The Week In Psychedelics:
- Delix Therapeutics Closes $70 million Series A
- Elon Musk Acknowledges The Therapeutic Potential Of Psychedelic
- MindCure Launches “Desire Project” Looking At MDMA For Female Sexual Dysfunction
- Braxia Publishes Results Of Clinical Trial On Ketamine Without Additional Antidepressants
- Psychedelics Bill Introduced In Florida
- The Milestone Round
Delix Therapeutics Closes $70 million Series A
Delix Therapeutics closed a $70 million Series A financing round.
The Boston-based company became known in the space for developing “non-hallucinogenic psychoplastogens,” molecules derived from traditional psychedelics and altered to reduce risk and safety liabilities.
Delix’s flagship drug development program, baptized “DLX-1,” sprouted from research done by co-founder David Olson and published in the peer-reviewed journal Cell.
Preclinical work has shown that the compound could have the potential to produce some of the antidepressant effects of classic psychedelics without altering one’s perception or producing a mystical experience.
These claims still need to be proven in human clinical trials.
With the proceeds, Delix expects to advance DLX-1 and another lead drug candidate, called “DLX-7” through Phase 1 clinical trials, which could commence in 2022. The compounds are currently in pre-IND safety and toxicology studies.
Delix also plans to expand its drug discovery platform and its team with the raised capital.
The company also announced that it has produced nearly 1,000 new chemical entities, “with several potential clinical development candidates identified.”
Elon Musk Acknowledges The Therapeutic Potential Of Psychedelics
Elon Musk expressed his support for the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs.
The Space X and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO shared his opinion on psychedelic substances in a Q&A at the CodeCon event on Tuesday.
“I think generally people should be open to psychedelics,” said Musk after being asked his opinion by Ronan Levy, executive chairman of Field Trip Health (NASDAQ:FTRP).
“You’ve spent a lot of time talking about outer space, and I want to ask you about inner space. What role do you think psychedelics may have in addressing some of the more destructive tendencies of humanity?” Levy asked Musk.
“A lot of people making laws are kind of from a different era,” Musk replied. “As the new generation gets into political power, I think we will see greater receptivity to the benefits of psychedelics.”
Benzinga’s Take: In recent years, Elon Musk’s opinions have proven to have an overwhelmingly strong influence on the markets.
Earlier this year, the billionaire entrepreneur’s influence on the crypto markets was made apparent when he single-handedly affected the prices of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) and Dogecoin (CRYPTO: DOGE).
As the market for psychedelic medicines grows larger, comments from highly influential figures like Musk could have a strong impact on the industry’s ability to raise capital, which is largely derived from the public’s opinion and support for the sector.
MindCure Launches “Desire Project” Looking At MDMA For Female Sexual Dysfunction
“There is good reason to believe that MDMA within a form of psychotherapy that is designed specifically to address sexual dysfunction could have a positive outcome,” said MindCure CEO Kelsey Ramsden in an exclusive interview with Benzinga.
MindCure is launching a clinical research program to assess the efficacy of MDMA in female hypoactive sexual desire disorder, a condition “characterized by persistent low sexual desire and emotional distress not attributable to an existing medical condition or relationship issue.”
Low sex drive is not a pathology in itself, but the condition can become problematic when it triggers significant levels of personal distress, which can involve sadness, a sense of grief, and feelings of incompetence, loss and frustration.
In the U.S. the condition is believed to affect an estimated 9.5 million premenopausal women.
“We know the desire for women is sparked between the ears and there is a large body of evidence to support that,” said Ramsden, who is the only female CEO in the top 15 publicly traded psychedelics companies by market cap.
MindCure’s team has completed the writing of a research protocol around the use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for sexual dysfunction. After securing access to the drug for research purposes, the company will move towards filing for an investigational new drug meeting with the FDA – a necessary step before launching clinical trials.
Braxia Publishes Results Of Clinical Trial On Ketamine Without Additional Antidepressants
Braxia Scientific Corp. (CSE:BRAX) (OTC:BRAXF) released results of a clinical study suggesting that ketamine could be as effective on its own in the treatment of depression as it is in combination with traditional antidepressants.
The company uses its own facilities to conduct research into ketamine, a compound largely understudied in mental health indications.
The study, conducted at the Canadian Rapid Treatment Centre of Excellence, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Braxia, involved 220 patients with treatment-resistant depression. The patients received intravenous ketamine infusions alone; the results were then compared to patients who received infusions in addition to oral antidepressants.
Patients who received ketamine alone achieved response and remission rates of 39.1% and 17.4%, respectively. Those receiving ketamine treatment along with antidepressants saw corresponding rates of 21.9% and 6.7%.
Dr. Joshua Rosenblat, Braxia's scientific chief medical and scientific officer said that this data is particularly important because it shows that the benefits of ketamine may not be dependent on the co-prescription of other medications.
Psychedelics Bill Introduced In Florida
Florida Representative Michael Grieco and Senator Lauren Book introduced bills to provide legal access to psilocybin and other psychedelics in the Sunshine State.
“Florida does not have to be the last state to catch up with science every time,” Grieco said.
“The science regarding psilocybin is real, cannot be ignored, and soon will be a universally-accepted form of treatment in the U.S. Veterans and veterans organizations should be watching closely on behalf of folks suffering from addiction, PTSD and depression.”
The measures would require the state to launch a research program into the benefits of psychedelics such as psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine.
“This bill provides a natural pathway to wellness for patients with debilitating post-traumatic stress disorder and treatment-resistant depression,” said Book.
“Psilocybin treatment is a safe alternative for those who have exhausted all other avenues for mental health and wellbeing and I am proud to sponsor legislation to ensure Floridians have medical access to this life-saving natural treatment,” she added.
The Milestone Round:
- PharmaTher Holdings (CSE:PHRM) (OTCQB:PHRRF) closed a private placement with institutional investors of CAD$10 million ($7.9 million) worth of the company’s common shares and additional purchase warrants.
- Mycrodose Therapeutics closed a seven-figure seed financing round for an undisclosed amount. The company is developing patented delivery systems for psychedelic substances.
- Novamind (Canadian: NM) (OTCQB:NVMDF) has opened its sixth integrative psychiatry clinic, located in Murray, Utah.