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'Psyched': First Psychedelics Company Lists Publicly, Phase III Clinical Trials On MDMA For PTSD

Welcome to the first edition of Psyched, a bi-monthly column covering the most important developments in the industry of medicinal psychedelics. We hope you follow us periodically as we report on the growth of this exciting new industry.

Benzinga · 03/15/2020 13:38

Welcome to the first edition of Psyched, a bi-monthly column covering the most important developments in the industry of medicinal psychedelics. We hope you follow us periodically as we report on the growth of this exciting new industry.

MindMed Became the First Psychedelics Company to List Publicly on NEO Stock Exchange, Created New Committee

Mind Medicine Inc. (OTC: MMEDF) (NEO: MMED) received clearance by Canada’s NEO Exchange to list under the symbol MMED on March 3. This makes it the first psychedelic-focused company to go public on a North American exchange.

MindMed is a neuro-pharmaceutical company that researches and develops psychedelics-inspired medicine. The company is researching 18-MC, a non-hallucinogenic drug derived from the psychedelic plant ibogaine and is setting the ground for Phase 2 clinical trials on LSD microdosing.

After completion of a Phase 1 clinical trial to prove 18-MC’s safety in humans the company is now moving forward to Phase 2 trials, which will assess efficacy and side effects. The 18-MC molecule has been floated as a possible alternative to treating substance addiction, including opioids and tobacco.

The company also announced on March 12 it has formed a technology evaluation, acquisition and scientific integrity board committee, that will be headed by Matthew Johnson, Ph.D. 

Johnson is a Johns Hopkins professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, who has been one of the leading figures of psychedelic research and treatment development in the past decade. Dr. Miri Halperin Wernli, a psychiatry clinician and a director on MindMed's board, will chair the committee.

Former Canopy Growth Exec. Joined Psychedelics Company Board

Jon Cooper, former Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC) Deputy Managing Director of U.S. Operations, was named Director of the Board at CaaMTech on Feb. 26.

Cooper founded Ebbu, a Colorado-based cannabis company in 2013. The company was acquired by Canopy Growth in 2018 by CA$429 million ($330 million), which were paid CA$25 million in cash, and the rest in Canopy Stock.

Israel Completed Phase III Clinical Trials on MDMA for PTSD

Two Israeli participants were the first to complete a Phase III clinical study using MDMA as a treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, announced the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) on Feb. 26.

The study will be complemented with patients from the U.S. and Canada, and is expected to be completed by 2021. Dr. Keren Tzarfaty, Clinical Investigator, Training Supervisor, and Director of Israeli Projects and Collaborations with MAPS said that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy can have a great impact on patients who suffer from traumatic experiences such as war or sexual assault. Given Israel’s current and historical condition of political instability, it is believed that over 10% of the Israeli population experiences PTSD in relation to war and war-related violence.

In February 2019, Israel became the first country to give financial support to MDMA-assisted therapy, with the granting of $500,000 in medical and hospital services to MAPS. The country was also the first to approve a Compassionate Use program for MDMA therapy for PTSD.

Psychedelic-Enhanced Psychotherapy Clinic Opens In Toronto

Field Trip Health, a wholly owned subsidiary of Field Trip Psychedelics, a mental wellness company focused on psychedelics and psychotherapy, debuted its first medical center in Toronto on March 4. 

The center will be dedicated exclusively to the administration of psychedelic-enhanced psychotherapy. This means that the clinic’s professionals will use psychedelics as tools to improve psychological treatment.

The first psychedelic that will be administered to patients at the clinic is ketamine, a dissociative drug that the former director of the National Institute of Mental Health described as “the most important breakthrough in antidepressant treatment in decades.”

His statement was based on evidence showing Ketamine is safe, provides almost immediate and enduring relief from depression symptoms, and improves neuroplasticity.

The opening follows Field Trip’s announcement of an oversubscribed Series A financing round that raised $8.5 million for the company. Those funds will be used to execute the initial stages of Field Trip's strategic plan to build out its network of medical centers in Toronto as well as in the U.S. with clinics in New York and Los Angeles set to open later this year.

Additionally, the financing will help fund the final construction of its research and cultivation facility at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica that is dedicated to the study of psilocybin-producing mushrooms and the discovery of novel therapeutic molecules.

Prohibition Partners Released its First Psychedelics Report

The European-based cannabis research firm Prohibition Partners released its first report on psychedelics as medicine. The report introduces the language and established categories for the nascent industry, including the drugs psilocybin (‘magic’ mushrooms), LSD, ketamine, MDMA and ibogaine.

The report reviews legislation and regulation around these drugs, their market potential and consumer trends and attitudes. Also included is a profiling of the different compounds in terms of their therapeutic possibilities, a timeline of key events in the history of these drugs and the status of psychedelics as medicine around the world.

Photo by Valentin Salja on Unsplash