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Negev: funding psychedelic research in Europe and North America



Big Pharma backs psychedelics with acquisition of Mindset Pharma

Psychedelic Medicine Investment Fund Negev Capital is aiming to innovate mental healthcare in Europe by providing funding to companies on the cutting edge of psychedelic research.

Israel-based Negev Capital targets companies that are leading the field of psychedelic drug development and are in the mid-stages of clinical trials. 

With a global mental health epidemic and a lack of innovative treatments for mental health conditions, Negev believes that increasing evidence from psychedelic research shows that this class of compounds hold promise as new therapeutic modalities for mental healthcare.

Funding the early stages of drug development, to date, Negev’s portfolio includes the likes of Small Pharma, BeckleyPsytech, Awakn, Mindset Pharma, Reconnect Labs and Atai Life Sciences, among a number of others. 

Accelerating research

Speaking to Psychedelic Health, Founding Partner Ken Belotsky and Principal Hayim Raclaw, say that psychedelics will only gain momentum as continuing pre-clinical and clinical research points to the compounds as effective treatments for mental health conditions. 

“Seeing clinical indications which psychedelics have the greatest impact on mental health and CNS, and these are areas in which humanity is suffering a great deal,” commented Raclaw. 

“We don’t talk in epidemiological terms about mental health, because mental health pathologies aren’t transmitted the same way viruses are, but in terms of scale and growth trajectory – we are in the midst of a mental health epidemic. 

“To add to that context, the ways in which we treat mental health ailments, disorders, pathologies, are not terribly effective. Certainly, not as effective as they need to be. We’re dealing with treatments that have been around for decades with limitations on their effectiveness.

See also  Awakn signs agreement to deepen IP moat for lead programme

“This renaissance of research into the effects of psychedelics on mental health and the Central Nervous System [CNS], the results are nothing short of astonishing and very promising. 

“These aren’t merely new prescription drugs. These are new modalities of care. It’s a class of therapeutics that seem to be very effective in an area where the need is just tremendous.”

Raclaw highlights that the last 36 months have seen preclinical and animal research moving into human models, currently, with around 24% of new clinical trials for depression treatments in 2022 were with psychedelics.

“As investors, it’s a wonderful time to support the most promising companies because the macroeconomic situation is such that it’s a buyer’s market in terms of investing in these companies – you’re not dealing with overinflated or over high valuations, quite the opposite,” he commented.

“The time horizon for a lot of the companies’ research is not decades, but within two to three years, they will be far enough along – in Phase 2b of clinical trials – to know whether the drugs are efficacious or not, whether they’re promising or not, which is the kind of time horizon for realising the value of these investments that investors like to see.”

The time is now

Negev has years of experience in investing and has recently welcomed Professor Matt Johnson from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who is a world leader in psychedelics research, onto its advisory board.  

“It’s a wonderful time to put the hard-earned experience of the last several years of investing, of Negev Fund One, to work” said Belotsky. “We have the experience and the right team to act on the exciting moment.”

See also  Short Wave Pharma: innovating eating disorder care with psychedelics

Negev launched its first fund in 2021 with a broad focus, investing in companies with strong science and management teams, providing enough capital for the companies to pass certain stages of development.

The company is now launching its second fund to the capital of USD$250 million which will finance human clinical trials. Negev will invest in around 10 to 12 companies at an average of $15 million to $25 million per company for Phase 1 to Phase 2b clinical trials. 

Belotsky commented: “Fundamentally, we see that the quality of research, the results from clinical trials that we get are so positive right now. Unfortunately, because of macroeconomic conditions and other issues, many investors right now don’t recognise these positive results. Those that do will benefit themselves and a novel industry that seeks to help people.

“As already mentioned, 24% of all new clinical trials last year in depression were based on psychedelics. It’s the largest family of compounds right now present on the market.

“The main challenge right now is that the market needs pharmaceutical-grade products to help people. That’s the aim of our fund, to help companies to build pharmaceutical-grade products with compounds inspired by psychedelics. 

“I think we have already enough evidence to show we are past the point of no return – it’s not possible to stop this moment anymore, so, it’s just a matter of time.

“There are some absolutely amazing opportunities for investors right now. We know all the best assets in the space, we know all the best management teams and we know how to deploy the capital in the most efficient way.” 

See also  FDA issues draft guidance for psychedelic clinical trials

Raclaw added: “The opportunity for psychedelics has gotten better, and macroeconomic situations aside, the fact is that the need is there. The R&D is bearing out it’s getting more exciting with each new set of results that comes out. 

“The regulators are embracing this, the medical community is engaged by the mounting clinical evidence, and the public itself has a greater interest just looking at the number of articles and books and Netflix specials. So, the fundamentals have gotten stronger.”

Negev is an official sponsor of PSYCH Symposium: London 2023 which will takes place today, Thursday, 6 July 2023, at the iconic British Museum. To find out more or to buy tickets, please visit:

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Markets & Industry

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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Markets & Industry

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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Markets & Industry

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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