Psilocybin has been a struggle. Well, that's true unless you are Compass Pathways ( CMPS
) over the past week. The stock has rocketed 20% higher. The company announced a new U.S. Crystalline Psilocybin patent along with strong topline data for its cancer therapy. The target is treatment for depression.
This is indeed great news, especially for those suffering from depression. The current "treatment" for depression is a treatment of symptoms, not causes.
The data for this study came from a clinician-administered symptom questionnaire.
Don't get me wrong, but I still have a little hesitation with this methodology in terms of wide adaptation. It's a well-designed, time-tested questionnaire, but it is still subjective. It has a sliding scale and with subjective points, a score by one person may not be the same score by another person for the same thing.
Let's use soccer players and hockey players as an example in terms of a pain scale. If a professional soccer player gets buzzed by a butterfly, the player will flop to the ground in agony. When asked by the referee, the player will claim pain of nine or 10 on a scale of one to 10. On the other hand, a hockey player will take a puck to the face, spit out two teeth, and get back on the ice. When asked, the hockey player will shrug it off as a two or a three.
Maybe those are examples are a bit more entertaining than practical, but it covers the point that subjective is an issue. To get psilocybin in the mainstream, in my view, is the market will need to see both qualitative and quantitative. I believe that's what makes the news from Cybin ( CYBN
) so crucial Tuesday morning.
The company announced the Food and Drug Administration has authorized an investigational new drug application to proceed using Kernel's Flow technology to measure ketamine's psychedelic effect on cerebral cortex hemodynamics. Simply put, the company is going to be able to watch the brain in real-time during treatment. This is a huge leap for the sector as watching neuroimaging during treatment should offer hints or answers as to how brains react to treatment. Scientists will be able to compare healthy brains to diseased brains and measure if treatment improves or resets diseased brains. The end result will be quantifiable answers rather than ones relying on patient reporting.
While both approaches have merit, adding this piece to the psilocybin story isn't just big for Cybin but for the sector itself.
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