It is no secret that COMPASS reached unicorn status in the psychedelic space when it recently IPO’d. With that status came a market leader moniker. And that trend continues as they set their sights on being among the first entrants into the world of psychedelics 2.0. COMPASS has purchased an IP portfolio that includes patent applications for a variety of psychedelic and empathogenic substances. This announcement marks an expanded strategy for the company. A commitment to looking into other molecules beyond COMP360, its proprietary version of synthetic psilocybin.
What did they buy?
- The substances in the portfolio include novel derivatives of compounds which attempt to increase the confidence in their therapeutic safety and efficacy while optimizing their characteristics.
- The IP was developed in conjunction with Doctor Matthias Grill, An inventor and founder of miHKAL GmbH. Dr. Grill will be working with COMPASS on a research project to develop new product candidates and prodrugs.
This is a commitment to practical chemistry. And COMPASS recognizes work in the psychedelics space still has to happen in the lab and not just in the boardroom.
What exactly is Psychedelics 2.0?
Psychedelics 2.0 represents the expansion past working with more “traditional” psychedelics. Increasing collaboration and working on driving the industry forward with the research and development of new and novel compounds. Developing new types of clinical trials and research oriented partnerships. It is a key next step in an industry where IP, clinical methodologies, and delivery methods are imperative to organizational success.
Once-forbidden substances and joining exchange traded funds, name a more iconic investment duo. The past 5 years have seen cannabis and now psychedelics gain wider medical and mainstream consumer acceptance. It is no surprise that ETFs have zeroed in on these new trends as a potentially profitable investment opportunity.
Three psychedelic targeted ETFs are currently available to the investment market. And as psychedelic therapies increase, there will be a flood of new potential products.
What do these ETFs invest in
Psychedlic ETFs are focused on biotech, pharmaceutical and mental health companies (no surprises there). Most heavily focused on psychedelic medicine and treatment, with generally around half of their net revenue dedicated to medicinal psychedelics.
The market signaled that the time was right
Organizations are offering these ETFs because they have seen the market open up. Prestigious institutions like Mount Sinai, Johns Hopkins, and Massachusetts General Hospital have all given their blessing to the industry. Creating an economic signal that the psychedelic renaissance is not just a passing craze as it was in the 60’s.
According to AdvisorShares (psychedelic ETF) there are currently 43 human clinical trials involving psychedelic treatments and 29 companies that have psychedelic drugs either in development or in a preclinical phase.
What does this mean for the industry?
It means that the casual investment side of psychedelics is going to get a lot more eyes on it. As with cannabis before it, psychedelic emergence into the ETF space is going to generate groundswell with casual and institutional investors. It signals a move away from “early adoption” investors and to a more mature market.
Lift & Co. a Canadian company that gained recognition from their cannabis expos. Has recently entered the realm of psychedelics. Their first ever Psychedelics Business Summit will take place on November 19th and will offer a place for psychedelic professionals and would-be professionals to come together with the hopes of elevating their network and business strategies. As with the Cannabis Expo, helping with industry advancement and collaboration.
Like Lift’s cannabis expos, each day will have a specific education component around the unique challenges and issues related to the industry. This includes business strategy, research and business development, operational excellence and regulatory compliance. In an industry where the focus is scientific innovation, it is key not to lose sight of the business as a whole.
Topics for discussion at the first even Business Summit include:
- New products, suppliers and professional services
- Updates on related laws, regulations, policies, guidelines and compliance.
- Changes to finance and banking practices.
- Workforce planning, skills training and maximizing market promotion.
Lift was critical in advancing the cannabis space in Canada. And if they can do the same for Psychedelics they can be a driving force for the early days of the industry. Attendance of their expos created a tight knit cannabis industry that still exists today.
Amanda Feilding, the director of the Beckley Foundation, has been on the forefront of driving scientific research and investigation of the medicinal benefit of psychedelic compounds for the last 20 years. She has helped advance research on neuroscience, pharmacology and therapeutics, specifically focused on LSD, psilocybin and DMT. Lately, the Beckley Foundation has been focused on discovering how psych-assisted therapies may not only help serious mental health issues, but improve general mental acuteness during the aging process and palliative care.
There is a mental health epidemic that is sinking its claws into our society. Rates of mental health issues have never been higher than they are now, and there is no indication that the rise in these issues is going away. Psychedelics can help focus on the underlying causes of these issues rather than the symptoms. Amanda and the team at Beckley have provided evidence that psychedelics can act as a ‘reset switch’ for brains stuck in a mental rut. They can help remodel the brain and break patients out of addictive thought processes.
Growing older is an inevitable process… probably. With aging comes a cognitive decline, and it will affect everyone to some degree. The factors determining the speed of decline are a product of psychology and biology. Low mood and the lack of mental stimulation have been shown to advance cognitive decline. As has increased mental wear and tear. Psychedelics have shown promise in helping remedy these factors by improving mood and creativity, while increasing neuroplasticity. Just like yoga can do with muscles, “stretching” the brain to increase cognitive flexibility can help slow cognitive decline.
When facing the unknown, humans tend to experience a sense of existential dread. The psychological trauma that comes with dying is unavoidable. And modern medicine has failed in addressing it. Dying is a lonely, traumatic experience for most people. Evidence supports that microdosing and psychedelic therapy can provide a reduction in emotional hardship and provide patients with a sense of acceptance of the inevitable.
Use of psychedelics as intervention for neurodegeneration could potentially have a dual purpose. Reducing anxiety and depression that can accelerate degeneration and directly treating the physiological causes of disorders like Alzheimers, Parkinson and other disorders.
Through these projects. Beckley is working to bring psychedelics to the cutting edge of medicine. Increasing knowledge around their potential uses and benefits and informing the private and public sectors.
Recreational use of psychedelics are on the rise all over the world. In the last three years, use of hallucinogens increased by almost 100% among college students. Around 10% of college students admitted to using psychedelics in 2020, as compared to 5% in 2019. This means that use of psychedelics is at its highest level since 1982.
Why is this happening now?
Both at home and in social circles, psychedelic use is on the rise. In a world where people are stuck in lockdowns and restrictions, psychedelics have offered a mental escape.
People are macro-dosing not just to have a good time, but to help increase their cognitive enhancement and personality development.
- Decrease stigma has increased casual use, which feeds back on itself, creating an information loop that could drive continual increased use.
- The Global Drug Survey has found that the number of people using LSD, Magic Mushrooms, DMT and Ketamine has doubled in the last 5 years. A quarter of the people who responded to the survey also mention that they use the drugs to microdose.
Psychedelics, as everyone knows by now, are a great alternative to reducing anxiety, which is also contributing to the increase in use. As a side effect, users are feeling an enhanced feeling of connectedness to the world and one another.
- People are more aware than ever that the legal barriers to hallucinogens are falling away.
- In 19-22 year olds, the perception that psychedelics carry a great risk of harm has fallen from 50% to 28% since 1990.
- Psychedelics are being accepted as a medicine more now than they ever have been.
Much like lockdowns inspired a spike in baking sourdough bread, it appears to have had the same effect on psychedelic use.
Journey Clinical, based out of NYC, which has raised a $3 million seed round led by San Francisco VC firm Fifty Years. Also participating were Neo Kuma Ventures, Palo Santo, PsyMed Ventures, Lionheart Ventures, Christina Sass co-founder of Andela, Edvard Engesæth, MD co-founder of Nurx and, Hans Gangeskar co-founder of Nurx.
Thousands of people, young and old alike, gathered on the University of Michigan Diag for Ann Arbor’s first-ever psychedelic shroom festival Sunday.
PsyBio Therapeutics Announces Inclusion in NYSE Listed AdvisorShares Psychedelics Exchange Traded Fund.
Clearmind Medicine is investing in new and novel psychedelic compounds in an effort to combat alcohol use disorder. Their primary objective is to research and develop psychedelic-based compounds and attempt to commercialize them as regulated medicines, foods, or supplements.