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Why This Psychedelics Investment Opportunity is Focused on Palliative Care

Jocelyn Aspa Jocelyn Aspa, The Market Herald
1 Comment| April 19, 2022

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Psychedelics has certainly become a buzz sector over the last couple of years, and for good reason. There is ever growing research and clinical trials involving the use of psychedelics for the treatment of a wide range of conditions — from mental health ailments such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder to ADHD, MDD and migraines among other conditions.

According to a report, the psychedelics industry is projected to reach a valuation of US$6.85 billion by 2027 up from $2.07 billion in 2020 and growing at a compound annual growth rate of 16% during the forecast period. Psychedelics substances include ketamine, psilocybin, ibogaine, LSD, dimethyltryptamine, and MDA.

Fueling growth in the market will be successful clinical trials for the use of psychedelic drugs for the treatment of mental health and behavioral conditions, with a wide range of companies focusing their efforts in this space.

While these conditions are at the forefront of the psychedelics space, the use of psychedelics in the palliative care market is also on the rise thanks to the drugs’ potential benefits in treating existential distress and treating anxiety and depression in relation to end-of-life fears and anxiety

Psyence Group Inc. (CSE:PSYG, Forum) is at the forefront of innovation when it comes to psychedelics for mental wellness. Headquartered out of Toronto, Ontario, Psyence Group is pioneering the use of psychedelics in mental health and well-being. Notably, the company works with natural psilocybin products to heal psychological trauma and mental health consequences as it relates to palliative care. Led by a highly experienced medical and business team, Psyence Group is deeply committed to producing psychedelic medicines that are developed through evidence-based research.

Psyence Group at a glance

In an interview with Stockhouse Editorial, the company’s CEO Dr. Neil Maresky explained that Psyence Group is an early-stage company looking at conducting research in neuroscience with a primary focus on evaluating the impact of psilocybin on palliative care patients.

With its roots in regions such as the United Kingdom, Southern Africa and Canada, the newly listed company already has an impressive global footprint to its name after officially listing its shares on the Canadian Securities Exchange in January 2021.

Maresky told Stockhouse Editorial the company is primarily based on three key pillars, including:
  • The company has the first federally licensed growing manufacturing facilities of psilocybin in Southern Africa, and one of the first globally.
  • Psyence has a therapeutics team that is focused on executing clinical trials involving the use of psilocybin in palliative care. The first trial is expected to begin in the UK where the company has been in discussions with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
  • Finally, the company’s non-psychedelic functional mushroom range stems from a joint venture with South African cannabis company, Goodleaf. Maresky explained that Psyence is developing and selling non-psilocybin functional mushrooms in the form of sachets and tablets. The sachets have recently launched in 300 coffee retailers across South Africa, making it one of the first retailers to offer a mushroom-functional cappuccino, while the tablets can be purchased online in South Africa. The GoodMind franchise will expand into other regions, including the UK, Europe, and other markets in the not-too-distant future.

When asked about the interest in the psychedelics space, Maresky told Stockhouse Editorial part of it stems from a historical aspect thanks to the prevalent usage of psychedelics in the 1960s and 1970s. During this period important research was undertaken into the potential of use of psilocybin for the treatment of existential distress associated with a terminal diagnosis.

Following the war on drugs, and the classification of psychedelics as a Schedule 1 drug, all research was halted. In particular, in the last decade, Maresky said that there has been a resurgence of innovative research and funding into the mental health components of psychedelics.

The Psyence advantage in palliative care

With a wide range of psychedelics being explored for their potential medical benefits, Maresky said the company’s primary focus is on psilocybin.

“Psyence’s key differentiating factors are having a federally licensed production facility for natural psilocybin,” he said, adding that the company’s focus is on natural psilocybin. “There are many companies out there that are looking at synthetic psychedelics made in labs from chemicals.”

What makes Psyence Group’s products different is that its psilocybin is extracted from plants, which enables the company to be plant-based.

“In addition, there’s a wide range of mental health indications that psilocybin is currently being researched to treat including anxiety, depression, PTSD, eating disorders, substance abuse, traumatic brain injury and many others,” he said. “Psyence is focusing on anxiety and existential distress of palliative care patients who have 12-to-18 months of life expectancy.”

Maresky explained that the interest in focusing on palliative care patients comes from research that has been done where it has been proven that psilocybin can help address trauma through a combination of taking the medicine and also enduring psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy.

“When the medicine is administered to an individual, they are accompanied by a psychotherapist who engages [the patient] in terms of thoughts and feelings and contextualizes it,” he said.

Maresky explained even before this happens, there are lead-up psychological interventions that are done in terms of setting the patients expectations for this intervention. after administering the psilocybin and that the psychotherapy continues after the drug has been administered.

He told Stockhouse Editorial that while the outcome of the patient’s life may not change, the perspective around it does, adding that patients become much more at ease with their fate and can engage in a more productive lifestyle.

“The mental health stress, the existential anxiety is much less, and Psyence believes psilocybin will have an enduring effect,” he said, adding that the therapy can last for months.

What’s next for Psyence Group

While the company currently trades on the Canadian Securities Exchange in Canada and the OTC Markets in the US, Maresky said the company is looking to continue expanding its presence into other markets around the world, including the UK.

He said the company’s interest in the UK is in part fueled by the fact that it is engaging with the MHRA in order to conduct its first Phase II clinical trial in the region.

Additionally, Maresky said that this year will be a “defining year” and while the sector is in a little bit of flux, the company anticipates there will be some movement in the industry in terms of strategic mergers and partnerships.

“From a science point of view, we will be in a position to file our first [clinical trial agreement] for a clinical with the MHRA,” he said. “We anticipate that it will take two to three months for approval.”

Once its application has been approved, Maresky said Psyence Group will be in a position to finalize its first clinical trial. He added that the company has already engaged with partners and contract research organizations to help the company in the UK.

He added that the company will also look to improve its position in the UK market from a financial point of view as well as in the research and academic community.

The company’s GoodMind franchise will continue to expand, and Psyence expects progress to emerge in the next quarter or two with expansions into geographic regions.

The investment corner

As of the time of this writing, Psyence Group has a market cap of C$8.55 million and share price of $0.10 with 85.53 million total shares and 85.53 million shares outstanding.

With the company’s primary focus on the palliative care market — and with its psilocybin products being primarily plant-based — Psyence Group isn’t just your average psychedelics investment opportunity.

Investors can also rest assured that the company’s leadership and management team has extensive experience in the capital markets as well as a medical team that will enable Psyence Group to take its strategic plans and be able to implement them.

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FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a paid article produced by Stockhouse Publishing.

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