NEW YORK, June 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Investor interest in alternative psychedelic medicine is on the rise, with billionaire investors, celebrities, and high-profile execs endorsing the psychedelic medicine market either by joining strategic advisory boards or making sizable investments. In fact, there is so much interest in psychedelics medicine that some analysts see the industry bringing in $6.85 billion by 2027 . Mental health is a big problem in America, with total spending on mental healthcare every year topping $195 billion. Mind Medicine (MindMed) Inc. (NEO:MMED) (OTCQB:MMEDF) has received sizable investments from Shark Tank host and celebrity investor Kevin O'Leary and former Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton. PayPal Holdings (NASDAQ:PYPL) co-founder Peter Thiel is also betting big bucks on the psychedelic drugs market through an investment in ATAI Life Sciences. At the same time, former Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) executive Michael Ehlers has joined the space by taking on an advisory role with psychedelics clinical company, Field Trip. Meanwhile, Mydecine Innovations Group (CSE:MYCO) (OTC:NLBIF) has undergone a name change and developed a new strategic focus to get in on the emerging market. Hallucinogens have even begun getting more airtime, with Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) recently launching a star-studded documentary titled "Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics."
Indeed, psychedelic drugs are moving away from their bad reputation and could be lining pharmacy aisles and new hospitals in the years to come if government bodies and billionaire investors continue to provide support.
Psychedelic Meds Gain Celebrity Backing
When the FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to two psychedelic-based treatments in 2019 and approved Johnson & Johnson's ketamine-like nasal spray for depression, it opened up a flurry of investments. The sector even experienced the largest-ever private financing round of $80 million for Compass Pathways, a psychedelic medicine company. PayPal Holdings (NASDAQ:PYPL) co-founder, Peter Thiel, the legendary Silicon Valley billionaire investor who was an early business partner of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and also recently led a $24 million financing round for ATAI Life Sciences, a privately held company developing psychedelic medicines..
Among the few publicly-traded psychedelic companies also conducting drug trials and garnering investor interest is Mind Medicine (MindMed) Inc. (MMED) (MMEDF), a neuro-pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, and deploys psychedelic-inspired medicines to improve health, promote wellness, and alleviate suffering.
Prior to its IPO last year, Mind Medicine (MindMed) Inc. received investments from Shark Tank host and celebrity investor Kevin O'Leary, former Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton, and CEO and Founder of Bail Capital James Bailey. The company has raised nearly US$40 million. Having O'Leary on their side speaks volumes after the entrepreneur made it clear he would never invest in the cannabis industry. O'Leary said he decided to bet on MindMed and its psychedelic-based treatments because they "could save lives, cure depression, help alcoholism, get people off opioids."
Mind Medicine (MindMed) Inc. has been putting those investments to good use and has continued to move forward through the various phases of clinical trials for several of its novel treatments.
The company just announced that it is creating technologies and patents around optimizing the dosing of MDMA, LSD, and other psychedelics for patients.The company with its R&D partner University Hospital Basel has filed two separate patent applications that cover MDMA dose optimization and LSD dose-response.
Mind Medicine (MindMed) Inc(MMED) (MMEDF)also recently launched Project Lucy. The commercial drug development program for the treatment of anxiety disorders is the first experiential, psychedelic-assisted therapy to be added to the company's drug development pipeline. MindMed plans to initiate a Phase 2b human trial that will focus on experiential doses of LSD administered by a therapist and has established a task force to prepare a briefing package for a potential Investigational New Drug (IND) with the US FDA.
Former drug giant executive Dr. Michael Ehlerd from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) sees the market's potential. Ehler, who has over two decades of academic and business experience in neuroscience and drug development, joined the space by taking on an advisory role with psychedelic clinics company Field Trip.
Another publicly-traded company recently entered the space through the acquisition of a private fungi research company. In May 2020, Mydecine Innovations (CSE:MYCO) (OTC:NLBIF), formerly NewLeaf Brands, acquired Mydecine Group, a vertically integrated company utilizing the vast medicinal, health, and wellness capabilities compounds found in various strains of mushroom and fungi.
The Future of Psychedelic Medicine
It's clear that psychedelic medicines are gradually becoming more widely accepted, with Canada, Denver, Colorado, and Oakland, California decriminalizing psilocybin mushrooms in the last year. Now that the FDA is on board with psilocybin and other psychedelic compounds for their medicinal purposes, there is an opportunity to completely disrupt the world of medicine.
In fact, psychedelics are becoming more acceptable by the day. In May, the world's leading entertainment service Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) dove into the history of psychedelics and touched on the powerful role hallucinogens play in treating mental health. In its documentary "Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics," a star-studded cast of actors, musicians, and comedians recount their own personal experiences with psychedelic drugs.
Of course, psychedelic pharmaceutical companies like Mind Medicine (MindMed) Inc. (MMED) (MMEDF) aren't focused on providing a good trip. MindMed is focused on discovering, developing, and deploying psychedelic-inspired medicines to alleviate suffering and improve health.
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