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A ‘Novel’ Investment In Psychedelic-Inspired Medicines

Dave Jackson Dave Jackson, Stockhouse
2 Comments| April 19, 2021

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Stockhouse investors are keenly aware of the booming trend in the psychedelic healthcare space…in many ways the new Cannabis 2.0 over the last 12 – 24 months. Capital markets have taken to them en masse – a market now estimated to be in excess of USD$5 billion and expected to total approximately USD$6.8 billion by 2027.

The reason for this kind of market optimism is simple. An epidemic of mental health problems and opioid addiction has besieged a massive percentage of the overall population, and prescription pharmaceuticals and traditional psycho-therapy has not effectively treated many of those suffering from a variety of mental health issues.

In fact, today, 20% of adults in the US have been diagnosed with depression as of 2017 and 1 in 4 people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders in their life.

This is where companies like Toronto ON-based Mindset Pharma Inc. (CSE.MSET, OTCMKTS: MSSTF, Forum) are stepping up to the plate with innovative psychedelic medicines to treat neurological and psychiatric disorders. The biotechnology company is currently developing medications and synthesis processes for the medical psychedelic market

Mindset is a “drug discovery company” that differs from others in the psilocybin / psychedelics space in that they own four novel families of pharmaceuticals that are patent pending. The company’s unique production process allows for low-cost chemical synthesis. Mindset currently has a deal in place to produce and synthesize 1 kilogram of highly-potent psilocybin via CDMO by the end of the 2021.

Stock house Editorial reached out to company Chief Executive Officer James Lanthier – a seasoned technology executive with strong expertise in corporate finance, public markets, and M&As.

SH: To start off with, James, can you give us some background about yourself and the history of the company?

JL: Mindset was founded almost 2 years ago by a group of scientists and entrepreneurs who had the foresight to realize that as regulators were moving to accept psychedelic medicines, next generation psychedelic drugs that were optimized for therapeutic use would be the most valuable area of the medical psychedelic space. My background is in taking emerging technologies to the public markets. I got involved just over a year ago as I believed that Mindset’s IP could make a real difference for patients and that the company had the scientific strategy and team to be a leader in this emerging space.

SH: Can you update our investor audience and your MSET shareholders on all the new company developments, especially in the wake of COVID-19?

JL: In the last fourth months we have: listed MSET on the CSE, released data to show that many of our novel drugs have been validated to work in animal testing, developed a fourth family of novel drugs, and launched a new project together with our partner InterVivo that will allow us to generate a tremendous amount of benchmarking data around psychedelic drugs, among other things. And just recently completed an equity financing. We’ve been busy!

SH: The company owns three patent-pending psilocybin-inspired drug families, and a fourth inspired by DMT & 5-MeO-DMT. Can you walk us through these medicines and how they work?

JL: Mindset’s goal is to create new psychedelic drugs that are better suited to be used as therapeutic medicines, i.e. drugs that are less toxic, and with a more predictable and convenient duration. Our scientists draw on their decades of experience and know how to create alterations to the chemical structures of known drugs, like psilocybin and DMT, in order to improve on them. Data from the tests we have run on our new drugs suggest that we are creating exactly what we hoped to – some drugs have a shorter duration, which could work exceptionally well for psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, and others have a longer duration, which could work very well for a microdosing treatment approach. We have more work to do but the results are extremely promising.

You’ve just entered a co-development agreement with InterVivo Solutions Inc. – one of Canada's top neuroscience contract research organizations. Can you expand on this initiative for our investor audience?

JL: Like any other scientific endeavour, drug development is driven by data; because psychedelics have been off-limits to researchers for so long, there is a real lack of objective data around how psychedelic drugs behave. Benchmarking how psychedelic drugs behave in animals is one of the best ways for us to begin to predict and characterize their effect on humans. Mindset is developing this data in partnership with InterVivo for use in its own drug development programs, but we also anticipate making this data available to other customers of InterVivo as well.

SH: You also recently announced an upsizes bought deal to $7.5 million underwritten by Canaccord Genuity Corp. This may be news to many investors. Can you unpack the benefits of the deal?

JL: The strong demand we saw on this financing is a great endorsement of Mindset’s progress since listing in late 2021. It also helps fund the development of Mindset’s new drug program and will allow us to position lead compounds from our new drug Families #1 and #2 for clinical trials; in other words, this financing will help us reach meaningful value inflection points for Mindset.

SH: The Company’s growth metrics looks very strong for in 2021. How are you placed to expand operations to meet this demand?

JL: We are going to keep accelerating the next generation drug programs as well as our patent-pending synthesis process in the balance of 2021. Key for us is making sure that our organizational capabilities stay in step with our scientific advancements; to that end, we are adding scientific talent to our team to help position our compounds for clinical trials. To support the synthesis process we are adding new team members with skill sets in complex chemical manufacturing.

SH: For company shareholders and potential investors, what kind of future development and progress can we expect regarding the synthesizing of up to one (1) kilogram of GMP psilocybin later this year?

JL: Our large-scale synthesis later in 2021 is exciting because it represents a tangible validation of our patent pending synthesis process. Mindset’s synthesis process addresses one of the key challenges in the medical psychedelic space, which is getting reliable access to high quality low-cost psilocybin. We believe that our process is one of the most scalable and cost-efficient methods developed.

SH: It would be remiss of me not to mention your stock has had a bit of a roller coaster ride. What can you tell our investor audience regarding the current valuation of your stock and why you think it’s still a good buy right now?

Click to enlargeJL: I think it’s important to remember that the whole psychedelic space is still very young and developing – most of the sector has been public for less than a year. Like pretty much every other company in the space, our stock has seen some fluctuations. A natural evolution is underway where institutional capital is coming into the space, and this will likely stabilize and help support and grow valuations. The other fact I would keep in mind about the psychedelic space is that as it develops, you are going to see a natural stratification where the companies that develop strong IP and create real value will ultimately rise above the rest of the field. Mindset is exceptionally well positioned to benefit from these trends.

SH: Can you tell our audience a little bit more about your corporate management and scientific team, along with the experience and innovative ideas that they bring to the psychedelics / biotech space?

JL: Mindset has been able to make significant progress thanks in large part to the skills and experience of the scientific team, which perfectly map to the essential requirements for drug discovery and development: medicinal chemistry and behavioural pharmacology. Malik Slassi, our Senior VP of Innovation, is a highly credentialed medicinal chemist with 24+ drugs advanced into late-stage preclinical, clinical development & market; a co-author of 65+ research papers & review articles and is an inventor of 130+ issued patents and patent applications. Joseph Araujo, our Chief Scientific Officer, is an expert in behavioural pharmacology and also the CEO of InterVivo Solutions, a contract research business that specializes in predictive animal models for central nervous system (“CNS”) drugs. They bring decades of specialized knowledge in developing CNS drugs to Mindset.

SH: James, what sets Mindset apart from other companies in this space and what makes your business model attractive to investors?

JL: If you believe that next generation drugs are going to be an area of growth and value creation in psychedelics, given that first generation drugs are a game changer for mental illness but are mainly not patentable, then Mindset has many advantages that you should consider: early dates on our patent filings (this is critical as it gives us priority on our drugs), significant data and evidence showing the efficacy and quality of our new drug families, and a wide portfolio of patent-pending new drugs that give Mindset multiple opportunities for developing successful drugs. We have a highly skilled and experienced team leading the drug’s development. Additionally, our virtual scientific model - we use third party contract research businesses to conduct our work - translates into a business model with low capital intensity, which positions Mindset for a strong return on equity with the success of our new drugs.

SH: Can you discuss the long-term strategy for the company moving forward, and what retail and institutional investors should be looking out for?

JL: Our long-term strategy is to build the drug discovery engine that creates the blockbuster drugs of the future for the medical psychedelic market. To make this happen, quite simply, we will develop new drugs and we will advance our existing drugs through pre-clinical and into clinical testing. Announcements around these milestones will be signals to investors that Mindset is delivering on the potential of our pipeline.

SH: And finally, James, if there’s anything I’ve overlooked please feel free to elaborate.

JL: I couldn’t be more excited to be working with and investing in Mindset. We are only in the early innings of what we think will ultimately be a massive market and a comprehensive revolution in how we treat mental illness. I strongly believe that Mindset has a chance to play a significant role in all of this. And who wouldn’t want to be part of something like that?


For mor information on the company, visit www.mindsetpharma.com.


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


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