Numinus CEO, Payton Nyquvest, on the company’s growth and acquisition strategy


Numinus has completed C$40.3 million in bought deal financing and recently reported quarterly revenues over C$500,000. In September the company acquired Neurology Centre of Toronto, to expand the company’s footprint of ketamine clinics across Canada.

CEO Payton Nyquvest was a former director at Mackie Research Capital, and has raised over C$100 million for private and public companies – facilitating numerous IPOs. He spoke to PSYCH on Numinus’s expansion strategy and plans for the US.

‘A big reason Numinus was born was to take the burden off of not-for-profit and academic institutions, understanding how challenging it is to raise philanthropy money, let alone capital,’ said Nyquvest. ‘We’ve seen the psychedelics industry emerge and a rush of capital to the space, but the thing that has been most encouraging is that it seems well intentioned and for the most part kept the integrity of what the psychedelics industry needs to be about.’ 

Although initially offering ketamine-assisted therapy, Numinus has collaborated with MAPS on clinical trials with MDMA. PSYCH asked Nyquvest about the studies and when he thought psychedelic medicines would be regulated. 

‘MDMA is going through the traditional drug approval process, with a DIN number, and MAPS anticipates MDMA will be legal in 2023. I think psilocybin could go a different route. We have seen a strong decriminalisation movement; Health Canada has issued Section 56 exemptions and posted its intention to change the Special Access to Drugs programme to include psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. 

‘States like Oregon have just legalised psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy and with psilocybin Canada has a leadership role to play, providing accessibility and not waiting for the completion of lots of expensive clinical trials. A medical access model could come into play in the next couple of years, flowing through the practitioners and licensed locations.’

In preparation for Canada’s expected medical access model, last month Numinus completed the acquisition of Neurology Centre of Toronto. Nyquvest spoke about the announcement and the organisation’s growth strategy. 

‘We have grown through acquiring locations that either offer mental health services, where ketamine can fit really well into the existing model, or that are ingrained within an existing patient pathway. We acquired the Neurology Centre of Toronto, which is seeing an interesting intersection with psychedelics, and ketamine in particular, and how it can work with someone suffering from neurological disorders. 

‘There’s a lot of legwork involved in getting facilities ready for psychedelic-assisted therapy, finding the therapists that want to be trained in the work and having access to an existing client set. It is really difficult to set up a clinic, especially a mass of clinics, at the get go. It is expensive and requires a lot of heavy lifting, which is why we’ve pursued a blend of acquiring existing locations, with that infrastructure already in place, and creating purpose-built facilities.’ 

An aggressive acquisition strategy is reliant on capital and access to investors who can provide it. PSYCH was keen to learn more about the investor opportunities presented by Numinus.

‘For us to continue to acquire locations that are revenue generating, cash-flow positive, it really brings down the capital required to build out the infrastructure. From an investor standpoint, we’re derisking the model and making sure the revenue is there. To acquire existing practitioner populations and engrain ourselves in the community is advantageous and helps us accelerate our growth strategy.’

With MDMA going through regulatory approval with the FDA, PSYCH probed Nyquvest on whether Numinus’s expansion plans included the US, and whether investors could expect a dual listing to finance this growth.

‘We do plan on expanding into the US quite quickly – that is really where we’re focusing our growth in the next couple of months and into 2022. We’re going through our uplisting to the TSX Mainboard from the TSX Venture Exchange and then looking to use the programme to move to a broader uplisting in the US – whether that’s the Nasdaq or NYSE. 

‘We’ve tried to remain focused on North America, but we do see lots of opportunities for collaboration in Europe and other jurisdictions. Our lab is licensed by Health Canada, but it does have international licensing too, so we are able to work with anyone with equivalent licences to work with research molecules, to hopefully move them out of the research context. 

‘As we move forward in space, we’re at a very exciting time. We have seen the initial rush of enthusiasm, but the validation will come in the coming months and the next year. This is at a time when these medicines have never been more needed. It’s important work and I’m happy to be a part of it.’

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