Positive First Steps Show the Promise of Psychedelic Therapies

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July 4, 2020

NEW YORK: Depression and PTSD are serious psychiatric disorders which happen to share some similar symptoms. Either disorder might cause trouble sleeping, anger over little things, or a loss of interest in people or things.

Sometimes, having both conditions is possible. As such, scientists are constantly working on how to better understand the intricacies of psychiatric disorders and on possible treatments as well. In recent years, views on psychedelic therapy have started to change.

2016 had been, in particular, a breakthrough year for psychedelic therapy. First, a study from the Beckley Foundation, in partnership with Imperial College London, found that all 12 patients showed some reduction in depression severity at 1 week that was sustained in the majority for 3 months, and according to standard criteria for determining remission (eg, a score of ≤9 on the BDI), eight (67%) of the 12 patients achieved complete remission at 1 week.

Later that year, two U.S. university studies jointly published their findings of psilocybin effects on 51 cancer patients with life-threatening diagnoses and symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. According to the results, about 80% of participants continued to show clinically significant decreases in depressed mood and anxiety. Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (OTC NLBIF) (CSE MYCO), Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ TLRY), Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ NEPT) (TSX NEPT), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE ACB), Amyris, Inc. (NASDAQ AMRS).

Now, years later, new data continues to indicate that psychedelics could be used for legitimate medical purposes. In particular, this may also indicate that some legalization efforts will start to gain popularity as well. For example, back in 2019, Denver voters approved some of the nation's first legal protections for psychedelic mushroom users, according to the Denver Post. Just like with cannabis and CBD products, legalization efforts will be spread to both the national and local levels. Over the past several years, the cannabis industry has achieved historic milestones and fully redefined itself, and it is large part thanks to various legislative victories in some of the largest states in the country, including California. Now, medical cannabis products are used for the treatment of various chronic conditions such as cancer, arthritis, and neurological conditions such as anxiety, depression, epilepsy, as well as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Such a wide scope of applications is also anticipated to further expand the target demographic of the market.

Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (OTC NLBIF) (CSE MYCO) just announced breaking news that, it has signed a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) dated June 9, 2020 to acquire NeuroPharm Inc., (NeuroPharm) a Canadian-based healthcare company working to deploy the power of nature's medicine for the wellness of veterans, EMS and front line personnel in  North America and globally (the Acquisition).

'The exceptional roles and responsibilities Canada's military and veterans, EMS and front-line personnel undertake on a daily basis, contribute to these professional's underlying mental health challenges' said Josh Bartch, CEO, Mydecine Innovations Group. 'I look forward to working with NeuroPharm's talented clinicians, scientists, academics  and industry leaders focused on responding to these individual's mental health and wellness needs in the years to come.'

'Our mission is to build a capability that will truly have a focus on veterans, EMS and other front-line personnel.  This new capability will bring to the table unique skillsets to meet this enormous challenge of building veterans, EMS and front-line staff confidence and restoring their overall wellness. With our experienced team, we understand their unique circumstances related to service that may have contributed to operational stress injuries namely post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression or anxiety' added Colonel (Ret'd) Pucci, Chairman and CEO NeuroPharm Inc.

Mydecine and NeuroPharm will combine to focus on an integrated health and wellness research strategy and the development of products underpinned by therapies to assist veterans with mental health issues. NeuroPharm is focused on developing unique pharmaceutical and natural health products for veteran wellness , with a specific focus on the use of psilocybin. Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms, collectively known as psilocybin mushrooms. Once ingested, psilocybin is rapidly metabolized to psilocin, which then acts on serotonin receptors in the brain. NeuroPharm has developed unique and proprietary technology to treat various mental health conditions that are frequently experienced by veterans such as PTSD, depression, addiction, anxiety, and panic disorders as well as migraine and cluster headaches. Preliminary studies from institutions including the Imperial College of London, University of Zurich, Johns Hopkins, NYU, and UCLA suggest that psilocybin-assisted therapy could be a revolutionary treatment for depression and addiction.

NeuroPharm - Executive Management

The key to NeuroPharm's unique position is its stewardship, which has extensive established relationships with global military organizations, as well as an experienced cross-functional team poised to oversee all areas of the product life cycle, from medical mushroom cultivation, drug delivery system development, clinical trial execution, through to product commercialization and marketing

President and Chief Executive Officer, Colonel (Ret'd) Richard Pucci, OMM, CD, BSc, MDS, served as the Deputy Commander of the Canadian Forces Health Services, during which time he oversaw a team of approximately 6,400 active members and 500 contractors; during his tenure he was responsible for over watching via the chain of command 43 units and 82 detachments, including clinics, mobile medical units, field hospital, schools, research establishment, and a medical equipment depot. He also held the position of Chief of Staff of the Health Services Group, with the overall responsibility for a financial and business planning cycle of $462 million, and an infrastructure budget of $600 million. Colonel (Ret'd) Pucci's knowledge and affiliations within the military community provide additional pathways to unique funding sources and facilitate the development of psilocybin-based treatments for the veterans population.

NeuroPharm - Medical and Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Rakesh Jetly, OMM, CD, MD, FRCPC, part of the Company's Medical & Scientific Advisory Board, is currently the Head of the Centre of Excellence on Mental Health in Ottawa, Ontario, and an associate professor of psychiatry at Dalhousie University (Halifax); and the University of Ottawa. He has published numerous articles in professional journals and presents nationally and internationally on such topics as PTSD and operational psychiatry.

Dr. Mohyuddin Mirza, PhD, P.Ag, Chief Science Officer, holds a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta and served as an adjunct professor at his alma matter. He was inducted into the Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame and, subsequently, the Alberta Greenhouse Growers Association created the Dr. Mohyuddin Mirza Educational and Scholarship Foundation. Dr. Mirza brings with him his vast knowledge of greenhouse technologies, infrastructure, feasibility, research, and development to the NeuroPharm team.

Prof. dr. H.G.J.M. (Eric) Vermetten MD, PhD, is professor Medical-Biological and Psychiatric Aspects of Psych trauma, LUMC/University of Leiden.  Eric Vermetten is psychiatrist at the MGGZ in Utrecht (Military Mental Health care). From 1991 he has been linked to several universities as a researcher, including Stanford University, California, Yale Univ, New Haven CT, Emory Univ, Atlanta, and studied at the University of Maastricht and followed several postgraduate courses. In 2003, Eric was promoted on Posttraumatic Stress Disorders Neurobiological Studies in the Aftermath of Traumatic Stress at the University of Utrecht. Vermetten considers PTSD a heterogeneous disorder, with different contributions of neurobiological systems and circuits. He is convinced that longitudinal cohort studies, more than research with cross-sectional designs, is important to obtain knowledge breakthroughs. And assumes that in the psych traumatology computer-assisted technology, the patient can give more influence on therapeutic - and care processes.