The global obesity issue is bursting at the seams. According to the World Health Organization, obesity has tripled since 1975. More than 1.9 billion adults were overweight, as of 2016, with more than 650 million considered obese. Plus, more than 340 million children were considered overweight in 2016, as well. It’s an issue that’s been plaguing society for quite some time. Fortunately, some believe psilocybin may be the key to resolving the obesity epidemic, which could fuel upside for companies such as NeonMind Biosciences (CSE:NEON)(OTC:NMDBF), Cybin Inc. (NEO:CYBN)(OTC:CLXPF), Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE:TRYP), Mind Medicine Inc. (NEO:MMED)(OTC:MMEDF), and Compass Pathways (NASDAQ:CMPS).
In fact, according to a Pharmacy Times interview, Clive Ward Able, MD, BPharm, president of Clintell, consultant to NeonMind Inc, and a trained pharmacist and physician, he “noted that the use of psychedelic medicine to treat obesity has 2 potential mechanisms of approach. The first is by giving a psychedelic compound as part of psychotherapy, such as psilocybin, at a psychedelic dose—this approach is called drug-enhanced psychotherapy. At this dose, it works as an agonist against serotonergic receptors, and, specifically, the 5-HT2A receptors.”
“What that does is it gives you the psychedelic event, which seems to be able to help along with psychotherapy,” Ward Able said, as quoted by Pharmacy Times. “Secondly, it also has effects on the 5-HT2C receptors, which are very much related to satiety or hunger and the control of hunger. So there, we can look at a different formulation where we use a much lower dose, probably 10% to 15% of what would normally be used for a psychedelic dose, but you do that on a daily or 4 times a week dosing.”
Look at NeonMind Biosciences (CSE:NEON)(OTC:NMDBF)
NeonMind Biosciences, for example, has two drug development candidates exploring psilocybin as an innovative treatment approach to treat obesity and support weight loss. NeonMind’s first drug candidate employs psilocybin as an agonist to the serotonin receptor 5-HT2A, which is involved in the hallucinogenic effect of psychedelics, and the second drug candidate employs psilocybin as an agonist to the serotonin 5-HT2C receptor, which controls appetite.
In addition, NeonMind just announced the appointment of Dr. Sagar Parikh, MD to its Specialty Clinics Advisory Board. In this role, Dr. Parikh will leverage his vast expertise in clinical treatment and interventional psychiatry including effectively treating patients with psychedelics such as ketamine, esketamine, and neurostimulation for mood and anxiety disorders to guide NeonMind as it develops specialty clinic services for communities in need.
Dr. Parikh has served as the John F. Greden Professor of Depression and Clinical Neuroscience, and Professor of Psychiatry, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor since 2015, where he was also designated Associate Director of the Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center. He is an adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, where he was on staff full-time from 1994-2015. He serves as the Medical Director at the National Network of Depression Centers, completed two terms as Deputy Psychiatrist-in-Chief at Toronto’s major hospital grouping, the University Health Network, and was head of the Bipolar Clinic and Director of CME at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto.
“Dr. Parikh brings unmatched experience to guide the development and integration of the most effective and cutting-edge protocols and treatment modalities for our expected specialty clinic rollout. We are committed to ensuring that every patient receives tailored, personalized care and each clinic is designed to meet needs of the local community where it will be located. Dr. Parikh’s expert leadership will ensure that we offer best-in-class medical services and programs to every patient,” said Robert Tessarolo, President & CEO of NeonMind.
On his appointment, Dr. Parikh said, “NeonMind is developing a network of clinics that is truly unique in its specialization and breadth of treatment offerings. As mental health care continues to evolve at a rapid pace with new treatments and protocols, NeonMind will be well positioned to have the programs, infrastructure, and education in place to safely and effectively administer these treatments.”
Dr. Sagar Parikh is the author/editor of three books and over 200 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and co-author of CANMAT treatment guidelines for Depression and for Bipolar Disorder, the world’s most cited mood disorder guidelines. He holds research grants from multiple funding agencies, covering studies in clinical treatments in mood disorders, health services research, genetics, epidemiology, and educational research. He has conducted clinical trials looking at the combination of medication and psychotherapy for bipolar disorder and for depression, as well as pharmacotherapy trials in mood disorders.
Other related developments from around the markets include:
Cybin Inc., a biotechnology company focused on progressing psychedelic therapeutics, announced that it has received conditional listing approval from the NYSE American LLC stock exchange. Doug Drysdale, Cybin’s CEO, added, “Conditional listing approval on the NYSE American is an important milestone in Cybin’s growth journey. We expect expanded access to investors to further fuel our mission to develop revolutionary psychedelic therapeutics for patients suffering from mental health conditions.”
Tryp Therapeutics Inc., a pharmaceutical company focused on developing psilocybin-based compounds for diseases with unmet medical needs through accelerated regulatory pathways, announced its plans to conduct a Phase 2a clinical trial with the Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan Medical School. The open-label Phase 2a clinical trial will evaluate the efficacy of TRYP-8802, an oral formulation of synthetic psilocybin, in tandem with psychotherapy for treating fibromyalgia. The treatment is designed to target nociplastic pain originating in the central nervous system through the neuroplasticity benefits of psilocybin.
Mind Medicine Inc., a leading biotech company developing psychedelic-inspired therapies, and Datavant, Inc., a leader in helping healthcare organizations safely connect their data, announced a partnership through which MindMed will use Datavant’s privacy-protecting technology to link MindMed’s clinical trial data to external data from both clinical and real-world sources. MindMed plans to use Datavant’s linking technology across various stages of the drug lifecycle including discovery, clinical development, and commercialization.
Compass Pathways,a mental health care company dedicated to accelerating patient access to evidence-based innovation in mental health, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London, aimed at advancing psychedelic research and developing ambitious new models of care for mental health in the UK. The three parties are keen to collaborate on a multi-year partnership that reflects their commitment to delivering innovation in mental health care. This collaboration is intended to include research into COMP360 psilocybin therapy and other novel therapies that may be developed by COMPASS in areas of unmet need such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anorexia.”
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