Published at Yahoo!Finance
By Shashank Jacob
The role of mental health has been acknowledged in recent years in achieving global development goals. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among those 15 to 29. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability. People with severe mental health conditions die prematurely — as much as 2 decades early — due to preventable physical conditions.
According to a study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation for 2017, at least 300 million people struggled with depression, 284 million with anxiety and more than 178 million with alcohol or drug addiction.
One familiar method of tackling mental health is psychotherapy. During psychotherapy, a patient speaks with a mental health professional about their moods, feelings, thoughts and behavior. When successful, the patient gains insights and knowledge that can help them cope.
In recent years, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy has been under investigation as there is evidence to suggest that certain hallucinogens have clinical potential to treat mental health issues.
The role of hallucinogens is to act as a facilitator for healing experiences and positive outcomes by lowering the resistance or defense of a patient’s inner thoughts to access their deepest feelings — guilt, shame and fear, for example. As a result, it can also reduce the number of sessions between a therapist and a patient to expedite the recovery process.
However, although psychedelic therapy may be efficacious and safe to some extent, there are some concerns about the approaches used today.
Significant Risks with Current Psychedelic Therapy Techniques
As psychedelic therapy techniques are novel, many biopharma companies that are investigating psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy are still unable to solve pertinent issues with their approach.
For instance, in MDMA, some of those issues pertain to cardiovascular risks — increased heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, etc., which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration addressed.
Another issue is the half-life of treatments. The average half-life is 8 hours, which is not viable given the drug’s slow onset time and the short duration of a psychotherapy session (less than 2 hours). It is also not profitable as it becomes expensive and not scalable.
A major potential psychological risk of using hallucinogens is terrifying feelings of anxiety or fear — or in psychedelic parlance, it may cause a patient to have a “bad trip” — defeating its purpose.
Fortunately, one company is making strides to address these issues and has even figured out how to make the treatment affordable and operate at scale.
Mydecine Innovations Group™ (NEO: MYCO) (OTC: MYCOF) (FSE: ONFA) is an emerging biopharma and life sciences company that investigates naturally-sourced psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy to combat mental health issues.
Mydecine has identified four psychedelic drugs with a fast onset time that can eliminate cardiovascular risk issues and significantly reduce the half-life to less than two hours.
The drug candidates were developed by Mydecine’s research team led by Chief Science Officer and Co-Founder Rob Roscow, along with collaboration from Dr. Denton Hoyer, drug-discovery expert and Mydecine’s scientific advisory board member.
These drug candidates are naturally-sourced, efficient to produce and highly scalable.
The four initial drug candidates include:
Mydecine recently announced that it had received full government approval through Health Canada for exclusive access to a full cGMP-certified pharmaceutical manufacturing facility with the ability to import or export, cultivate, extract or isolate, and analyze active mushroom compounds.
The company also said that it would use the new guidance from Health Canada to expand its cultivation facilities and rapidly scale up the supply of pharmaceutical-grade psilocybin for both its internal clinical research and for its industry partners.
The company believes that the increased cultivation will allow the company to more efficiently and quickly study the medical utility of naturally occurring psilocybin and psilocybin-like compounds.
Mydecine has filed provisional patent applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in its efforts to discover valuable novel compounds in fungi for medicinal and pharmaceutical use. The company has also filed a provisional patent for Mindleap’s mental health technology with the USPTO and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
The company migrated to the NEO Exchange and began trading on March 23, 2021. In addition, it submitted a formal application to list on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
Mydecine has improved its capital market positioning by raising CA$20 million through bought-deal offerings. As of March 31, 2021, the company had cash and cash equivalents of CA$11.3 million.
Mydecine is a partner of Benzinga. The information in this article does not represent the investment advice of Benzinga or its writers.