The industry-leading global event series returned on 7 July, with the PSYCH Investor Summit: Research & Development delivering investor-focused panel discussions, professional networking opportunities, research updates and company presentations.
Clinical trials are demonstrating the safety and efficacy of psychedelic medicines at an unprecedented rate, creating opportunities for stakeholders across the burgeoning sector. With subject-matter experts presenting the latest data and innovation driving the industry to new frontiers, the summit empowered operators, regulators and investors to make informed decisions and map the future of the space.
The agenda featured thought leaders from across the emerging ecosystem for invaluable conversations. MAPS Founder and Executive Director Rick Doblin delivered the opening keynote, on the organisation’s promising Phase III trials to combat treatment-resistant PTSD. Doblin also shared his vision for the future of MAPS, with the charity supported by a for-profit benefit corporation producing MDMA.
‘Data exclusivity gives us this opportunity to tell donors that we’re not going to be forever running to you for donations, that we will eventually be able to be sustainable through the sale of MDMA by a profit.’
Founder and Executive Director, MAPS
Doblin was joined by Christian Angermayer, Founder of atai Life Sciences, for the eagerly anticipated fireside discussion For-Profit or Non-Profit? That is the ($100-Billion) Question. As the industry expands, leaders from the for-profit and non-profit sectors are vying to shape the ecosystem’s future, with decriminalisation, patent laws and data exclusivity passionately contested. Doblin and Angermayer each shared strong views on the topics.
‘For the patients who need it, it needs to be medically available, and for it to be medically available we need to have all the regulatory processes – like it or not.’
Founder, atai Life Sciences
Angermayer outlined the business model needed to drive drug development and satisfy investors, with Doblin supporting the approach as a requisite for psychedelic medicines to become widely available within the medical framework.
‘I’m totally supportive of the for-profit approach, because the scale of the problem is so great that we need even more resources than you’ve been able to generate so far.’
Founder and Executive Director, MAPS
Underpinning this potential are clinical trials that inform regulators, operators and investors of the medical application of psychedelic drugs. Blossom Analysi maintains a comprehensive database of market intelligence from across the ecosystem, working alongside scientists and analysts to translate clinical data into accessible and actionable insights. Blossom’s Founder Floris Wolswijk shared information from the psychedelic research database for the Ongoing Psychedelic Clinical Trials session, in which he explored the probability of new drugs gaining FDA approval.
‘To bring a novel compound to market the chances are below 10%, but repurposing a drug for new health indicators faces somewhat better odds.’
Founder, Blossom Analysis
Many of the clinical trials have explored the potential for psychedelic medicines to treat addiction and trauma-related diseases. Dr Ben Sessa, Chief Medical Officer at Awakn Life Sciences, has over 20 years’ psychiatric experience and took the stage at the PSYCH Investor Summit to provide an overview of addiction and MDMA’s efficacy in treating it.
‘They can remember, they can debate, they can recall past memories, they can have conversations in the MDMA state. That does make MDMA a far more tolerable and preferable drug.’
Dr Ben Sessa
Chief Medical Officer, Awakn Life Sciences
Dovetailing Dr Sessa’s research update on the use of MDMA to treat addiction, Dr Jennifer Mitchell, Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of California, provided a review of the treatment’s efficacy in patients with PTSD. Dr Mitchell was the lead author of MAPS’ clinical results paper and specialises in treating trauma-related diseases.
‘PTSD is an all-too-common disorder for which new therapeutics are so desperately needed. MDMA is safe and effective in this subject population with PTSD, and there is a significant decrease in symptoms of PTSD and depression.’
Dr Jennifer Mitchell
Professor of Neurology & Psychiatry, UCSF
The back-to-back research updates were followed by the event’s second panel discussion, The Next 5 to 10 years of Research & Development, moderated by Business Insider journalist Yeji Jesse Lee. Jesse Lee was joined by Tryp Therapeutics’ CEO and Chairman, Greg McKee; Braxia Scientific’s CEO Roger McIntyre; and Richard Carleton, CEO at Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE). The forward-looking session explored developments expected within a decade and the market’s roadmap, with Carleton sharing the latest financial information from the CSE.
‘This year, to date, companies in the psychedelic space have raised more than CA$330m on the Canadian Securities Exchange … there is a clear investor appetite to support the research and development of these businesses.’
Tryp Therapeutics’ CEO and Chairman, Greg McKee, returned to the stage to deliver the first of three company presentations. Tryp trades on the OTCQB Venture Market under TRYPF, and on the CSE as TRYP. Tryp develops clinical-stage compounds for underserved rare illnesses, which enables the company to apply for orphan drug designation for quicker regulatory approval and longer market exclusivity.
‘I anticipate this is just the beginning, especially given where this sector is and where the chemistries are in their stage of development.’
CEO and Chairman, Tryp Therapeutics
McKee was followed by Daniel Sanders, Chief Scientific Officer at Gwella Mushrooms, alongside the company’s Co-founder and Director of Product Erin Cochrane. Sanders and Cochrane delivered a presentation on the company’s positioning at the intersection of functional and psychedelic mushroom products, outlining its strategic importance and opportunities.
‘Now that we have got mojo in the market, we are about to go into a couple of other hemispheres, one being that we will have a psychedelic product by the end of the year in a legal jurisdiction.’
Chief Scientific Officer, Gwella Mushrooms
To conclude the company presentations and another ground-breaking PSYCH Investor Summit, Braxia Scientific’s CEO Roger McIntyre provided investors with an in-depth talk on the company’s vision for the future, in addition to outlining commercial opportunities for psychedelic medicines in the short term. Braxia trades on the CSX as BRAX and on OTC Markets as BRAXF.
‘We need to walk and chew gum at the same time. What is the near-term opportunity? We need known knowns, we need commercial opportunity, we need to have a line of sight – that is the ketamine derivative.’
CEO, Braxia Scientific
The PSYCH Investor Summit: Research & Development highlighted studies and clinical trials from across the world, as psychedelic medicines look to transform healthcare globally. Going forward, critical to the accessibility and adoption of psychedelic medicine will be data and technology, with digital innovation accelerating both drug development and drug delivery.
These cutting-edge technologies will be showcased at the PSYCH Investor Summit: Technology & Data on 7 October, which will examine the companies poised for success in the sector and the emerging opportunities for investors. Further details will be announced as the agenda is finalised, but you can register your attendance today to secure your ticket.