NEW YORK, July 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- There is a need for new antidepressants with a mechanism of action different from that of SSRIs and SNRIs to improve efficacy across several symptoms, reduce side effects, and provide sustained remission. Recently, a growing acceptance of psychedelic drugs for treating depression and the increasing prevalence of depression and mental disorders have both become important factors for the market growth of such drugs. Psychedelics for medical use could be a potential treatment of major depressive disorder, treatment-resistant depression, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and opiate addiction among others. Recent data suggesting effectiveness of such products led to certain legalization efforts. 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. Additionally, according to a market analysis by Data Bridge Market Research, the psychedelic drugs market is expected to grow at CAGR of 16.3% in the forecast period of 2020 to 2027. It is also expected to reach USD 6,859.95 Million by 2027 from USD 2,077.90 Million in 2019. Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (OTC: MYCOF) (CSE: MYCO), Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE), Village Farms International, Inc. (NASDAQ: VFF) (TSX: VFF), Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRNE) .
There are similarities between the new psychedelic drugs market and the slightly more mature cannabis market. The trend of cannabis legalization in several countries is one of the key factors driving the market's growth. Additionally, the use of cannabis for medical purposes is gaining momentum worldwide. 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. As a result, the global legal cannabis market size is expected to reach USD 73.6 Billion by 2027, according to a new report published by Grand View Research, Inc.
Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (OTC: MYCOF) (CSE: MYCO) announced yesterday breaking news that, "further to its press release on June 10, 2020, it has entered into a definitive share exchange agreement (the "Share Exchange Agreement") for the acquisition (the " Acquisition ") of 100% of NeuroPharm Inc. ("NeuroPharm"), a Canadian-based developer of natural psychedelic-based treatments for mental health disorders in the Canadian and United States veteran communities.
NeuroPharm, in collaboration with its strategic partners, is deploying evidence-based medicine in the establishment of psychedelic-based therapies addressing the unmet needs of high-risk constituents. NeuroPharm is focused on developing unique and proprietary technologies to treat various mental health conditions frequently experienced by veterans and frontline workers such as PTSD, depression, addiction, anxiety, and panic disorders as well as migraine and cluster headaches.
NeuroPharm's management team is composed of critically acclaimed scientists and military personnel boasting extensive drug development experience and deep, embedded relationships within the Canadian and U.S. militaries. It has established valuable partnerships with leading research organizations in both North America and the EU, and is poised to initiate a series of unique clinical trials this summer. In conjunction with a preeminent university in the EU, NeuroPharm will be initiating veteran-based clinical trials for the treatment of PTSD with microdosed MDMA/psilocybin formulations. This inceptive trial will serve as the basis for follow-on trials conducted in Canada and the United States. NeuroPharm's veteran focus allows for fast-track "adaptive pathways" which should significantly reduce time to market.
NeuroPharm boasts extensive established relationships with global military organizations and a distinguished team of inter-disciplinary experts. Its commitment to excellence and stewardship uniquely positions NeuroPharm to oversee all areas of the product life cycle, including medical mushroom cultivation, drug delivery system development, clinical trial execution, all the way through to product commercialization.
'According to recent published data, as many as 20 veterans on average commit suicide per day in the U.S. alone, and, to me, this is a heart-breaking staggering statistic that unfortunately is overlooked by so many. We owe everything to our veterans, EMS and frontline personnel, yet the best solutions for their long-term mental health are currently non-existent. Aligning ourselves with the amazing team at NeuroPharm affords us the ability to make a positive change. Myself and the rest of the Mydecine team are truly honoured to be a part of this effort to finally make a difference and we are incredibly excited about what we will all accomplish together,' stated Josh Bartch, CEO of Mydecine.
Colonel (Ret'd) Pucci, CEO of NeuroPharm further commented: 'Our mission is to develop and bring to market treatments addressing the mental health conditions frequently experienced by veterans, including PTSD, depression and anxiety. We understand the unique circumstances of the veteran community and are devoted to treating these substantial unmet needs. Our collaborative partnership with Mydecine will accelerate our ability to address the enormous challenge of restoring the overall wellness in the veteran, EMS and frontline personnel communities. We are most pleased to be part of the Mydecine family of companies.'
Mydecine and NeuroPharm will unite 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. The Acquisition will help establish Mydecine as one of the world's leading authorities in psychedelic-based therapies and research, and maintain the Company's status as a true market leader."
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Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) announced back in May that its wholly-owned subsidiary High Park Gardens will close its doors over the course of the next six weeks. As a result of the closure, the Company expects to realize annualized net savings of approximately USD 7.5 Million (current production costs net of future 3rd party purchases and ongoing depreciation) and avoid significant ongoing capital expenditures. In 2019, Tilray acquired Natura Naturals Inc., which has since operated as High Park Gardens. The High Park Gardens facility contains 406,000 sq. ft. of Health Canada licensed space for cannabis cultivation and manufacturing. High Park Gardens has worked collaboratively with Tilray's existing operational sites to primarily serve the adult-use market in Canada. "We are continuously evaluating the evolving needs of our business, against a challenging industry backdrop, to ensure we're in the best position to produce world-class products and deliver positive results for our stakeholders," says Brendan Kennedy, Tilray CEO.
Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE), the leader in innovative pharmaceutically-produced transdermal cannabinoid therapies for rare and near-rare neuropsychiatric disorders, presented data in March further describing the baseline characteristics of the pediatric and adolescent patients in the fully-enrolled Phase 2 BRIGHT trial of Zygel™ (CBD transdermal gel; ZYN002) in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), indicating that the trial enrolled a broad population of patients with moderate-to-severe ASD. "ASD is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties with behaviors, communication, and social interaction," said Zynerba's Chief Medical Officer, Joseph M. Palumbo. "Pediatric and adolescent patients with ASD may also present with profound clinical anxiety, above the rate seen in neurotypical children, further complicating their condition and treatment regimen. Unfortunately, current ASD management options are restricted to cognitive behavioral therapy and a small number of approved pharmacologic treatments, highlighting the substantial unmet need for novel therapies in this population. We believe that we have enrolled an appropriate population of patients into our well-designed exploratory BRIGHT trial to enable a robust analysis of outcomes to help inform the design of future double-blind, placebo-controlled studies."
Village Farms International, Inc. (NASDAQ: VFF) (TSX: VFF) announced last week, "that it has executed a definitive agreement with DutchCanGrow Inc. ("DCG"), a Netherlands-based cannabis enterprise, to become one of six equal shareholders in DCG owning just under 16% each, with a seventh shareholder owning 5%. DCG is pursuing the opportunity to become one of a limited number of licensed cannabis growers (up to a maximum of 10) when the Dutch government permits the first legal recreational cannabis market in Europe under its 10-city Experiment to Investigate Closed Cannabis Supply Chains (the "WECG"). If successful in receiving a license from the Dutch government when awarded later this year, DCG plans to construct and operate a specialized cannabis greenhouse facility in the Netherlands and develop, produce and market a variety of safe, high-quality cannabis products to supply this new legalized market. Since 1976 in the Netherlands, a cannabis policy has been in effect regarding cannabis, under which the sale of cannabis at "coffee shops" is tolerated but the cultivation of cannabis is illegal. In 2019, in response to concerns around product safety (ingredients, additives, contaminants) and increasing criminal involvement related to cannabis cultivation, the Netherlands' House of Representatives approved the WECG as an intermediary step to address the lack of quality standards and societal impact of crime related to cannabis.
Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRNE) announced last year that it has formed a Chinese joint venture, Shenzhen Yunma Biotechnology Co., Ltd. (, with LifeTech Scientific Co., Ltd. to commercialize Sorrento's proprietary water soluble cannabidiol (CBD) formulation technologies for consumer and pharmaceutical applications in Asia (excluding Japan). In addition, Shenzhen Yunma's subsidiary, Yunnan Masheng Health Science Co., Ltd., has obtained a Yunnan industrial hemp plantation permit, as well as governmental pre-approval to establish an industrialized processing, CBD extraction and isolation operation in Kunming (Yunnan Province, China). Sorrento holds 40% of the equity in the Shenzhen Yunma joint venture and LifeTech holds the remaining 60% of the equity. Sorrento has contributed the exclusive license to Sorrento's water-soluble CBD technology for the Asian territory to Shenzhen Yunma. With the hemp and CBD supplies from Yunnan Masheng secured, Shenzhen Yunma will build manufacturing capacity to potentially deliver hundreds of metric tons of CBD annually to the global markets.