FEATURES & INTERVIEWS Revitalist Lifestyle and Wellness Entheon Biomedical Bright Minds Biosciences Wesana Health Holdings Mindset Pharma
GET PSYCHED ABOUT THE COMPANIES THAT ARE DEVELOPING INNOVATIVE TREATMENTS FOR MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS, CHRONIC PAIN, ADDICTION, AND MORE Meet the visionary entrepreneurs at the forefront of the sector
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14 REVITALIST LIFESTYLE AND WELLNESS
On a mission to treat mental health and chronic pain on a global scale with integrated care
18 ENTHEON BIOMEDICAL
Data and DMT among the keys to creating safe and effective treatments for patients battling addiction
24 BRIGHT MINDS BIOSCIENCES Ian McDonald
A vision for “next generation” psychedelic medicines to treat neurological conditions
28 WESANA HEALTH HOLDINGS
Leveraging personal and professional experience to help patients achieve better mental health outcomes
32 MINDSET PHARMA
4 | THE PSYCHEDELICS ISSUE
Pursuing breakthroughs in the psychedelics field with the help of “hard science”
Psychedelics LETTER FROM THE EDITOR | 6 WELCOME TO THE CSE: PSYCHEDELICS COMPANIES | 8 Learn about some of the psychedelics companies listed on the CSE in 2021 TUNE IN | 9 Catch up on what's happening in the capital markets with fantastic CSE content SPOTLIGHT: ENTREPRENEURS OF PSYCHEDELICS | 10 Meet the visionary entrepreneurs at the forefront of this growing sector PSYCHEDELICS EVENTS 2021 | 12 Highlights from exciting events the CSE has participated in this year PSYCHEDELICS IN HEALTH AND WELLNESS | 34 Taking innovative approaches to older medicines to help solve modern health challenges SPOTLIGHT ON RICHARD CARLETON | 36 CSE's CEO talks psychedelics, career, and the Exchange's greatest achievements
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GROUP PUBLISHER Hamish Khamisa EDITOR-IN-CHIEF James Black EDITORS Peter Murray Nikki Manthey ART DIRECTOR Elisabeth Choi DESIGNER Nicole Yeh WRITERS Giles Gwinnett Patrick Graham Angela Harmantas Sean Mason Peter Murray Nikki Manthey ILLUSTRATOR Annik Lemire FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION Published by Sparx Publishing Group on behalf of the Canadian Securities Exchange. To receive your complimentary subscription, please visit go.thecse.com/Magazine and complete the contact form. To read more about the companies mentioned in this issue, visit blog.thecse.com or proactiveinvestors.com
CANADIAN SECURITIES EXCHANGE MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2021 | 5
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR It's a given that public entrepreneurs are future focused. However, seasoned visionaries are also skilled at using lessons and data from the past to find innovative solutions to present and future challenges. Fantastic examples of this forward-thinking resilience can be found throughout the companies listed on the Exchange for Entrepreneurs. Though the past year has been yet another challenging one, these companies have demonstrated that they have the ability to maximize the value of lessons learned during the global pandemic, and carry them forward to unprecedented growth as the world continues to stabilize and move forward. The proof is in the numbers. Last year, the total capital raised by CSE issuers exceeded $6 billion. By comparison, the total capital raised in 2016 was about $0.5 billion. In the first nine months of 2021, issuers on the Canadian Securities Exchange raised a cumulative total of approximately $6.2 billion. This is significantly more than they have raised in any full year in the CSE's history. These staggering numbers were made possible in part by financings completed by some of the larger, more mature companies listed on the CSE. The Canadian Securities Exchange has long been a home for growth-focused companies. Though we're typically known for supporting small-cap businesses, it's clear that the Exchange has also evolved to support companies in an advanced state of development. Despite this evolution, something that has remained consistent is the CSE's unique ability to support the growth of emerging industries, such as psychedelics. The psychedelics sector has seen rapid development in the last few years, and we're thrilled to share the stories of visionary entrepreneurs in the space. This issue highlights five CSE-listed psychedelics companies who are looking back to older medicines in order to move forward, and developing innovative treatments designed to achieve better health outcomes for people experiencing mental health conditions, chronic pain, addiction, and more. There is a tendency to draw comparisons between the rise of psychedelics and the rise of cannabis. Though there are fundamental differences between these sectors, one thing is consistent: the expertise of the CSE at fostering the long-term growth of companies in emerging industries, and our ability to help these businesses navigate the unique challenges associated with these spaces. As we look forward to future innovation in the psychedelics space, driven largely by the leadership of companies listed on the CSE, it's safe to say we're psyched to see what's going to happen next. Enjoy this issue of Canadian Securities Exchange Magazine!
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6 | THE PSYCHEDELICS ISSUE
THE EXCHANGE FOR ENTREPRENEURS PODCAST Enjoy important conversations with thought leaders from the capital markets on Season 2 of Exchange for Entrepreneurs Podcast. You can find it on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, YouTube, and iHeartRadio. Tune in: blog.thecse.com/cse-podcasts
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WELCOME TO THE CSE
PSYCHEDELICS COMPANIES Learn about some of the psychedelics companies listed on the CSE in 2021
WESANA HEALTH HOLDINGS
Listing Date: May 10, 2021
Listing Date: July 21, 2021
Wesana Health is a life sciences company pioneering the development and delivery of psychedelic and naturally-sourced therapies to treat traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Leveraging extensive clinical research and academic partnerships, Wesana Health is developing evidence-based formulations and protocols that empower patients to overcome neurological, psychological, and mental health ailments caused by trauma. Learn more: thecse.com/en/listings/life-sciences/wesanahealth-holdings-inc
BRIGHT MINDS BIOSCIENCES Listing Date: February 8, 2021
Bright Minds is a pre-clinical biosciences company focused on developing targeted therapies with the potential to improve the treatment of mental health and neurological disorders through the use of serotonergic compounds. Bright Minds drugs extenuate the therapeutic aspects of psychedelic and other serotonergic compounds while minimizing the side effects, thereby creating superior drugs to first generation compounds, such as psilocybin. Learn more: thecse.com/en/listings/life-sciences/bright-mindsbiosciences-inc
MORE CONTENT Enjoy interviews with the CEOs of these featured companies on CSE TV: youtube.com/CSETV
8 | THE PSYCHEDELICS ISSUE
Levitee Labs is a Canadian multidisciplinary integrative wellness company that’s redefining mental healthcare. They employ a preventative, restorative, and transformative approach that includes evidence-based alternative medicines and novel psychedelic therapies. Levitee’s vertically integrated business model addresses the inefficiencies prevalent in current clinic treatments, particularly those available to underserved patient populations. Learn more: thecse.com/en/listings/ life-sciences/levitee-labs-inc
NOVAMIND Listing Date: January 5, 2021 Novamind is a leading mental health company enabling safe access to psychedelic medicine through a network of clinics and clinical research sites. Novamind provides ketamineassisted psychotherapy and other novel treatments through its network of Cedar Psychiatry clinics and operates Cedar Clinical Research, a contract research organization specialized in clinical trials and evidence-based research for psychedelic medicine. Learn more: thecse.com/en/listings/ novamind-inc
TUNE IN Catch up on what’s happening in the capital markets with fantastic CSE content
WEEKLY MARKET RECAP Stay up to date on trending topics in the capital markets. Each week, the CSE’s Anna Serin and Bruce Campbell from StoneCastle Investment Management bring you interesting and impactful stories from the stock market. Head over to CSE TV on YouTube every Friday to watch the livestream.
THE EXCHANGE FOR ENTREPRENEURS PODCAST Our podcast is back for Season 2 with a fresh new look and even more incredible content! The Exchange for Entrepreneurs Podcast features in-depth conversations with influential industry leaders and change-makers as they provide insight into evolving sectors in the capital markets. Tune in on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, YouTube, and iHeartRadio.
MEET THE CSE’S NEWEST LISTED COMPANIES Say hello to the CSE’s most recently listed companies in our monthly compilation videos. Meet the executives, learn what differentiates these companies in their sectors, and get a glimpse into their future plans as they begin their journey as a CSE-listed company. Watch the videos now on CSE TV.
VIRTUAL MARKET OPENS The CSE’s virtual Market Opens are a great way to start the trading day! We welcome leaders and team members from the CSE’s newest listed companies to kick off the day’s trading with a virtual celebration. Join in on the fun by watching the virtual Market Opens on CSE TV.
MORE CONTENT ON CSE TV Catch new episodes and replays by subscribing to our YouTube channel: youtube.com/CSETV
CANADIAN SECURITIES EXCHANGE MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2021 | 9
ENTREPRENEURS OF PSYCHEDELICS Meet the visionary entrepreneurs at the forefront of this growing sector
Founder of FSD Pharma (CSE:HUGE)
CEO of Entheon Biomedical (CSE:ENBI)
“As a micro cap company, we have to try to do what we can to make an impact.”
“There is a very strong case to be made for DMT in treating addiction-based issues.”
From Episode 6 of the Exchange for Entrepreneurs Podcast.
From Episode 3 of the Exchange for Entrepreneurs Podcast.
Watch the episode here: go.thecse.com/CSEPodcast-Anthony-Durkacz
Catch the whole episode here: go.thecse. com/CSE-Podcast-Timothy-Ko
10 | THE PSYCHEDELICS ISSUE
JAMES KUO, MD
Executive Chairman of Wesana Health Holdings (CSE:WESA)
Director of Tryp Therapeutics (CSE:TRYP)
“When the market hears... our journey, they’ll very clearly see our differentiation and how we’re going to approach the TBI community.”
From Wesana Health’s Newly Listed on the CSE interview. Watch it here: go.thecse.com/Newly-Listed-WESA
“Our PFN, that stands for Psilocybin For Neuropsychiatric Disorder Program, [targets] diseases where the cause, as well as the symptoms, are in the brain.”
From the Investing in Psychedelics panel Drug Developers & Manufacturers: Unlocking Value Through IP. See the entire discussion here: go.thecse.com/ Investing-in-Psychedelics-Session-1-Replay
CEO of Silo Pharma
Executive Chairman, Director, and Founder of NeonMind Biosciences (CSE:NEON)
“What our company has decided to do is to take a look at... rare neurological diseases and see if we can combine traditional therapeutics along with psychedelics to help.”
“Magic mushrooms have certain benefits and other psychedelic drugs have certain benefits. It’s going to be really interesting as time goes on to see how we can compare those two.”
From the Investing in Psychedelics panel Bankers & Capital Markets: What is the Risk/Reward?
From the Investing in Psychedelics panel Intellectual Property: Pitfalls and Potential.
Watch the panel here: go.thecse.com/Investingin-Psychedelics-Session-3-Replay
Watch the panel here: go.thecse.com/Investingin-Psychedelics-Session-2-Replay
CANADIAN SECURITIES EXCHANGE MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2021 | 11
PSYCHEDELICS NOW VIRTUAL CONFERENCE
Highlights from exciting events the CSE has participated in this year
With new markets comes new challenges and questions around regulatory frameworks, legalization, and investing, as more North American companies in the psychedelics sector go public. The CSE explored these important topics and more at the Psychedelics Now Virtual Conference.
The CSE’s Anna Serin was pleased to moderate the panel: Interested in Investing in Psychedelics?
“ PSYTECH SUMMIT 2021 The CSE joined top researchers and business leaders in psychedelics at PsyTech Summit 2021. This event explored topics at the forefront of this growing sector, including the commercial climate of psychedelic treatments like ketamine-assisted therapy, as well as new innovations in the space. CSE CEO Richard Carleton contributed valuable insights during the panel: How Big Will the Psychedelic Market Go? A Look at Mergers, Funding and Valuations.
Companies on the CSE in the [psychedelics] space have raised $375 million in the first six months of 2021, so it’s clearly attracting a lot of investor attention.
Check out the panel: go.thecse.com/Psytech-Summit-2021-Replay 12 | THE PSYCHEDELICS ISSUE
With these emerging sectors, education is the pinnacle of everything... from the investment side.
Watch the event replay here: go.thecse.com/Psychedelics-Now-Panel-Replays
PSYCH INVESTOR SUMMIT: RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT Psychedelics is an emerging frontier. But what do the next five to 10 years hold when it comes to innovation, research, and development? And how can investors best support these initiatives? The CSE joined industry experts and entrepreneurs to discuss these questions and more at PSYCH Investor Summit: Research & Development. CEO Richard Carleton participated in a panel examining the roadmap to bringing psychedelic treatments to market.
There’s a clear investor appetite to support the research and the development of [psychedelics] businesses.
Check out the panel: go.thecse.com/PSYCH-Investor-Summit-Replay-2021
ON A MISSION TO TREAT MENTAL HEALTH AND CHRONIC PAIN ON A GLOBAL SCALE WITH INTEGRATED CARE By Sean Mason
n estimated 265 million people worldwide suffer from depression, with the related cost to society – financial and otherwise – almost too great to comprehend. A Stifel GMP research report published in January 2021 indicates that psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy clinics have an addressable market opportunity in the US alone of US$10 billion to $11 billion. Knoxville, Tennessee-based Revitalist Lifestyle and Wellness (CSE:CALM) operates five ketamine infusion clinics in the United States. The company is dedicated to empowering individuals to achieve improved quality of life through a combination of comprehensive care and future-focused treatments
14 | THE PSYCHEDELICS ISSUE
provided by medical professionals, mental health experts and chronic pain specialists. In a recent interview with Canadian Securities Exchange Magazine, Revitalist Chief Executive Officer Kathryn Walker discussed the company’s growth plans and the advantages of its business model. How does Revitalist distinguish itself from other publicly traded mental wellness companies? What makes your model better?
Revitalist is the first clinic model to effectively integrate medical and mental health providers working in a team manner with each client. It’s something
the medical community has been wanting to do for 30 years, but no one’s really known how to do it. Therapists have started working in medical providers’ offices, but they still don’t work seamlessly on the topic at hand. The opportunity that we have with psychedelic treatments is that medical providers are making sure the client is safe while the mental health providers are intervening actively during the session, focusing on unfolding the unhealthy conditioning the brain has acquired through many years of ineffective treatments and therapies. We are the first effective model that is being actively covered by insurance, allowing us to expand access to individuals across the country. What speciﬁc roles do psychedelics play in the treatment methods?
At this time, Revitalist primarily provides ketamine infusions. With the psychedelic piece, we have therapists that are trained through the FDA MAPS program. We also have anesthesia providers that have administered every intravenous medication, making them experts in critical care medicine and giving our clients that extra layer of safety and care. Our anesthesia providers are oftentimes
“Revitalist is the
first clinic model to eﬀectively integrate medical and mental health providers working in a team manner with each client. — Walker
referred to as “pharmacologic physiologists.” In a time where psychedelics are being actively formed in research labs, an excellent person to have on your team is a pharmacologic physiologist. As the pharmacology piece evolves with FDA approval of these exciting medications, the big pharmaceutical companies will want CRNAs (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists) as part of their team, and Revitalist will be able to meet that need. The mental health system is only about 30% effective with its current treatment models. This includes many of the medications that are prescribed, including SSRIs, SNRIs, TCAs and MAOIs. Anesthesia is more than 99% accurate.
Chief Executive Officer Revitalist Lifestyle and Wellness Ltd.
August 24, 2021 revitalist.com
CSE Symbol CALM
CANADIAN SECURITIES EXCHANGE MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2021 | 15
What would you say has been Revitalist’s most signiﬁcant accomplishment thus far?
I think the most significant accomplishment we have right now is in the works, where we are bringing the inpatient experts to the outpatient world. The providers we have with our company are all top line. They know how the current system operates, and they are aware of what should be converted to this system, and what should not. Revitalist is here to create an entire new model of healthcare that will bridge the old system of health to the new system of psychedelics. In the hospital sector, when a patient comes to the hospital, we know we have a team on standby and we are going to work together to give that person the best care they deserve. As medicine and insurance companies have evolved, so has our inpatient healthcare system. Now is the time to recreate a healthier structure that is more cost effective in an outpatient environment. I personally think the mental health and medical system is imploding. The system is off balance, and
is here to create “ Revitalist an entire new model of
healthcare that will bridge the old system of health to the new system of psychedelics. — Walker
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everyone in and around it can feel that imbalance. We keep seeing more of it every day. Revitalist and the providers who know that system are reshaping a new one, and we are so ready and excited to do so. We’re able to address this issue not only locally and nationally, but also globally as our medical licenses are able to cross lines in over 39 countries. The healthcare sector needs to recognize that it is in a transition period. It’s like changing homes. They need to leave behind what isn’t necessary and only take what makes sense for the system going forward. Only providers that understand the “old” system and realize the positivity of the “new” will be able to lead the bridged transition. The providers at Revitalist will be that bridge. What needs to be done to take Revitalist to the next level? Talk about your growth strategy.
We plan on opening 48 clinics in 2021 and 2022 with a goal of having 157 locations in 2025. What sets us apart is a shared governance with our clinic model. Our recruitment is key, and it makes us stand alone in this space. We have our lead providers, we have corporate personnel that can also act as providers, and we have our own locum providers. This allows us to create and keep consistency amongst every facility we open. We provide every clinic we open with access to our operations teams, human resources departments, training centres, and marketing team, allowing robust support to everyone involved with our company. And that upholds a quality of care that is consistent across the board.
“The healthcare sector needs to recognize that it is in a transition period. It’s like changing homes. They need to leave behind what isn’t necessary and only take what makes sense for the system going forward. — Walker Continuity of care is something we want every person that goes into a Revitalist to know and understand. If you are in Maine or in California and you see a Revitalist, you will know what you can expect from us. Are the clinics you’re acquiring already proﬁtable? What are their sources of revenue?
We’re probably doing a 90-10 split – that is, we are building 90% of the clinics and then acquiring approximately 10%. The space is very fragmented when it comes to psychedelics, and with ketamine clinics a lot of them are part-time clinics that are not making revenue. These are clinics that others seem to be acquiring, but this is a decision we feel would not benefit our company or our investors. Our location specialists analyze data for facility placements to find the biggest bang for our buck. We place our clinics with strong university presence and veteran hospitals, allowing continuation of our base revenue lines. What do your shareholders have to look forward to in the next 12 months?
We have so many strategic partnerships coming to fruition. One of the biggest services we offer that sets us apart from the others is the fact that we accept federal and commercial insurance. We are also positioned with Veterans Affairs (VA). We have contracts allowing veterans to be directly referred to us under the protocols specific to the individual VA locations.
I think we’ll see insurance companies learn to accept it more. And we do have our own internal insurance team of specialists which, again, sets us apart immensely. We will be able to provide access to this on a cost-saving basis. If you look at what we need to operate, it’s about 10% cost-wise as compared to our competitors. We have so many projects going on behind the scenes, it’s going to be exciting seeing it all unfold. One of the many reasons we are cost effective is because of the prices we charge. Our average is $275 per infusion, and I know some of our competitors charge on average around $1,200. If you’re charging $1,200, that’s really going to limit a lot of individuals’ access to these services, especially when they’re not accepting insurance. Given that we can accept insurance and our cost is significantly lower, I think you’ll see the need for our services develop much more quickly. For our investors, we’re working on becoming the first comprehensive psychedelic centre in the world.
CANADIAN SECURITIES EXCHANGE MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2021 | 17
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sean has been covering North American equity markets for more than 20 years, including for publications such as Investors Digest of Canada. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto and has successfully completed the Canadian Securities Course.
DATA AND DMT AMONG THE KEYS TO CREATING SAFE AND EFFECTIVE TREATMENTS FOR PATIENTS BATTLING ADDICTION By Peter Murray
ntheon Biomedical (CSE:ENBI) Chief Executive Officer Timothy Ko speaks passionately about his company and its objectives within the burgeoning psychedelics industry, not only because he heads one of the most dynamic teams in the space, but also because he credits psychedelics with saving his life. Following a childhood of challenges that continued into his adult years, Ko ultimately found peace of mind after psychedelic intervention enabled him to look at life differently than he had been, repair important relationships and, as he puts it, “learn to love again.” Ko’s experience defined what is now a life mission for him. This shined through in an eloquent and
Chief Executive Officer Entheon Biomedical Corp.
CSE Symbol ENBI
18 | THE PSYCHEDELICS ISSUE
May 3, 2018
authoritative discussion with Canadian Securities Exchange Magazine in mid-September. It would be difficult to come out of a conversation with Ko not believing that there is something to psychedelic treatments for those working to overcome mental illness. It’s no longer about masking or dulling symptoms, but rather probing the drivers of problematic behaviour and replacing closely held, harm-inducing beliefs with new, healthier ones. The specifics are best conveyed in Ko’s own words. Entheon is researching and developing products to help treat addiction. There are already products on the market that are used for this purpose. What are you trying to achieve with your treatments that existing alternatives do not?
I think before I answer that directly, we first have to look at the treatment landscape for addiction as it currently stands. When we assess treatment options available for various addictions – be it tobacco, alcohol, or things like opiates – we see a rather bleak landscape where many of the treatments, though widely available, are not particularly efficacious. And looking at the population, it is estimated that, globally, over 2% of the population struggles with
an alcohol or illicit drug addiction. In spite of the options currently available for addiction recovery we still see hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people die every year as a result of tobacco, alcohol and opioid use disorder. The reality is that many people are rendered treatment-resistant over the course of multiple failed attempts to address their condition. Entheon believes that we can provide better outcomes for people who have not been helped by previous types of treatment. In our estimation, the treatment-resistant form of addiction is more common than generally thought, and Entheon treatments are designed for people for whom other forms of treatment have failed. Entheon focuses on a fast-acting hallucinogenic known widely as DMT. Does DMT have advantages over other psychedelics for addiction treatment?
It’s important to demystify what psychedelics do. A really important observation of ours with DMT is that there is a feature that is present in other psychedelic molecules called entropy. Ps i l o c y b i n , LSD and DMT can induce a state of heightened entropy, or randomness. That might sound like a bad thing, but when you look at
Entheon believes that we can provide better outcomes for people who have not been helped by previous types of treatment. In our estimation, the treatment-resistant form of addiction is more common than generally thought, and Entheon treatments are designed for people for whom other forms of treatment have failed. — Ko
people with pathological conditions, there is often a degree of tunnel vision. These pathologies make it such that a severely depressed person, or an addicted person, is unable to look outside their normal frame of reference. Their reactions to stimulus or experiences are pre-determined, so you have this immobile state where they cannot envision a life outside of the one they have already experienced. What DMT and other psychedelics do is to promote a state of hyper-connectedness. They allow individuals undergoing psychedelic treatment to enter a highly neuroplastic state that enables them to have entirely new experiences. In combination with therapy, they are able to experience old traumas, belief systems and memories, and rather than go to their pre-defined pathological reaction set, they are able to have perceptions that reshape their experience in a more positive way. Where DMT is different is that it is very well metabolized by the body, which means the experience is short. Psilocybin is a bit of an unwieldy type of molecule to work with, as it is very powerful and the length of engagement is six to eight hours or longer. That window of engagement is commercially difficult to manage. And because these are such powerful experiences and
CANADIAN SECURITIES EXCHANGE MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2021 | 19
We are also on the verge of launching a study with a partner in Texas looking at different biomarkers associated with the ketamine experience, and we’re also looking at biomarkers associated with DMT. Without generalizing too much, Entheon IQ and Entheon DNA are working to create biomarkers to help predict and direct appropriate treatments for individuals across a broad spectrum of psychedelic molecules and psychiatric disorders. Talk to us about your business model. At what point does monetization become a reality, and how do you scale the business? N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), an introspective psychedelic molecule with a strong safety track record and a long history of therapeutic use
the individual is often dealing with inherently difficult subject matter, the risk of an overwhelming experience is amplified. With DMT, we can still facilitate powerful transformational experiences, but you have the benefit of being able to limit them to 30, 60 or 90 minutes. If we need to, we can stop the experience altogether and that person can return to a functional baseline in 10 to 15 minutes. If a person is having a difficult time with psilocybin, however, they are on that rocket ship for as long as the rocket has fuel. In a recent news release, you discussed treatment algorithms through the Entheon IQ program. What is a treatment algorithm exactly, and what work is required to make the technology widely available?
The way Entheon sees the industry evolving is that there is a broad array of psychiatric conditions, as well as a broad spectrum of individuals appropriate for psychedelic use. Not everyone will respond the same to different drugs. Different phenotypes will respond differently to different therapies. What we are doing with Entheon IQ is taking a data-focused approach to look at what individual factors make different drugs and different treatment types appropriate for different individuals. We have acquired a company that has a genetic test that looks at a variety of mental health risk factors based on genetics, as well as a function of metabolic factors that dictate whether a person is more or less likely to have a strong or weak response to drugs. We believe genetics is a very strong component of ensuring that appropriate treatments are prescribed to the right people.
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I think that’s a question that the entirety of the psychedelic drug industry is looking at. The reality is that, as promising as the research is, in the interest of patient safety these development processes are bound to regulatory processes of governing bodies where we seek to commercialize. We will need to make it through various stages of clinical validation, then have conversations with regulators and ensure our research is done in such a way that the data is irrefutable and highly understandable to the authorities that ensure these products are safe and effective. The development timeline as it pertains to this approval process is five to 10 years, and we believe that we can have a timeline on the lower end of that range. But in an earlier time frame, we think the development of tools to service the ketamine space should commercialize sooner. You have a strong and growing advisory board of accomplished professionals in the addiction treatment space. Tell us how you choose new members for your team.
Our advisory board is among the best in the industry. It is populated by some of the most prominent
Entheon IQ and Entheon DNA are working to create biomarkers to help predict and direct appropriate treatments for individuals across a broad spectrum of psychedelic molecules and psychiatric disorders. — Ko
With each passing month, we see more research that shows huge transformational capacity to help people with end-of-life anxiety, nicotine addiction, as well as major depressive disorders. — Ko
and well-researched members in the psychedelic research space. The psychedelic industry is under the general umbrella of science, yet it is highly specialized and the pioneers are limited to a very core group. When we started Entheon, we wanted to make sure we worked with minds that understood the unique properties of psychedelics better than other scientists. Unlike other medicines that work in respect to brain chemistry, psychedelics take into account poorly understood features of the human psyche that are only now beginning to be characterized. We really wanted to select advisors with the most comprehensive understanding of the features of psychedelic medicine. Let’s close with a look at the industry in general. Do you come across misconceptions in the broader audience that you feel need to be cleared up?
MORE CONTENT ON CSE TV
Peter Murray oversees a national editorial and broadcasting team as President of Proactive Canada. He spent several years managing the English news desk at Nikkei’s head office in Tokyo and has worked with research teams at Asian and European investment banks. Peter is based in Vancouver.
CANADIAN SECURITIES EXCHANGE MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2021 | 21
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Barrington Miller chats with Timothy Ko, CEO of Entheon Biomedical, to discuss how his company is pursuing R&D of DMT-based products to safely treat addiction – watch the full interview on youtube.com/CSETV
The stigma associated with psychedelics often unfairly highlights radicalism or esoteric belief systems. There was a comprehensive anti-drug policy in the 1960s and 1970s that sought to vilify psychedelic drugs as potentially catastrophic to society and having no therapeutic value. Rather than us having to dispel these myths, I think the research is truly bearing out a rebuttal to the notion that there is no therapeutic value to psychedelics. With each passing month, we see more research that shows huge transformational capacity to help people with end-of-life anxiety, nicotine addiction, as well as major depressive disorders. We exist within a very interesting moment where on a purely scientific basis, not only are these substances not addictive, harmful or detrimental, but they may actually be the molecules with the therapeutic potential to disrupt a system that has seen very little innovation in the past few decades.
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A VISION FOR “NEXT GENERATION” PSYCHEDELIC MEDICINES TO TREAT NEUROLOGICAL CONDITIONS By Giles Gwinnett
24 | THE PSYCHEDELICS ISSUE
ith the COVID-19 pandemic upending life in every corner of the world and putting unwelcome pressure on people vulnerable to depression, suicide and addiction, there has never been a better time to consider new treatments for mental health challenges. One field gaining particularly rapid traction is psychedelics. Of course, substances such as LSD and magic mushrooms have been around for years. They are known for their “mind-altering” qualities, both positive and negative, but in many ways the chemical properties of these compounds and their potential to benefit the brain are only just beginning to be understood. Bright Minds Biosciences (CSE:DRUG) is a biotech company at the vanguard of this movement. Bright Minds is developing the “next generation” of non-addictive psychedelic medicines to treat depression and other neurological conditions and aims to offer an alternative to today’s standard treatments such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), of which the widely known Prozac and Citalopram are but two examples. “There haven’t really been any new ideas in the last 30 years or so,” says Bright Minds Chief Executive Officer Ian McDonald, who added that while revolutionary when they emerged in the 1990s, SSRIs have not always been best for patient outcomes, as side effects can include weight gain and sexual dysfunction. SSRIs, he noted, might not work at all, or can even be problematic, for patients suffering from the most severe forms of depression, or people struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). McDonald is convinced that psychedelics is the most promising field for making progress over the next 20 or 30 years in psychiatric medicine, and that related treatments will help the people most deeply affected by such disorders. With this in mind, Bright Minds has a portfolio of three patented mechanisms based on serotonin (5-HT) receptors that are being assessed for indications ranging from depression to chronic pain. And with $30 million raised to date, the company is fully funded
for Phase 1 trials for two of its drugs, which are due to begin next year. McDonald is a former investment banker who started getting interested in psychedelics in 2014. He read all he could on the subject and concluded that while the efficacy of such drugs was not in question, they lacked the characteristics needed for the medical establishment and Big Pharma to embrace them. Bright Minds aims to refine what could be seen as “coarse” substances and repurpose them. To do so, McDonald has assembled a top-notch team of scientists and researchers with extensive backgrounds in pharma and drug development. Bright Minds CoFounder Dr. Gideon Shapiro, for example, has over 100 patents to his name and is a leading commercial scientist creating novel psychedelics. He served as head of the Alzheimer chemistry group at Sandoz, the company first responsible for discovering LSD and marketing psilocybin, while Bright Minds’ Chief Scientific Officer and organic chemist Dr. Alan Kozikowski is world-renowned for his work with psychoactive substances.
C A N D I A N S E C U R I T E S E XC H A N G E M AG Z I N E
Chief Executive Officer
Bright Minds Biosciences Inc.
CSE Symbol DRUG
February 8, 2021
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“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel,” says McDonald. “We’re taking compounds that already work and making them better. We’re sanding down the rough edges and polishing them up. I’d say it’s a much less risky approach than a lot of other biotechs who are doing a completely novel mechanism and where there are questions on efficacy.” It is also worth highlighting that Bright Minds already has “composition of matter” patents covering all of its new chemical entity (NCE) portfolio, giving it a full monopoly over its drugs for 20 years. This approach is more akin to Big Pharma companies, which patent the molecules they invent. Older drugs such as LSD and MDMA cannot be patented, and some companies simply pursue weaker patent strategies, according to McDonald. For example, they attempt to patent a method of production or the source of a compound. But these can easily be worked around by skilled chemists and may only offer an exclusivity period for five years, after which they become so-called generic drugs. A drug maker’s profitability is at stake here. McDonald points out that potential revenue for a patented drug for depression, for example, could be between US$10,000 and $30,000 per patient per year compared to around $400 per year for a generic drug.
Dr. Alan Kozikowski PhD Co-founder and Chief Science Oﬃcer
26 | THE PSYCHEDELICS ISSUE
Indeed, the global market potentially open to Bright Minds is enormous. Antidepressants alone are expected to be worth $16 billion a year by 2025. And McDonald says this figure was based on generic depression drugs. For a patented one, based on the number of patients multiplied by $20,000 a year, the figure reaches an eye-watering $600 billion.
“We're not trying to reinvent the wheel. We're taking compounds that already work and making them better. — McDonald People who do well taking SSRIs will likely stick with them, McDonald concedes, but for that third of the patient population who do not, there is a potential market for alternatives of $200 billion. The Bright Minds portfolio is already garnering attention. The company is partnering with the US
government’s National Institutes of Health to test its drugs for epilepsy and chronic pain, not least to offer an alternative to opioid drugs in the latter case. McDonald says early findings have been encouraging. In August of this year, the company reported positive pre-clinical data for its BMB-101 candidate (invented by Dr. Kozikowski) in treating the rare form of childhood epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. This non-psychedelic drug is also being indicated as an antipsychotic for Alzheimer’s and to treat addiction disorders. BMB-101 will be heading into Phase 1 trials early in 2022, with two Phase 2 studies potentially following in the second half. The company also aims to run a Phase 2
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Giles Gwinnett is a UK-based journalist who has been with Proactive for 10 years, and on its North American coverage team for five. Prior to that he worked for several years at regional newspapers and for a news agency. Giles has written about a wide variety of business and other topics in his career, including the arts, crime and politics.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bright Minds Biosciences Founder Ian McDonald highlights his mission to bring together the best and brightest drug developers in the field to create the next generation of psychedelics to treat mental health disorders – episode available on youtube.com/CSETV
trial for its psychedelic candidate (5HT2A) for depression and PTSD in 2022, says McDonald. “We are entering a very catalyst-rich period. We have a number of clinical trials in 2022 coming up within the next year,” he adds. Bright Minds appears to be a front-runner in this exciting new medical space and McDonald has the resources and team to see his plan through. “We are really the leaders in this next generation of psychedelics, looking a step further I think than the other companies, and we have the team to do it – they’ve done it before, and we’re all very excited to get these drugs in the clinic and closer to patients.”
LEVERAGING PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE TO HELP PATIENTS ACHIEVE BETTER MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES By Patrick Graham
28 | THE PSYCHEDELICS ISSUE
ormer Chicago Blackhawks enforcer Daniel Carcillo spent much of his NHL career getting inside the heads of opposing teams, making sure they knew that if they crossed a certain line, things could go sideways. Today, Carcillo is an entrepreneur whose mission is, for all intents and purposes, the opposite of what he did on the ice. Instead of contributing to head injuries, he now seeks to heal them. The transition from hard charging two-time Stanley Cup winner to source of hope for people with mental health challenges began in 2015 when a seventh diagnosed concussion forced Carcillo into early retirement. At age 30, he entered the most emotional and anguished time of his life. Years of fierce competition, and having his body repeatedly slammed into the ice, the boards, and competing players, resulted in Carcillo suffering traumatic brain injury (TBI). The undercurrent of anxiety and depression during early retirement got so bad that Carcillo, a husband and father, contemplated suicide. He spent five years trying different concussion treatments, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process. But it was all for naught. Carcillo found he was no closer to improving his brain health and quality of life. He hit rock bottom. Then in 2019, hallucinogenic mushrooms helped him begin to turn things around. The experience compelled him to start a new journey assisting others suffering TBI-related symptoms. Athletes, soldiers, domestic violence victims and people recovering from serious accidents are among the many types of patients in need. Healthy once again and with a new team to lead, Carcillo is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Wesana Health Holdings (CSE:WESA). His mission with Wesana is to revolutionize the way neurological health and performance is
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Chad Bronstein Co-Founder
Wesana Health Holdings Inc.
CSE Symbol WESA
December 13, 2011
treated through personalized medicine and bringing the promise of psychedelic drug-assisted therapy to the masses using psilocybin to treat TBI and migraines. His company is also working with ketamine through their Wesana Clinics and is in partnership discussions with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) to explore the use of MDMA to treat TBI. “Two and a half years ago, when I was suicidal and in my darkest moments, I used psilocybin in a really responsible setting,” Carcillo explains. “I was able to experience just an amazing recovery. And since then, we have found ways to establish Wesana with an outstanding team. We have this innovation that we think will help millions of people.” Research suggests that psilocybin can create new neurons and new neural pathways in the brain, stimulating concussion-affected areas and reversing destructive, habitual thought processes. In Carcillo’s case, he started a regimen that includes occasional large doses of the hallucinogen and regular non-hallucinogenic doses, which are helping to produce normal brain scans and bloodwork. “You can rewire the brain, break up destructive
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Founders of Wesana Health Daniel Carcillo and Chad Bronstein sit with Mike Tyson to talk the future of psychedelics
thought patterns and then create new, positive ones,” explains Carcillo. But he is realistic about the challenges Wesana faces in a new, undefined and increasingly crowded industry that must engage in a long dance with US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada regulators to eventually bring life-saving products to market. “As it stands right now, there’s no approved pharmaceutical for TBI-related symptoms. And the number one cause of death is suicide. I know it all too well,” says Carcillo. “I also know how fragmented everything is in this space, from treatment to research. And there are so many gaps and what makes it hard on the patients is getting a diagnosis. And then number two is finding the treatments. We’re here to make as big an impact as we can to positively influence this process for survivors and make it easier on them and their families and caregivers to understand what’s going on and then get them healing.” Operationally, Wesana heads into the latter half of 2021 with a $21 million runway and plenty of media
Wesana Athlete and UFC Fighter Julianna Peña
30 | THE PSYCHEDELICS ISSUE
attention, stemming partly from Carcillo’s fame and passionate advocacy for psychedelic drug-assisted therapy. In the product development pipeline, the company is advancing its SANA 0013 formulation through the preclinical stage studying psilocybin to treat TBI-related major depressive disorder. Wesana is making headway with the FDA, as it has scheduled a pre-Investigational New Drug (IND) meeting with regulators around year’s end, to be followed by the opening of the IND in the third quarter of 2022. While psilocybin remains the company’s focus, it recently staked its claim in the markets for ketamine and MDMA, two drugs far ahead in the regulatory approval process. Carcillo readily acknowledges that bringing psilocybin-based therapies to market will take years, as the drug remains illegal in the US, as does MDMA. The FDA approved ketamine as an anesthetic for humans in 1970. To further its expansion, Wesana acquired Psychedelitech (known as PsyTech) in September 2021, gaining a chain of mental health clinics that can administer ketamine therapies. Wesana also picked up a software platform that helps clinicians track patient outcomes in real time and supports a community forum of over 8,000 professionals, many of them respected resources for psychedelic therapy protocols and clinical best practices. For MDMA, also known as the popular recreational drug “ecstasy” or “molly,” the company has developed a partnership with MAPS, which is mulling an MDMAassisted therapy program to treat TBI. Wesana has committed to provide an initial US$1.5 million to assess the program’s viability and might establish a joint venture with MAPS. MAPS’ research has primarily focused on MDMAassisted therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD), an affliction common among soldiers that causes similar mental health symptoms and outcomes as TBI. MAPS says current FDA-approved Phase 3 trials have demonstrated an 88% reduction in PTSD symptoms among participants. “Using this medicine, MDMA can help alleviate that emotional spike during conversations, so it’s easier to deal with trauma,” says Carcillo, who envisions teaming with MAPS to create a “gold standard” of clinics. “Think of it in the context of why it worked so well for PTSD. And so for TBI, that journey is no different.” Laying the groundwork for an even deeper understanding of TBI, Carcillo says Wesana has formed partnerships with the World Boxing Council (WBC) and the University of South Carolina as it seeks methods to prevent, or at least minimize, TBI-related damage during boxing matches and other athletic competitions. Wesana will also be using the RESOLV lab to phenotype the TBI patient population that will be participating in the Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials. “What can we be doing as far as exercises and supplementation to better protect the brain?” Carcillo asks.
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We're here to make as big an impact as we can to positively influence this process for survivors and make it easier on them and their families and caregivers to understand what's going on and then get them healing. — Carcillo
“For example, when a WBC fighter knows they’re training for a fight, what can we do to better protect them? What can we implement, as far as supplements, to be neuroprotective before the fight to lessen the damage, and then train for processing speed, hand-eye coordination, reaction time, and neck strength that minimize TBI damage on the front end?” At the university, the company plans to spend $1.5 million to establish the BrainStorm Lab, which will serve as a hub for neurological and cognitive improvement research, with an eye on developing compounds to enhance neural performance and act as neuroprotectants of the brain. The lab will also work with the US military – which has a large presence in South Carolina – on pre-battle protection and acute post-injury scenarios. Looking ahead, Carcillo says Wesana plans to rapidly expand the acquisition of clinics and develop more partnerships while pushing along its drug development programs. Plans also include publishing two major white papers on TBI with a group of leading scientists, neuroscientists and pathologists. Carcillo, in the meantime, continues working to maintain his mental health while remaining busy growing Wesana with Co-Founder Chad Bronstein. But there is more at stake for him on his new personal journey – he is inspiring others through advocacy, action and education. “It’s definitely a young space, but an exciting space to really impact people, and treat their traumas rather than putting on band aids and trying to manage symptomatology,” Carcillo concludes. “You have to kind of pinch yourself some days. It’s the most exciting thing to be a part of, trying to positively impact that.”
Since the 1990s, Patrick Graham has worked for the Associated Press, Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal as a reporter, editor and manager. He helped launch and oversee WSJ. com’s Wealth Adviser vertical to provide exclusive content for wealth managers, financial advisors and financial planners. Patrick today specializes in investing, personal finance and retirement coverage.
CANADIAN SECURITIES EXCHANGE MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2021 | 31
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wesana Health Holdings Inc. CEO Daniel Carcillo is joined by his team as they open the day's trading session on May 10, 2021 – watch on youtube.com/CSETV
PURSUING BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE PSYCHEDELICS FIELD WITH THE HELP OF “HARD SCIENCE” By Angela Harmantas
32 | THE PSYCHEDELICS ISSUE
sychedelic drug researchers have moved mountains over the last 30 years, helping to show that these misunderstood substances have vast potential to benefit people, while being safe and non-addictive. Today, psilocybin is in Phase 2b clinical trials, MDMA is in Phase 3, and the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has given both trials breakthrough therapy status. There is tremendous momentum behind getting psychedelic drugs approved against a backdrop of two frustrating trends in North America: the opioid crisis and the negative effect of COVID-19 on mental health. Mindset Pharma (CSE:MSET) saw early on that there would be a wave of interest in using psychedelic drugs as medication, but that ultimately there would be even more interest in next-generation drugs delivering greater benefits as medication with full patent protection. From the outset, the company’s goal was to apply drug design, behavioural pharmacology and medicinal chemistry, which are essentially the tools of modern pharmacy, to try to harness the power of psychedelic drugs. Chief Executive Officer James Lanthier joined Mindset in early 2020 and was sold not only on the calibre of the scientists involved, but the specific strategy the team had developed. “We’re applying hard science to these substances to try to create the best possible medications for people – that’s it, full stop,” Lanthier explains. “There’s now tremendous evidence to suggest that psychedelics have a breakthrough role to play to treat psychiatric mood disorders, but in our view, the classic psychedelic drugs did have some shortcomings.” Essentially, Mindset wants to create new drugs that deliver the same or superior benefit but will work more predictably for the widest possible patient set. The team selected a psilocybin-like compound known as MSP-1014 from its Family Number One of novel drugs. The group of compounds is structurally closer to psilocybin but has the potential to deliver a more pronounced psychedelic experience than psilocybin does at similar doses. Given its higher efficacy, the drug would boast an improved safety profile because, theoretically, a patient could take less of it in order to achieve the same effect. When Mindset tested MSP-1014 in mice and compared it to psilocybin at a range of doses, the
“There’s now tremendous evidence to suggest that psychedelics have a breakthrough role to play to treat psychiatric mood disorders, but in our view, the classic psychedelic drugs did have some shortcomings. — Lanthier
Chief Executive Officer
Mindset Pharma Inc.
CSE Symbol MSET
December 23, 2020
CANADIAN SECURITIES EXCHANGE MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2021 | 33
company found that psilocybin reduced body temperature by as much as nearly six degrees, which is hardly a nominal amount. MSP-1014, however, showed no effect on body temperature, an early indication of the compound’s safety profile. Another interesting piece of data from the lab studies confirmed MSP-1014 was comparable to psilocybin after a drug discrimination assay. In the lab, rats were able to determine the distinction between MSP-1014 and saline, which gives even further credence to the drug’s efficacy. “When we take a drug into clinical trials, you want to have as much confidence as possible that the drug is going to be effective and safe,” Lanthier says. “It’s another strong data point that will help us move forward with more confidence.” Psilocybin is showing promise in early trials, but its effects can last up to eight hours. Mindset is hoping to tackle that challenge with its Family Four group of DMT analogues, which could offer similar benefits in a therapeutic context but with a much shorter trip of between 15 to 30 minutes. Its lead candidate in that group is MSP-4018, which is being compared against a serotonin analogue known as 5-MEO-DMT found in plant species and toad venom. Researchers think this could be useful for in-clinic psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. Because 5-MEODMT results in a total duration of experience of between 10 minutes and two hours, it would mean less time to spend in a clinic and fewer resources needed to treat a patient. Mindset’s research uncovered meaningful safety improvements with MSP-4018. “We saw signs of serotonin syndrome at a whole range of doses with 5-MEO DMT, which is a really unpleasant basket of symptoms that can afflict people with high levels of
34 | THE PSYCHEDELICS ISSUE
When we take a drug into clinical trials, you want to have as much confidence as possible that the drug is going to be eﬀective and safe. It’s another strong data point that will help us move forward with more confidence. — Lanthier
serotonin in their bodies,” Lanthier says. “MSP-4018 showed no signs of serotonin syndrome, but we saw behaviour that suggested that it was just as psychedelic as 5-MEO DMT. It’s really encouraging because it looks like we’ve got a drug that is just as psychedelic but potentially quite a bit safer.” All of this is a step toward proving the concept behind Mindset to make better drugs than the original psychedelic by applying science. The company is building its value on those tweaks and improvements. “This is about creating new chemical designs that make changes to the structure of the original drug, and then testing them rigorously to see the effect of the changes,” Lanthier explains. Essentially, Mindset is changing the underlying molecule, synthesizing the elements of the particular drug. It’s an important distinction from its peer group, as companies can patent protect this type of intellectual property to a much greater degree than a formulation of the original drug. “If you’re not changing the active pharmaceutical ingredient, but just putting it in a different solution, the level of intellectual property rights is quite shallow,” Lanthier states. “Another group can come along with a slightly different formulation and compete against you.” In Mindset’s case, they’re getting intellectual property rights on the composition of matter, which Lanthier calls the “gold standard.” The group has also selected two indications for its lead therapy MSP-1014: treatment-resistant depression and end-of-life cancer anxiety. Both are tragic mood disorders with, sadly, large populations. Nearly 30% of people who suffer from depression do not find relief from traditional antidepressants or therapy sessions. It’s a field where pharmaceutical companies haven’t brought many innovations in the past few decades, leaving it ripe for psychedelic
drugs to fill the void. And potentially, very lucrative: by dollar value, antidepressants represent a $15 billion industry. Now comes the hard part. Mindset is hoping to move out of the lab and into clinical trials in 2022, which does not come without risks. As all drug discovery companies know, success in the lab doesn’t always translate to success in clinical trials. It takes a while to do all the testing and work through regulatory requirements until the drug gets to a point where regulators are comfortable having them taken by humans. But psychedelic discovery is different than many other drug discovery efforts because there is so much data available on how existing psychedelics work. “Based on all the data, we have a pretty high level of confidence that many of these drugs will have a role to play in treating neuropsychiatric and mood disorders,” Lanthier says. “We’re not reinventing the wheel – we’re simply trying to make changes to the chemical structures that will make them safer and more effective. So, it’s a bit different than a typical biotech venture that’s working on something that’s brand new.”
Based on all the data, we have a pretty high level of confidence that many of these drugs will have a role to play in treating neuropsychiatric and mood disorders. — Lanthier
The goal for Mindset is to stick to what they’re good at: discovering and developing new psychedelic drugs. The firm is positioning itself to partner with other groups, be it pharmaceutical firms or psychedelic companies, that want to get into the space and have the expertise and infrastructure to run clinical trials. “We don’t think that we’re going to have to raise billions of dollars to become the next Pfizer and take these drugs through late-stage clinical trials,” Lanthier notes. “We think there will be lots of opportunities for Mindset because we were filing intellectual property early and developing data early.”
CANADIAN SECURITIES EXCHANGE MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2021 | 35
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Angela Harmantas is a Senior Financial Journalist with Proactive. She has 10 years’ experience covering the equity markets in North America, with a particular focus on junior resource stocks. Angela has reported from multiple countries, including Canada, the US, Australia, Brazil, Ghana and South Africa. Prior to joining Proactive, she worked in investor relations and led the foreign direct investment program in Canada for the Swedish government. Angela currently resides in Toronto.
THE EVOLVING ROLE OF PSYCHEDELICS
IN HEALTH AND WELLNESS
MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS
By Nikki Manthey
Taking innovative approaches to older medicines to help solve modern health challenges In the last few years, there’s been tremendous growth in the number of companies developing and repurposing psychedelic compounds to treat a variety of challenging health conditions. However, the concept of psychedelic medicines is far from new. Natural psychedelics, such as fungi and plants, have been used in a medicinal capacity for thousands of years by various Indigenous cultures, while lab-created psychedelics like ketamine have been around for more than 50 years. What’s changed? Advancements in science and technology have allowed for greater refinement, understanding, and control in the way psychedelic compounds are administered. This enables more precise measurement of the results and impacts of psychedelic compounds on the human brain and body. There has also been a shift in the general perception of psychedelics as a form of medical treatment as destigmatization progresses. Here are some of the areas of focus for psychedelic treatments, and insights from innovators working in the sector about different approaches to this area of medicine. 36 | THE PSYCHEDELICS ISSUE
Neuroscience developments in the last decade have been surreal. With these treatments that we’ve talked about, psychedelics and ketamine, there’s a history of these medications... they have an association in the minds of many people... What’s less well-known is the idea of repurposing. Based on the science we know today, not the science we knew 30 years ago... Can that agent that we take off the shelf actually benefit people who are suffering? And what the science told us is that what psychedelics do in the brain, and what ketamine does in the brain may actually be very therapeutic for people with persistent and serious medical disorders like depression, like posttraumatic stress.
Dr. Roger McIntyre CEO of Braxia Scientific (CSE:BRAX)
ADDICTION AND TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
It wasn’t until I was introduced to tools like psilocybin... that I started to notice a huge difference in my recovery... We’re treating the symptoms right now, but we are going to try to find a cure for traumatic brain injury.
DMT is... a classic psychedelic in the same family as LSD and psilocybin... DMT specifically binds to serotonin receptors and creates a cascade of really beneficial effects such as... facilitating the reconciliation of trauma. DMT is the major psychoactive molecule... that we’ve isolated, and we’re going to be using for a directed purpose of treating addiction.
Ketamine has been around for decades, it’s a hot drug of the mental health space... but there is also decades of data showing it can be safe and effective in treating pain, both chronic and acute pain types. We shifted over there because there’s a very compelling market. Again, it’s existing data to help guide us in our research, and there is an enormous commercial market, an enormous potential to alleviate human suffering... We are very much focused on trying to move the needle on opioid addiction rates by providing non-opioid therapy that patients could go home with.
CEO of Entheon Biomedical (CSE:ENBI)
CEO of Bexson Biomedical
Daniel Carcillo CEO of Wesana Health (CSE:WESA)
For even more fascinating insights, watch the entire Investing in Psychedelics playlist here:
CANADIAN SECURITIES EXCHANGE MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2021 | 37
CSE’s CEO talks psychedelics, career, and the Exchange’s greatest achievements By Nikki Manthey
What initially drew you to the capital markets as a career? I have always had a fascination with capital markets. As a history student in university, one of my major papers was on the formation of the Bank of England and the role of public finance in the creation of what we would recognize as the modern capitalist system.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned in your time as CEO of the CSE? It’s difficult to identify any one thing; the job involves a great deal of learning: new industries, financial trends, behavioural economics, and the energy and relentless optimism of the entrepreneurs with whom we work.
Which CSE accomplishment are you most proud of? The fact that during my decadelong tenure as CEO we have gone from the start up phase to a significant part of the Canadian public market system for finance and secondary market liquidity.
Let’s talk psychedelics. What do you envision the CSE’s role in the industry to be? As with other industries, we believe that the cost of capital advantage 38 | THE PSYCHEDELICS ISSUE
Richard Carleton (centre) at the 2021 MJBiz Conference in Las Vegas, with the CSE’s Barrington Miller (left) and Anil Mall (right).
that the CSE affords its issuers enables them to invest more money in the business. As with any issuer group, we are here to assist these companies in telling their unique stories to the marketplace.
What do you feel is the CSE’s most important contribution to the psychedelics sector so far? As with the cannabis industry, we were an early supporter of the industry and facilitated the capital raising efforts of pioneering entrepreneurs. With our partners in the regulatory community, we also helped set the disclosure standards for the industry, creating a template for additional investment in the sector.
Speaking personally, what is especially fascinating about the psychedelics industry to you? The fact that there is as much historical clinical research as there is, much of it international, on the efficacy of the compounds grouped as psychedelics for a variety of medical issues.
What is an interesting trend you have noticed within the sector? We are seeing not only pure pharma research companies, but companies that are looking to fast track the path to revenue with clinics offering immediate access
to specific therapies in different jurisdictions around the world.
In your opinion, what is the most significant challenge for companies in the psychedelics space? It really depends on the type of business we are talking about. For the companies taking a particular compound through the research phases with the intent of “discovering” a prescription drug or approved over the counter medication, investors and company management will have to have a high degree of patience. Drug development is a very long and capital intensive undertaking.
Now that restrictions have eased somewhat, is there any particular event you’re looking forward to attending in-person in the coming year? Having attended the recent MJBiz Conference in Las Vegas recently, I had a taste of what is to come next year. It was great to see so many friends and CSE supporters in person after a two year pause. PDAC in Toronto in early March promises to be a mining industry version of the Vegas event.
What are you most excited about for 2022? The CSE will be introducing significant changes to its Listing Manual and Policies next year. These changes will see benefits that accrue to more mature companies in Canada’s public capital markets.
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