Psychedelic medicine is shaking up both the mental health industry and health care investing. Offering hope to millions who continue to live with debilitating conditions, the sector is also providing investment opportunities to those interested in mental health.
To help readers navigate this fast-growing new space, I've put together a list of the top corporate leaders in this rising field that includes magic mushrooms, LSD and other technologies and compounds, categorized by specialty:
A Magical, Mushrooming Opportunity: Psilocybin
Psilocybin is the active ingredient in magic mushrooms and is currently the psychedelic compound with the most scientific research and industry development. Here are some firms and leaders working with psilocybin.
Doug Drysdale of Cybin
Cybin Inc. (CYBN) is a Toronto-based psychedelic medicine firm. Going public in November 2020 on the NEO exchange, the firm has been steadily growing its market cap and development pipeline. The company recently became the industry's first firm to list on the NYSE American exchange and their psilocybin clinical trial for depression is making excellent progress.
Doug Drysdale is an experienced director, having been CEO and chairman of the board of Nasdaq-listed companies and pharmaceutical firms. Drysdale has spent nearly 30 years in the health care sector, helping turn around a variety of companies and take them to the next level.
George Goldsmith: Compass Pathways
Compass Pathways plc (CMPS) was the first psychedelic medicine company to list on the Nasdaq exchange and is one of the industry's current market-cap leaders. Compass received a Food and Drug Administration "Breakthrough Therapy" designation in 2018 for its program of psilocybin therapy, and its clinical trial for depression is the most advanced in the industry.
Goldsmith is Compass Pathways' chairman, CEO, and co-founder. His background is a mix of cognitive psychology, clinical psychology and computer science. He has founded a number of successful companies and was a senior adviser to McKinsey & Company's leadership team. Goldsmith partnered with Ekaterina Malievskaia, the company's chief innovation officer, and Lars Christian Wilde, chief business officer to form Compass Pathways.
On a Trip: LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide)
This famous, and sometimes infamous, psychedelic molecule is a potent compound with many potential uses and benefits. At the moment, MindMed is hands-down the industry leader in LSD-inspired medicines.
Rob Barrow: MindMed
Mind Medicine Inc. (MNMD) is an industry leader. One of the first psychedelic medicine companies to go public, MindMed has a diverse development pipeline, impressive team, and a loyal base of investors. MindMed works in the areas of LSD, MDMA (think ecstasy or Molly) and DMT (a hallucinogenic tryptamine drug) to treat conditions such as opioid addiction, headaches and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The company trades on the Nasdaq and on the Canadian NEO Exchange under the symbol MMED.
Rob Barrow is MindMed's new CEO. A pharmaceutical executive and pharmacologist, Barrow has led drug development teams and navigated the pharmaceutical approval landscape. Barrow previously served as director at the Usona Institute, where he managed the clinical and regulatory efforts focused on psychedelics. Taking over from founder and former CEO J.R. Rahn, Barrow seems a good fit to lead MindMed into its next stage of development.
Diversified Drug Development
While some companies are focused on developing only one compound, others have a more diversified approach, developing several different drugs to treat a variety of conditions (MindMed would also fit on this list, as they are working on more than just LSD).
Florian Brand: Atai Life Sciences
Atai Life Sciences N.V. (ATAI) is psychedelic medicine's largest company, by market value. Debuting on the Nasdaq exchange earlier this year, the company owns or operates or both 10 different companies developing a variety of psychedelic and non-psychedelic medicines. Atai is the most well-funded company in the industry and is backed by big name investors.
Florian Brand is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Atai Life Sciences and an entrepreneur. Co-founder and chairman Christian Angermayer is also a major part of the executive leadership team.
Dr. Joseph Tucker: MagicMed
MagicMed Industries is a privately owned biotechnology company manufacturing the next generation of psychedelic medicines, focused on the discovery and development of novel drug candidates. MagicMed's "Psybrary" is their proprietary library of psychedelic derivatives and the company has already filed 13 patents for derivatives of psilocybin and DMT, with several other patent applications filed for mescaline, MDMA, and LSD in process.
The company is in process of being acquired by Nasdaq-listed biotech firm Enveric Biosciences (ENVB) , making MagicMed a new member of the exclusive club of psychedelic companies on the Nasdaq.
As part of the deal, MagicMed CEO Dr. Joseph Tucker will become CEO of the new Enveric. Dr. Joseph Tucker has two decades of experience as a biotechnology entrepreneur, co-founding several companies and raising tens of millions in capital. An expert in biotech and pharmaceuticals, Dr. Tucker holds seven issued patents and a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology. This experience will help lead the new MagicMed and Enveric partnership into its next stage of development.
After Approval, It's Off to Treatment Clinics
Drug development is only one part of the equation. Once medicines are approved, they will need to be delivered to patients; and with psychedelics often requiring more time and care to administer, in-person treatment clinics will play a crucial role in the future of the industry.
Joseph del Moral: Field Trip Health
Field Trip Health Ltd. (FTRP) is the current industry leader of in-person treatment clinics. With locations across North America and now into Europe, and with plans to open 20 clinics by the end of 2020, Field Trip has a first-mover advantage in the all-important area of actually delivering therapies to people. The company is also actively pursuing novel, proprietary drug development.
Joseph del Moral is CEO and co-founder of Field Trip. With a successful background in founding and running cannabis companies and clinics (and then being acquired by and joining the team of industry-leader Aurora Cannabis in 2016) del Moral and his partners moved on to found Field Trip and bring their experience to the psychedelic space. His latest accomplishment was bringing Field Trip onto the Nasdaq exchange in late-July of this year.
Payton Nyquvest: Numinus
Numinus Wellness (LKYSF) was part of the first wave of psychedelic companies to go public. With a varied approach covering many sectors, Numinus has been successfully establishing itself as a major player in the space. The company operates a large research and production facility in British Columbia, owns and operates in-person treatment clinics, and is running several clinical and preclinical trials.
Payton Nyquvest is CEO, chair, and co-founder of Numinus. He has worked with major investment firms and has experience in finance, investment, and banking. At Numinus, Payton leads a dynamic team looking to establish itself as a player across all sectors of the industry. Mr. Nyquvest is a leading voice for both Numinus and the psychedelic medicine industry.
Digital health and therapeutics will play a crucial role in the future of psychedelic medicine. Companies are realizing that the confluence of health care and digital platforms will be part of the future of medicine, especially psychedelics. Digital tools will help deliver treatments and training efficiently and cost-effectively.
Robin Arnott: Entheo Digital
Entheo Digital is a new privately owned digital therapeutics company working at the intersection of psychedelic therapy and experiential medicine. The company's goal is to grow the accessibility and scalability of psychedelic therapy with immersive virtual experiences. The company's main product, SoundSelf, is an immersive VR offering that can be used for a variety of functions and industries.
Robin Arnott is the CEO of Entheo Digital. With a background in the gaming industry, Arnott is a sound designer. Originally intended for VR platforms in the entertainment industry, Entheo Digital is now developing SoundSelf as a protocol for psychedelic therapy.
Most major psychedelic companies are developing some sort of digital platform, hoping to create digital experiences that could substantially help both therapists and patients. So if the development of SoundSelf delivers on its promise, Entheo could have on its hands a potentially disrupting and sought-after digital tool.