Psychedelic drugs may be banned around the world at the moment.
But that may not be the case for much longer. With many like LSD and psilocybin showing promise for treating a range of mental and health conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD, opioid addiction, alcoholism, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, smoking, and perhaps even obesity, the ban could soon be lifted.
In fact, as noted in commentary posted in the journal Cell, as highlighted by Science Daily, “researchers say it's time for regulators, scientists, and the public to "revisit drugs that were once used but fell out of use because of political machinations, especially the war on drugs."
Adding to the credibility of such drugs, Johns Hopkins Medicine announced the launch of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research to study compounds like LSD and psilocybin to treat a range of mental health problems, including anorexia, addiction and depression. A 2017 study featured in the journal, Nature -- Psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression: fMRI-measured brain mechanisms – showed that 47% of treatment-resistant patients with depression showed positive responses five weeks after psilocybin treatments.
As we learn more about how useful such treatments can be, it’s opening a wide range of opportunity for companies like The Yield Growth Corp. (CSE:BOSS)(OTC:BOSQF), NewLeaf Brands Inc. (CSE:NLB)(OTC:NLBIF), Pharmadrug Inc. (CSE:BUZZ)(OTC:LMLLF), Numinus Wellness Inc. (TSXV:NUMI), and Mind Medicine Inc. (OTC:MMEDF).
The Yield Growth Corp. (CSE:BOSS)(OTCQB:BOSQF) BREAKING NEWS: The Yield Growth Corp. majority owned subsidiary NeonMind Biosciences Inc. has taken further steps towards commencing its clinical studies to confirm that psilocybin (a compound in psychedelic mushrooms) is an effective treatment for food cravings and weight loss. NeonMind has now identified a source of psilocybin in Canada and has identified a laboratory at a University in Canada in which to conduct the studies. NeonMind previously announced that it had engaged Translational Life Sciences Inc. to conduct the study and that TLS had completed the design of a study to confirm that psilocybin (found in psychedelic mushrooms) is an effective treatment for weight loss and food craving.
TLS has identified a source of synthetically created psilocybin, manufactured by a licensed laboratory, for use in the NeonMind studies. Also, NeonMind has identified a laboratory where the studies can be carried out. Before the psilocybin can be ordered and before NeonMind can enter into an agreement with the Lab, the Lab must first obtain an exemption from the Canadian Minister of Health pursuant to Subsection 56(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, S.C. 1996, c. 19 by the researchers at the Lab to allow them to use psilocybin, a controlled substance, in research studies. NeonMind expects the exemption to be granted within a few months. Researchers at the Lab have previously obtained other exemptions for research involving controlled substances.
TLS has provided an estimate of $250,000 budget for the study and an estimated time frame of 6 months to complete the study, with valuable data anticipated to be available within the first few months. TLS estimates that all necessary approvals can be obtained so that the study can commence in the fall of 2020. NeonMind plans to fund the study using previous capital raised and from the proceeds of a planned initial public offering of NeonMind, for which due diligence is currently underway with a Canadian investment dealer. According to the terms of the TLS engagement, signed on May 6, 2020, NeonMind and TLS agreed to work together to conduct the evaluation of psilocin or psilocybin on cravings, on the metabolism, on food addiction and on glucose and hormone levels. Neon authorized TLS to perform activities required to prepare for and conduct the study and the parties shall work towards entering into a clinical study agreement. NeonMind agreed to pay for all costs related to the study and TLS agreed to arrange for required regulatory exemptions and licenses, and engagement of all necessary parties to conduct the study.
According to the World Health Organization, in 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. The global projected market for weight loss and weight management is estimated at US$245 billion, according to Markets and Markets. This is over 12x the size of the global anxiety disorder and depression treatment market which is forecast to reach US$18.9 billion by 2026, according to a report by Reports and Data.
Other related developments from around the markets include:
NewLeaf Brands Inc. (CSE:NLB)(OTC:NLBIF) announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Mydecine Group is working to build an ecosystem of resources targeted at unlocking the potential of fungi for human wellness. Through a combination of traditional medicine knowledge and modern scientific inquiry, Mydecine strives to bring the public products that will aid them in their journey to personal wellness. Core to this potential are psilocybin producing mushrooms. In recent times, psilocybin and other tryptamines have begun to experience a well-deserved upsurge in medical interest; Mydecine believes in nurturing this potential. Utilizing various research partnerships, university collaborations and public advocacy groups, Mydecine has a clear path, leading to safe and effective use of fungal compounds for human health. "With the growing public interest in mushroom applications for human health, Mydecine's lab in Denver stands ready to provide the consumers with the information and innovation they desire," proclaimed Rob Roscow, CSO, NewLeaf Brands, Inc.
Pharmadrug Inc. (CSE:BUZZ)(OTC:LMLLF) announced that it has entered into a non-binding letter of intent dated May 20, 2020 with Interrobang Ltd. doing business as Super Smart which outlines the general terms and conditions of a proposed transaction that will result in Pharmadrug acquiring all of the issued and outstanding common shares and other securities of Super Smart. Super Smart is an early-stage retail company focused on consolidating the fragmented Dutch smartshop market. Smartshops are retail establishments in The Netherlands that specialize in the sale of psychoactive substances including psychedelic truffles, which are an underground grown version of magic mushrooms that have psilocybin and are legal in The Netherlands. Super Smart will seek to acquire smartshops and deploy disciplined business expertise, retail best practices and consistent branding across multiple locations to capture in market share and improve margins in this rapidly growing segment. Super Smart's management team is well suited to pursue the smartshop consolidation strategy and brings a proven track record in retail, marketing, brand building, web sales and customer education.
Numinus Wellness Inc. (TSXV:NUMI) announced that it has closed its previously announced reverse take-over transaction with Salvation Botanicals Ltd. and has acquired all of the outstanding securities of Salvation in exchange for the issuance of securities of the Company. The Company, with Salvation as its wholly owned subsidiary, will now pursue the business of Salvation as described in the Company's filing statement dated April 29, 2020 and available under the Company's profile on SEDAR. In accordance with the amended and restated arrangement agreement dated March 9, 2020 entered into between the Company and Salvation, upon completion of the Transaction, the Company changed its name from "Rojo Resources Ltd." to "Numinus Wellness Inc." and consolidated its issued and outstanding common shares on the basis of 2:1. The Company anticipates that its common shares will resume trading on May 20, 2020. Numinus will be listed as a Tier 2 Industrial issuer under TSX Venture Exchange policies and will trade under its new symbol "NUMI".
Mind Medicine Inc. (OTC:MMEDF) announced the release of its unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements and accompanying management’s discussion and analysis for the quarter ended March 31, 2020. All financial figures contained herein are expressed in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted. First Quarter Highlights and Subsequent Events: Mind Medicine, Inc. completed its reverse takeover transaction of the Company (then called Broadway Gold Mining Ltd.) by way of a plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) pursuant to the terms of an arrangement agreement entered into on October 15, 2019 between Broadway Gold Mining Ltd., Madison Metals Inc., Broadway Delaware Subco Inc. and the Company; MindMed’s subordinate voting shares were listed for trading on the Neo Exchange Inc.; MindMed raised an aggregate of $18,905,850 (net of share issuance costs of $802,295) through financings completed during the quarter; MindMed expanded its leading team of pharmaceutical industry veterans and advisors with deep experience of psychedelics during the quarter; MindMed further developed the infrastructure in the period for its drug development platform to discover, develop and deploy psychedelic inspired medicines. As part of this process, the Company actively pursued its strategy to further grow its clinical trial collaborations and intellectual property (IP) acquisitions during this period; MindMed established a psychedelics microdosing division and began preparing a Phase 2 trial for microdosing of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) for the treatment of Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
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