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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.

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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.

“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. 

“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.

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Dealers licence for psychedelic medicines received by Psygen Labs

Psygen hits a major milestone with the receipt of a dealer’s licence from Health Canada.

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Dealers licence for psychedelic medicines received by Psygen Labs

Psychedelics manufacturer Psygen has received the dealer’s license for LSD, MDMA, psilocybin, psilocin, DMT, 2C-B and mescaline.

Receipt of the Health Canada dealers licence opens the doors to the commercial production of psychedelics at Psygen’s Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) facility.

The licence will enable, Psygen Labs, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Psygen, to manufacture, sell, import, export and otherwise deal with the above-listed controlled substances. The company In also manufactures high-potential unscheduled substances such as 5-MeO-DMT, ibogaine and others.

CEO of Psygen, Danny Motyka, commented: “Psygen’s dealer’s licence is a major milestone that opens the doors to commercial production of GMP psilocybin and other psychedelics at our facility. 

“Our dealer’s licence issued following a perfect inspection, meaning we had zero observations from the inspector, which is indicative of the diligence and skill that Psygen brings to our work.”

The licence will enable a global reach for Psygen’s facility, which is Canada’s only dedicated manufacturer of synthetic psychedelics based in Calgary, Alberta. Upon completion of the facility Psygen will begin onsite manufacturing of synthetic psychedelics for use in clinical and scientific research.

CSO, Peter van der Heyden, commented: “A primary application for psychedelics is to support psychotherapy for treatment of mental health conditions. 

“After two years of a global pandemic, mental health conditions are a more urgent need than ever. We are excited to supply material for use in clinical trials and the SAP to further validate the utility of psychedelic medicines.”

The company has also announced it will be providing GMP psilocybin for use in patients through Canada’s Special Access Program, following recent amendments that were made to allow access to restricted drugs such as psilocybin and MDMA through the SAP.

See also  Canada's amendment allowing patients access to psychedelics welcomed

GMP psilocybin previously manufactured by Psygen personnel in collaboration with a licensed dealer using Psygen’s methods has already been used in clinical trials for development of therapeutic products. 

The company also has over twenty supply agreements in place for psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine, 5-MeO-DMT, MDMA and LSD to be fulfilled globally.

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Numinus wellness now trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange

The mental healthcare company has graduated from the TSXV.

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Numinus wellness now trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange

Numinus Wellness received final approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange to graduate its listing to the TSX from the TSX-Venture Exchange.

Numinus Wellness‘ common shares began trading on the TSX under the symbol NUMI on December 16, 2021, and rang the opening bell to celebrate the milestone.

Numinus Founder and CEO, Payton Nyquvest, who was joined by members of Numinus’ senior management team at the event, spoke to Psychedelic Health to say: “I’m proud of what Numinus has achieved over the past three years by staying true to our mission of providing accessible and innovative care and focusing on being in service to all in need. 

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“Graduating to the TSX is an important milestone for Numinus as we take key steps to heighten our corporate profile and reach a broader range of investors. 

“This up-listing is another indication that Numinus has effectively advanced our healthcare strategy, met our business objectives, and built a rapidly scalable growth platform to lead the emerging sector of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. 

“This is also reflective of many exciting developments occurring at Numinus. We’re actively growing our clinic network across North America, expanding our lab capabilities, and strategically investing in clinical research to drive long-term value creation for our investors. 

“This is only the beginning of our journey, and we look forward to continuing to champion our mission in this industry.”

The company will be trading on the TSX under the symbols NUMI.WT, NUMI.WT.B and NUMI.WT.C.

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Rights acquired for use of psychedelics to treat Alzheimer’s Disease

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Rights acquired for use of psychedelics to treat Alzheimer's Disease

The acquisition includes all future worldwide rights relating to the use of psychedelics to treat Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

In a key landmark for the company, MYND Life Sciences has successfully acquired the right, title and interest in and to the intellectual property rights for the use of psychedelics to treat dementia from Cava Healthcare.

The company has said that the acquisition will strengthen its psilocybin-assisted medicinal and diagnostics capabilities, adding novel psychedelics for the treatment of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

MYNd CEO, Dr Lyle Oberg, MD, commented: “Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, touch almost all families in some way, usually with very dramatic and emotionally painful consequences.

“As we continue to draw the enthusiasm of investors, we are able take tangible steps towards moving beyond preclinical and into clinical work with our research team.”

The World Health Organization estimates that between 44 and 50 million people worldwide suffer from dementia. Additionally, the Alzheimer’s Association has estimated that the estimated cost of caring for people with dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease, in the USA alone, and is expected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2050. 

MYND has sated that it intends to be at the forefront of these advances.

Cava CEO, Theo Warkentin, added: “MYND is an innovative industry leader in psychedelic psychotherapy, therapeutics and diagnostics. 

“The company is uniquely positioned to pursue the effectiveness of psilocybin and other psychedelics for treating dementias.”

On closing the asset acquisition MYND issued 450,000 common shares to Cava at a deemed price of $0.85 per share and made a cash payment of $120,000. In addition, MYND will pay Cava an annual royalty.

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Psychedelic Health is a journalist-led news site. Any views expressed by interviewees or commentators do not reflect our own. We do not provide medical advice or promote the personal use of psychedelic compounds. Please seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any of the issues raised.

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