ATAI Life Sciences is Taking a Run at Schizophrenia

The Peter Thiel backed startup has purchased a majority stake in Recognify, a company that has been working towards developing a treatment for impairments related to schizophrenia.

Looking at the Deal

ATAI has made its focus the treatment of mental health disorders so the acquisition of Recognify was a logical step. The terms of the deal are not yet disclosed but it is reported to be in the neighborhood of “double digit millions.” 

  • ATAI’s CSO is quoted as saying Recognify’s drug candidate is “very interesting.” 

Clinical Indications

Recognify has performed 9 clinical trials with over 500 patients. Anecdotal evidence has shown that verbal memory was improved through the use of their lead drug candidate. ATAI is looking to expedite the research and development to bring the drug to the 20 million people worldwide affected by schizophrenia. 

Looking Forward

At this point, ATAI has raised over $210M in the 2 years since it has opened its doors. ATAI is now on a path to an IPO, which is planned for the next few months at a valuation between $1B and $2B.

Candy Flipping for Therapy? 

MindMed (NEO:MMED) is set to begin a clinical trial researching the combined effects of MDMA and LSD. 

Are They Just Tripping?

The goal of the trial is to evaluate if using MDMA and LSD together can offset some of the potential negative effects of LSD on its own. 

  • Phase 1 will be a double blind, placebo controlled trial that will take place in 4-periods. 
  • MindMed believes LSD and MDMA, when taken together, could amplify perceptions, emotions and thought stimulation.
  • If Phase 1 is successful, MindMed will shift its focus to bringing the combination of therapeutics to a wider market.
  • Trials began this week and are expected to run for approximately a year.

MindMed’s efforts will be bolstered by the addition of Robert Barrow as their Chief Development Officer.

It’s So Crazy It Might Just Work

Florida State Representative Michael Grieco will be introducing a bill that would legalize psilocybin-assisted therapy in the Sunshine State. 

Could The Legislation Pass?

The program is modeled after a similar Oregon initiative and represents the first real push for psychedelic therapy on the east coast. It will meet some serious opposition from lawmakers and public health officials. Both bodies tend to reject the idea of novel therapies.

The bill is intended to start a conversation rather than to create sweeping change, the main goal is to get universities to push for more research. For now, it remains a “Hail Mary”, but as long as it advances the conversation about drugs in the state it will be considered a success.


If Florida deals with psilocybin the same way that it dealt with cannabis, it will be on the ballot for the next few years without much consideration before hitting a critical mass and becoming law.

Awakn Life Science Moves Ahead With Trials

The company announced that they would be using the contract research organization PRA Health Sciences (NASDAQ:PRAH) to conduct phase 2B of their MDMA clinical trials. These trials are being conducted to research if MDMA can be a viable therapeutic solution for non-physically dependent alcohol use disorder (AUD). 

Study Details

AUD is one of the top causes of disability in many countries around the world. Awakn has seen evidence that there could be a potential link between MDMA assisted therapy and the treatment of AUD.

  • This phase of the study will take place in the UK and be a double-blind, placebo controlled trial .
  •  Among the current treatments for AUD, there is not one that does not have a high relapse rate. 

Diving a Bit Deeper

Here’s what else you should know about Awakn:

  • The CMO of Awakn, Dr. Ben Sessa, is one of the premier researchers with how MDMA can be used to treat AUD. 
  • Awakn has recently appointed Dr. Shaun McNulty as their new CSO, Dr. McNulty has over 20 years of experience in drug development with large pharma companies. 
  • Awakn is also researching the efficacy of ketamine-assisted therapy with treating AUD in parallel with their MDMA studies. 

Cybin Raises $20M

Life Sciences company Cybin Inc. (NEO:CYBN) announced the completion of the deal on January 18th with Canaccord Genuity acting as the broker.

The Breakdown: 

  • The deal will see an issuance of 8,900,00 units at a price of $2.25 CAD with total gross proceeds totaling $20,025,000 CAD.
  • Each Unit represents a common share of Cybin stock and half of a common share purchase warrant.
  • These Warrants have a lifespan of 36 months and an exercise price of $3.25 CAD.

The Units will be offered via short form prospectus. The deal is expected to close on February 4, 2021 subject to certain conditions. 

Use of Proceeds: 

Cybin is expected to use the proceeds from the deal to further develop their clinical trials, molecule programs and technologies. 

Report Read Out

Vancouver Based Optimi Health Corp. has filed a preliminary prospectus in Canada for the initial public offering of between $10M – $15M worth of company units. 

Cookies, a cannabis brand from California, has released a 3-in-1 capsule that contains terpenes, mushrooms and cannabinoids. This release is designed to enhance their customers’ well being. 

Hippie flipping, or combining MDMA with Mushrooms is a way to increase euphoria while tripping that could potentially help users deal with trauma, grief and other negative emotions. 

Washtenaw County, Michigan will no longer be persecuting people who are in possession of naturally occurring psychedelics (or sex workers) thanks to the work of a new persecutor. 

Seelos Therapeutics (NASDAQ : SEEL) has announced that they are beginning a two-part clinical trial to treat major depressive disorders.

New schools are popping up all over the place offering certificates designed to help people understand how to conduct psychedelic assisted therapies. 

A Canadian cancer patient is pressuring the government to allow him to re engage in psychedelic therapy to treat his anxiety. 

Newscope Capital Corporation (CSE : PHRM) has entered into a license agreement that would allow for the development and commercialization of an FDA approved combination ketamine and betaine drug.