Psilocybin May be Able to Help Nearly a Third of the U.S. Adults Considered Obese

Psychedelics, like psilocybin may be helpful in treating weight issues and obesity. In fact, NeonMind Biosciences’ (CSE:NEON) (OTC:NMDBF) “first drug candidate aims to use synthetic psilocybin to enhance a patient's ability to alter behaviours that cause weight loss through psychedelic-assisted cognitive therapy. The second drug candidate proposes low dose synthetic psilocybin as a treatment to suppress appetite,” as noted by the company. Other top psychedelic companies racing to treat a range of other mental health issues include Cybin Inc. (NEO:CYBN)(OTC:CLXPF), Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE:TRYP), Mind Medicine Inc. (NEO:MMED)(OTC:MMEDF), and Compass Pathways (NASDAQ:CMPS).

Unfortunately, the global obesity issue has only gotten worse. According to Healthline, more than a third of U.S. adults are obese. Around 17% of children ages two to 19 are considered obese. In addition, obesity is linked to more than 60 chronic diseases, including  type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. If a drug such as psilocybin can help fight weight issues and obesity, we could be looking at a multi-billion-dollar game changer.

NeonMind Biosciences (CSE:NEON)(OTC:NMDBF) is Seeing Significant Progress

NeonMind Biosciences provides an update from CEO Rob Tessarolo on its research and development activities, as well as its plan to further develop two of its synthetic psilocybin-based drug candidates for the treatment of obesity, compulsive eating disorder and as an aid to weight loss and its maintenance.

NeonMind President and CEO Rob Tessarolo Reports:

“It is a very exciting time to be in the psychedelic industry, which is undergoing rapid expansion. There is a continuous flow of new companies entering the market and each is replete with important research ideas and vying for the conditions necessary to drive growth.  The growing interest in studying psychedelic substances coupled with a fresh look from regulatory agencies means some of these substances have the potential to make it to market and help those patients who need innovative new approaches in care.

Our Research Plan

“We have established a distinctive focus on developing innovative treatment modalities for people dealing with obesity. Psychedelic therapy has the potential to institute long term positive behaviours that may impact food intake and other lifestyle changes which affect weight management, and psilocybin in low doses may help control appetite and satiety. This important element sets us apart from numerous other psychedelic companies working to advance research ideas in psychedelics.

“We have three core objectives for 2021:

1) Plan – establish a comprehensive integrated development plan (“IDP”) in support of our two psilocybin programs predicated upon our target product profiles (“TPP”) and gap analysis to FDA/Health Canada requirements for new drug applications.

2) Resource - assemble world class talent and raise adequate capital to advance and accelerate our IDP.

3) Execute - the “next steps” in developing psilocybin for the treatment of obesity.

Our R&D Working Group

“We welcome the new members to our team:

Ernie Ho, Ph.D. (consultant) has joined our team.

Ernie has successfully developed and commercialized products in the biopharma and diagnostics industry. He has experience throughout the value chain shaping products to maximize commercial success including pre-clinical, clinical, manufacturing, and product management. He has played a key role in corporate development in multiple licensing, M&A deals and capital raises. Ernie received his PhD in Physiology and Pharmacology at Western University.

Clive Ward-Able, MD (consultant) has joined our team.

Dr. Clive Ward-Able is a physician and a pharmacist who has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 28 years with 21 of those at the executive level. He has worked in large and small pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in Canada, the U.S., UK, Switzerland, and South Africa in the departments of R&D, medical, marketing, and sales. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Clinical Trials Ontario and has been a member of the Medical & Scientific Advisory Committee of Innovative Medicines Canada.

Albert Garcia-Romeu, Ph.D. (advisory board member) has joined our team.

Albert Garcia-Romeu is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His research examines the effects of psychedelics in humans, with a focus on psilocybin as an aid in the treatment of addiction. He has conducted more than 90 high-dose psilocybin sessions in the laboratory since 2012 and is a founding member of the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research.

Philippe Martin (advisory board member) has joined our team.

Mr. Martin has 20 years of biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry experience and is currently the Chief of Clinical Development & Operations at BioAtla, Inc., a San Diego-based biotech company that develops novel therapies with improved therapeutic index that have the potential to revolutionize cancer treatment. Mr. Martin previously led the development and commercialization of the blockbuster drug OTEZLA, , and oversaw the development of the inflammation and immunology franchise at Celgene. Prior to Celgene, Mr. Martin held multiple positions at Schering-Plough (acquired by Merck) where he managed the anti-TNF alpha collaboration with Johnson & Johnson. We have engaged Philippe to advise on drug development strategies.

“We are taking the opportunity to provide background on our existing advisory board members.

Laird Birmingham, MD (advisory board member) joined our team in Jan 2021.

Dr. Birmingham is a Specialist in Internal Medicine, an Epidemiologist and Biostatistician, and a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia where he was previously Professor of Internal Medicine and is an expert in the treatment and study of eating and weight disorders. He has pioneered several new internationally recognized treatments. He has more than 30 years of experience in eating disorders and obesity research and treatment and has 280 publications including 131 referenced articles, 23 invited chapters, and 9 books. 

Frank Russo, Ph.D.(advisory board member) joined our team in Jan 2021.

Dr. Russo is a Professor of Psychology at Ryerson University and is the Hear the World Research Chair in Music and Emotional Speech. He is an affiliate scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, core member of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind (MIMM), and adjunct professor at the University of Toronto’s Music and Health Collaboratory (MaHRC). He is Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association and Massey College, and is a past president of the Canadian Acoustical Association.

Will Panenka, MD (advisory board member) joined our team in Jan 2020.

Dr. Panenka is a dually boarded Neurologist and Psychiatrist and Canadian Institute of Health Research funded academic faculty member at the University of British Columbia (“UBC”). He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at UBC and Harvard University. He maintains a research program in brain injury, mental health, and addictions. He has authored over 30 publications in the last 5 years. He is the founder and a director of Translational Life Sciences Inc. (TLS). The TLS team has experience in designing and conducting preclinical and clinical trials, including clinical trials using a restricted substance. NeonMind engaged TLS to design our psilocybin preclinical research.

Alasdair Barr, Ph.D.(Principal Investigator pre-clinical studies) joined our team in Oct 2020.

Dr. Barr has a PhD in Neuropharmacology post-doctoral training at Scripps Institute and drug discovery with Novartis. He is a tenured faculty member at the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, UBC. He was a previous Neuropharmacology Society Young Investigator of the year. He has experience with nationally recognized research programs in preclinical and clinical pharmacology, from lab bench to human clinical trials. His expertise includes addiction, anxiety/depression, psychosis pain, drug safety and drug pharmacokinetics. His doctoral and postdoctoral research involved a significant body of work with controlled substances. He is approved by Health Canada to possess psilocybin for NeonMind’s preclinical trial.

“Recently we announced the engagement of Certara Inc. as our external development contractor. Certara is recognized as a global leader in model-informed drug discovery and development, providing biosimulation software to transform traditional biopharmaceutical R&D with a scientific team that has more than 3,500 years of collective drug discovery and development experience. Since 2014, 90% of new drug and biologic approvals by the US FDA have been received by Certara’s customers.

“Over the next six weeks our Research and Development working group will finalize a fully integrated development program (IDP) which will allow us to confidently execute the steps necessary to developing an important novel psychedelic therapeutic for obesity and weight management.”

Other related developments from around the markets include:

Cybin Inc., a biotechnology company focused on progressing psychedelic therapeutics announced that it has signed a drug development agreement with Catalent, Inc., the leading global provider of advanced delivery technologies, development, and manufacturing solutions for drugs, biologics, cell and gene therapies, and consumer health products. Cybin will be applying Catalent’s proprietary Zydis® orally disintegrating tablet (ODT) technology for the delivery of our novel deuterated tryptamine (CYB003), a potential therapy for treatment-resistant psychiatric disorders.

Tryp Therapeutics Inc., a pharmaceutical company focused on developing clinical-stage compounds for diseases with unmet medical needs, announced that it has submitted a provisional patent (US 63/161,070) to improve how psychedelics are administered across a broad range of indications. The provisional patent describes novel methods for the formulation, delivery, and dosing of psychedelics resulting in a potential reduction in the time spent by patients in the dissociative state. These proprietary methods represent the foundational elements of the comprehensive medical treatment program Tryp is developing for a wide variety of conditions. This filing is expected to be the first of a series of patent filings to enhance the effectiveness of psychedelics and to further differentiate Tryp's intellectual property.

Mind Medicine Inc., a leading psychedelic medicine biotech company announced that effective as of Friday March 19th, 2021, MindMed has been added to the FTSE Global Micro-Cap Index (which represents $1.3 trillion in global market cap) and the FTSE Total-Cap index (which represents $54.7 trillion in global market cap).

Compass Pathways, a mental health care company dedicated to accelerating patient access to evidence-based innovation in mental health, reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and year-end 2020 and gave an update on recent progress across its business. George Goldsmith, Chairman, CEO and Co-founder, COMPASS Pathways, said, “Mental health is an urgent crisis and this has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. At COMPASS we remain committed to transforming mental health care and helping patients who are suffering and aren’t helped by existing treatments. Our phase IIb clinical trial of COMP360 psilocybin therapy for treatment-resistant depression is actively recruiting and we plan to report data from this trial at the end of the year. We are also continuing preclinical research into new indications, new compounds and new technologies, working with partners through our Centre of Excellence, our Discovery Center, and a number of investigator-initiated studies, as well as developing a strong team.”

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