIa trial in patients with Major Depressive Disorder, and prepare for a Phase I study of SPL028 in healthy volunteers in the second half of this year.
“For Small Pharma’s longer-term vision, the U.S. will be an important market for DMT-assisted therapies as we look to shape the future of mental health treatments.”
Psychedelic therapeutics market projected to hit $8.31bn by 2028
A new report suggests the market will grow at CAGR of 13.2 per cent from 2022 to 2028.
InsightAce Analytic has projected that the global psychedelic therapeutics market, valued at US$3.61bn in 2021, is expected to reach US$8.31bn (~£6.92bn) by 2028.
With a growing number of people across the globe experiencing poor mental health, not all of which respond to traditional treatments, there is an increasing need for innovative therapies. A growing body of research is now demonstrating that psychedelics could hold promise as treatments for a number of mental health indications.
The new report from InsightAce Analytic suggests that this rise in poor mental health, compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, along with changed lifestyles and quality of living are fuelling the growth of the psychedelic medicine market.
It also highlights that increasing research and development initiatives and the introduction of breakthrough medications that have exhibited efficiency in patients with severe psychological disorders are expected to generate considerable opportunities in the market.
In 2021, North America dominated the market, and is anticipated to retain its dominance through to 2028 due to the increasing incidence of depression and mental disorders, improved mental health awareness and a rise in research and development efforts. In addition, the increase in mental health-related activity in the healthcare industry to create innovative therapies bolstered regional growth.
As well as including key players in the market, the report explores significant developments that have spurred its growth.
It highlights that, in March 2022, COMPASS Pathways plc entered into a long-term strategic agreement to establish The Centre for Mental Health Research and Innovation to boost psychedelic research and create new mental health treatment modes in the UK. The partnership will speed research into developing psychedelic treatments, promote therapist training and certification, analyse real-world evidence and prototype digital tools to facilitate personalised, predictive and preventative care models.
Other key developments include Mind Medicine announcing the initiation of Project Angie in 2021. The project is aiming to promote the research and development of psychedelics, including LSD, as pain treatments.
Despite positive progression for the market, however, the report also highlights that the wider acceptance of non-therapeutics therapies over allopathic therapies, along with stringent regulations imposed by various governments to commercialise psychedelic medicines, may restrain the market’s growth.
To read the full report please click here.
Provisional patent filed for psilocybin-based compound
The compound has been designed to treat mental health disorders.
PsiloTec Health Solutions Inc., operating as Zylorion Health, has filed its third provisional patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Zylorion Health is focused on precision mental health care and psychedelic therapy. The provisional patent application covers the composition of matter of Zylorion’s novel psilocybin-based compound, ZYL-314.
The compound will be used for the treatment of mental health disorders and other central nervous system conditions and cognitive disorders.
CEO, Dr Peter Silverstone, commented: “Our clinical team has been working tirelessly with our research partners on the development of novel second generation and industry leading compounds, and we are extremely excited about this discovery.
“ZYL-314 is truly unique and achieving this milestone demonstrates Zylorion’s commitment to bringing innovative new therapies to market and creating long-term shareholder value through a strong portfolio of intellectual property assets.”
The company continues to gather the necessary data and evidence to support the claims and conversion of the composition of matter provisional patent and anticipates filing an application under the PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) within the next twelve months.
Zylorion is currently engaged in the development and delivery of integrated precision mental health therapies to address psychological and neurological mental health conditions.
It is focussing on the research, development and commercialisation of psychedelic-based compounds coupled with novel therapeutic treatment programmes targeting a continuum of mental health conditions, such as major depressive disorder, treatment resistant depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, general depression, anxiety disorders, and a number of addictive tendencies.
Zylorion has stated that it aims to leverage leading technologies to support the scalability and accessibility of its integrated therapy programmes in its mission to enable those experiencing mental health challenges to thrive.
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