Psilocybin Research Company’s IPO Brings $1 Billion Valuation
UK-based Compass Pathways led a groundbreaking IPO last week. Share prices spiked 71 percent to nearly $30 after the initial offering of 7.5 million shares, which launched at $17 each. Current value of the company based on its 34 million shares is estimated at nearly $1 billion. It’s listed on Nasdaq as “CMPS.”
The mental health care company, which launched in 2016, is currently working on developing psilocybin-based treatments for depression. More than 100 million people suffer from treatment-resistant depression (TRD), an “economic burden” Compass estimates costs more than $200 billion annually.
While it’s still unclear how psychedelics improve mood over time, clinical trials have pointed to the potential long-term benefit of psilocybin in stabilizing mood and showing benefits in the treatment of TRD. It’s also being studied for use in PTSD and anxiety.
While there are significant developments in Canada and the U.S. in the psychedelic research market, the UK and the EU have been slower to fund psychedelic research projects, even despite the Imperial College London hosting the first-ever psilocybin clinical trial in 2016. But this IPO may change the landscape for European and UK companies.
Canada has seen several IPOs recently, including another psilocybin-based company, Champignon Brands, which went public in February.
“This is a game-changer for the industry,” Bill Stern, managing partner at Venture Group Capital, said in a statement about Compass’ launch. “Unfortunately, a lot of public companies when they have come to market have been trading on the smaller exchanges with very little exposure. This is going to change the game and is going to change the industry dramatically.”
Compass says the funding will support research and clinical trials as well as the development of digital technologies aimed to support the substance-based therapies.
The UK-based company received “breakthrough therapy” status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2018, which allowed it to accelerate its production of psilocybin-based therapies. It’s now involved in a Phase IIb trial; approval for its depression treatment could come within three years.