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New York, NY – October 7, 2020 – Depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental illnesses have been prevalent in the US for quite some time, but the coronavirus pandemic has triggered a full-blown mental health crisis. Prior to the viral outbreak, the number of Americans suffering from mental illness was already alarmingly high and now there is evidence that COVID-19 can cause its own lingering psychological effects. A recent study that screened 402 adult survivors of COVID-19 found that 55% presented a clinical score for at least one mental disorder, including anxiety (42%), insomnia (40%), depression (31%), PTSD (28%), and OCD (20%). COMPASS Pathways plc’s (NASDAQ:CMPS) historic $100 million initial public offering on the NASDAQ has added to the investment interest in what could be the next breakthrough therapies for these affiliations. Meanwhile, companies like Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (CSE:MYCO), Mind Medicine (MindMed) Inc. (NEO:MMED) (OTCQB:MMEDF), Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:TNXP), and Numinus Wellness (TSXV:NUMI) (OTCPK:LKYSF) are also working on solutions to combat the problem.
Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. Brings Psychedelic Therapies and Telehealth Together
The growing visibility of the need for new and innovative treatments for mental illnesses is driving new research and development into psychedelics as psychiatric medicines. Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (CSE:MYCO) (MYCOF) is at the forefront of this development. Mydecine is one of the few companies in the world with access to a full Health Canada Schedule 1 Controlled Drugs and Substances Dealer’s Licence. This means that the company can legally cultivate, transfer, sell, and export pharmaceutical-grade psilocybin mushrooms for controlled therapeutic uses.
In addition to developing psychedelic therapies, Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. is also working to make these medicines more accessible in a COVID-19 world. As more patients turn to options that allow them to access mental health services from their own homes, the global telehealth services market is projected to grow to more than $185 billion by 2026. The company has developed the first telehealth platform designed specifically for psychedelic medicines, which recently launched on September 30. Mydecine’s Mindleap Health connects patients with mental health professionals who are specially trained and up to date on psychedelics. The platform also allows patients to track their habits to ensure safe and effective treatment.
In August, Mydecine’s research arm, NeuroPharm Inc., announced that it had formed a partnership with the Leiden University Medical Center of The Netherlands and the ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre to run a series of clinical trials examining psilocybin for the treatment of PTSD. Meanwhile, Mydecine’s operational branch, Mydecine Health Sciences, is working to develop dosage-controlled fungi products for the pharmaceutical as well as health and vitality markets.
Developments in Alternative Therapies
Psychedelic medicine became a major center of attention in the investing world after famed Silicon Valley billionaire investor and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel led an $80 million round of funding for psychedelic-focused biotech company COMPASS Pathways plc (NASDAQ:CMPS). In October 2018, COMPASS became the first company to receive breakthrough therapy designation from the Food and Drug Administration for psychedelic medicine as a therapy for treatment-resistant depression. But perhaps most exciting of all, in September 2020, the company initiated a $100 million initial public offering on NASDAQ, making it the first ever psychedelics company to list on a major US exchange.
In June 2020, Canadian neuro-pharmaceutical company Mind Medicine (MindMed) Inc. (NEO:MMED) (OTCQB:MMEDF) announced it was creating patents for technologies that would optimize the dosing of MDMA, LSD, and other psychedelics for therapeutic purposes. The company has already filed two separate patent applications for technologies that cover MDMA dose optimization and LSD dose-response, respectively. Over the past year, MindMed has begun clinical trials for six psychedelic-based treatments, with some already having advanced to Phase 2b.
In September, Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:TNXP) announced that the company had successfully completed the required fed-fasting and dose proportionality tests for its treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and fibromyalgia. Tonix’s treatment for PTSD is currently in Phase 3 of clinical trials.
Vancouver-based healthcare company Numinus Wellness (TSXV:NUMI) (OTC:LKYSF) received regulatory approval from Health Canada in June 2020 to extract naturally sourced psilocybin for medical research purposes. The company will use this capability to support psychedelic-assisted therapy and research. Numinus could also develop and licence proprietary IP for further product development.
Our understanding of the seriousness of psychiatric disorders like depression and PTSD has grown a lot in recent years, and with it, the urgency for innovative and effective treatments. Companies like Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. are at the forefront of research and development that could make these disorders more easily manageable and treatable.
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