This week in psychedelic business news: It’s all about partnerships and acquisitions designed to advance psychedelic therapies for depression, suicidal ideation, pain, and more.
PurMinds BioPharma Inc. has completed a strategic equity investment in IMIO Life Ltd., the psychedelic pharmaceutical subsidiary of Israeli-based R&D company Nextage Therapeutics Ltd. The investment will enable PurMinds BioPharma to optimize the delivery and bioavailability of certain psychedelic and non-psychedelic drug candidates by leveraging Nextage’s patented Brain Targeting Lipsome System technology, a patented drug delivery system that targets the delivery of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) through the blood brain barrier. The process is designed to reduce the potential for adverse events by lowering API concentrations and increasing drug bioavailability and efficacy.
“Our investment in IMIO Life strengthens ties between PurMinds and the IMIO/Nextage /Nextar family of companies and lays a strong foundation for the execution of PurMinds’ non-dilutive strategy and accelerated novel drug-delivery platform” says PurMinds CEO, Ms. Janet Qi, CPA. MBA. “We are extremely excited to be taking the next step in our relationship with IMIO and consider it a significant milestone for PurMinds, one where two companies with complementary core competencies join forces in the development of groundbreaking, patentable drug innovation.”
Psilocybin Research and Development
Compass Pathways signed a Memorandum of Understanding with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London, to advance the research and development of Compass’s novel psilocybin therapy, COMP360, as well as other therapies that may be developed by the company, for the treatment of mental health conditions such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anorexia. The agreement also ensures training of psychotherapists, generating of real-world evidence, prototyping of digital solutions, and constructing a state-of-the-art research facility.
“So many of us know people who are suffering with mental health issues, but are not helped by existing treatments,” says George Goldsmith, CEO and Co‑founder, Compass Pathways. “We are dedicated to providing new ways of caring for people on their journey to mental wellbeing – but we cannot do this alone. This partnership would help to amplify our combined efforts so we can bring evidence-based innovation, on a large scale, to people in the UK.”
Researchers with the University of Michigan will be investigating Tryp Therapeutics “Psilocybin-for-Neuropsychiatric Disorders” program. The studies, conducted with the Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center and the Center for Consciousness Science in the university’s Department of Anesthesiology, are designed to expand Tryp’s intellectual property portfolio for its novel TRP-8803 drug formulation compared to oral synthetic psilocybin formulations as it advances into Phase 2b clinical trials investigating psilocybin’s impact on pain.
“We are excited to initiate our collaboration with the University of Michigan with critical research supporting the unique properties of our proprietary psilocybin formulation and method of delivery,” says Jim Gilligan, Ph.D., President and Chief Science Officer of Tryp Therapeutics. “The University of Michigan has extensive expertise in the dosing and delivery of active pharmaceutical ingredients and world-class expertise in several pain related indications that are aligned with our interests. We expect this to be the first of many opportunities for collaboration with this prestigious academic institution.”
Psychedelic biotech firm Psyence Group Inc., is partnering with Clerkenwell Health, a psychedelic Contract Research Organization (CRO) based in the U.K. The two will jointly design and deliver clinical trials in the field of palliative care.
“There is an historic opportunity for psychedelics such as psilocybin to play a significant role in palliative care,” says Dr. Dingle Spence, a Palliative Care Specialist and Psyence’s Medical Advisor, and designer of the palliative care clinical trials. “We are interested in helping alleviate the many symptoms and conditions experienced by people dealing with serious illness including anxiety and depression, existential distress, quality of life concerns, and issues around grief and bereavement, using a palliative care lens that will provide a more holistic approach to their therapy.”
Cybin Inc. is joining forces with Greenbrook TMS Inc. subsidiary TMS NeoroHealth Centers, to create Mental Health Centers for Excellence to advance its proprietary psychedelic products for mental health conditions as well as innovative drug delivery systems. Cybin says in a news release that the partnership and the formation of mental health centers has the potential to “leverage one of the largest outpatient mental health service center footprints in the U.S..”
In other news, Seelos Therapeutics Inc., has begun dosing its first patient in part 2 of a double-blind, placebo-controlled proof of concept study of SLS-002, It’s novel ketamine nasal spray for patients with major depressive disorder with acute suicidal ideation and behavior.
“The goal of the development of SLS-002 in treating suicidal patients is to radically change the current standard of care. SLS-002's potential to have a rapid onset of efficacy, as was suggested in Part 1 of our study, aims to show a benefit as quickly as overnight. This could potentially allow for patients to be discharged sooner in the future and treated as an outpatient,” says Raj Mehra Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Seelos.