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HMNC Brain Health raises €14.3m to advance precision psychiatry

Investors include a former Deutsche Bank CEO and football player, Toni Kroos.



Psychedelics company raises €14.3m advance precision psychiatry
Photo by micheile dot com on Unsplash

HMNC Brain Health has raised €14.3m in a funding series, raised from existing investors, including Carsten Maschmeyer, the Jahr Group and Guntard Gutmann. 

New investors included Dr Josef Ackermann, formerly CEO of Deutsche Bank, Toni Kroos of La Liga club Real Madrid, Wilhelm Beier of Dermapharm and Hans Kompernaß of Hans Kompernaß GmbH.

HMNC has stated that the proceeds will be used to accelerate its precision psychiatry programmes, in which first-in-class pharmaceuticals are co-developed with proprietary genetic companion diagnostics to identify the patient groups most likely to benefit most from the treatments. 

See also  HMNC aims to make ketamine treatment first-in-class for patients

The company is aiming to innovate mental health care through the development of specific treatments with increased efficacy and reduced side effects, and will be harnessing genomics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to develop them. 

In 2021, HMNC embarked on a joint venture with Develco Pharma to create the company Ketabon – a project developing a prolonged-release oral ketamine formulation for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). The company is hoping that the formula will provide the therapeutic benefits of ketamine without the ‘trip.’

The funds will advance the development of the Ketabon programme, which entered into a clinical Phase 2 trial in June 2022.

Chief business officer of HMNC Brain Health, Dr Maximilian Doebler, commented: “We are very pleased to receive support from both new and current investors. 

“With this funding, we will advance the development of our personalised therapies to combat severe, unmet mental health challenges around the world. 

“Raising additional capital is a tremendous vote of confidence in the promise of our clinical trial candidates, the power of precision medicine in psychiatry and our team’s ability to achieve its strategic priorities.”

The company secured investment from Toni Kroos, professional football player at Real Madrid, who highlighted how mental health is undervalued in sports.

Kroos stated: “Mental health is a serious issue that affects millions of people around the world. I have witnessed how mental health is undervalued in competitive sports in particular, even though the physical and psychological pressure is incredibly high. 

“The team at HMNC Brain Health are true pioneers in this field, combating mental illness with precisely tailored, individualised treatments, which is why I am delighted to be on board.”

Former CEO of Deutsche Bank, Dr Josef Ackermann, also invested.

Ackermann said: “I have always been intrigued by breakthrough innovations that improve people’s lives, especially when it comes to health. 

“That’s why I have decided to support HMNC as an investor and be part of the precision psychiatry revolution. Through investing in HMNC’s programmes, I want to foster an important societal impact in the fight against anxiety disorders and depression.”

Co-founder and member of the board of directors at HMNC Brain Health, Carsten Maschmeyer, added: “We are extremely encouraged by the progression of HMNC Brain Health’s activities to date, and equally confident in the team’s ability to achieve further success. 

“Over the past few months, HMNC has recruited key experts to join the team, and made great progress in advancing its medications and companion diagnostics. 

“Unsurprisingly, within a short period of time we attracted several new, renowned investors to support the maturation of HMNC Brain Health, who are as convinced as I am of the important role HMNC will play in treating mental health patients globally.”

HMNC Brain Health expects to complete a second closing of this round by end of March 2023.

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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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