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A Company on a Mission to Revolutionize Mental Healthcare. Here’s How.

Dave Jackson Dave Jackson, Stockhouse
1 Comment| February 1, 2022

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When Stockhouse Editorial last caught up with Cybin Inc. (NEO.CYBN, NYSE: CYBIN, Forum) back in October, our audience learned about a leading biotechnology company focused on researching and progressing psychedelic therapeutics by utilizing proprietary drug discovery platforms, innovative drug delivery systems, novel formulation approaches, and potential treatment regimens for psychiatric disorders.

Today, Stockhouse Media’s Dave Jackson was joined, once again, by company CEO Doug Drysdale to get our investor audience up-to-date on all things Cybin Inc.



SH: To start off with, Doug, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and reacquaint our audience on history of the company?

DD: Sure. My background is almost entirely in pharmaceuticals, about 30 years in the pharmaceutical business. The first half of my career was largely doing development and M&A and the latter half of my career as a CEO of four different companies now, two private and two public. I joined in the summer of 2020 since then we've taken the company public in Canada on the Neo exchange and also in the US on NYSE American. Since inception, we've raised 120 million to fund our main development programs, which are three programs that are aimed at transforming classical psychedelic molecules into therapeutics for mental health disorders, such as depression anxiety disorders and addictions.

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

DD: That's a good question. Certainly over the last year we saw a fair amount of disruption across all supply chains because of COVID 19. It's been affecting laboratory staffing. It has been affecting sources of reagents and study animals for example but we built an ecosystem of about 50 different partnerships that's enabled us to, in the last 12 months despite COVID, complete over 90 preclinical studies to progress these development programs towards the clinic. On the subject of COVID 19, we have also begun, with our partner at the University of Washington in Seattle, to enroll patients in a study using our psychotherapy program, which is called EMBARK, alongside psilocybin to help frontline healthcare workers that are facing distress and burnout and clinical depression from dealing with COVID 19 for the last couple of years. So that study has begun enrolling and we already have a long waiting list of over a thousand healthcare professionals looking to join and participate in that study.

SH: You’ve just recently uplisted to the NYSE American. Can you expand on this initiative for our investor audience?

DD: I think it's a fairly logical step. Drug development is expensive and it takes a long time. Up listing to the NYSE American is a logical step. We think it expands our shareholder base, gives us a broader reach, and has quite significantly increased our liquidity, which has heavy trading volume, which is very good for us and for investors.

SH: You’ve recently announced an additional Adelia milestone achievement. This may be news to many investors. Can you unpack the benefits of it?

DD: The Adelia team are part of an acquisition that we made in December of 2020 and that group is really the core of our R&D abilities and they've been working on - I've mentioned these preclinical studies - to advance our lead molecules CYB003 for depression and CYB004 for anxiety disorder towards the clinic. All of that work that they've been doing in the last year means that we will complete all of the preclinical work for CYB003 this quarter. We have a meeting scheduled with the UK authorities, the equivalent of the FDA there, this quarter as well, and in quarter two, we expect to file clinical trial applications for both CYB003 and CYB004. So all that work that the team has been doing is really getting us to this point where we expect to start human studies on these programs the middle of this year.

SH: Can you tell our audience about the real importance of psychotherapy with psychedelics?

Click to enlargeDD: When we look at frankly dozens of studies that have been performed with psychedelics primarily studies, we do an analysis of those studies. It's clear where psychotherapy was skipped or whether where psychotherapy was reduced - the outcomes, the results are less impressive. So combining psychotherapy with psychedelic treatments increases the effect size, increases the durability, and so what we think happens during the psychedelic treatment is that new networks and new connections are formed in the brain and then these molecules form a period of temporary neuroplasticity if you like and that neuroplasticity helps the brain become more receptive to the psychotherapy, helping patients overcome what is often deep-seeded trauma that underlies their depression or their addiction.

SH: What are the real challenges of long-acting treatments for depression and addiction clinics?

DD: That's a good question! Some of these molecules are very, very long acting. Psilocybin, the classical psilocybin molecule, which comes from mushrooms originally can have a treatment duration of six or eight hours in a clinic that's supervised. LSD might be 10 hours or so, MDMA could be as much as 20 hours and so that is a real drain on the healthcare system potentially where these patients would have to take up infrastructure. They'd have to take up a whole treatment room by themselves and supervised by staff and we think that creates real issues when it comes to scalability and accessibility. We've been working on novel analogs and derivatives of both psilocybin and DMT to shorten that duration down to something more manageable, more scalable, so that we can provide more access to patients as we go.

SH: Doug, what separates Cybin from the competition and makes your business model unique?

DD: It's really about taking a multidimensional approach. I mentioned some of these limitations, we are modifying these molecules to overcome those limitations of duration and into patient variability, making them safer. At the same time, we are providing healthcare providers with the tools like psychotherapy program, which is called Embark and at the same time, as you're modifying the molecules, combining them with the tools, we're also generating novel intellectual property, which is good for our investors and protects the investment that we're making. So it's really a multidimensional approach to this ensuring that we optimize these treatments for payers and providers and of course, most importantly for patients as well.

SH: I have to mention your stock has been on a bit of a roller coaster ride this past year. What can you tell our investor audience regarding the current valuation of your stock and why you think it’s a good buy right now?

DD: It's clear, I think to anybody's looking at this stock market that things are a bit messy right now and when you look at both the XBI, the biotech index, it's down 31% since the beginning of November, the psychedelic ETF is down 47% since November, whereas the S&P is down about six and a half percent. Clearly there's a move out of these more speculative stocks. I'll say, when I look at some of our peers in the psychedelic space, many of them are down below their go public prices. I'm happy at least at, we’ve weathered the storm pretty well. Cybin is still up above our go public price but clearly at level now consider a number of clinical trials we have coming up, the progress we expect to make this year clearly a lot of opportunity for upside these levels.

SH: What’s the long-term strategy for the company moving forward and what should retail and institutional investors be looking out for?

DD: We have a really busy 6 to 12 months ahead of us. All the work that our R&D team has been doing for the last year is really culminating these next few months. As I mentioned, we have a meeting with the UK authorities this quarter, we plan to file two clinical trial applications in the second quarter, we plan to start another two clinical studies around the middle of this year, bringing the total we're managing this year to four clinical studies. And by the end of this year, I expect that we'll see some interim human data from the first of our novel molecules. So really quite a busy year ahead moving from what we were doing last year, which is building the foundation for real actionable results in 2022.

SH: Can you tell our audience a little bit about your corporate management and board teams, along with the experience and innovative ideas they bring to the psychedelic therapeutics space?

DD: I think we have the most experienced team in the sector, frankly. Our science team has managed more than 60 development programs with the FDA. They've published more than 300 peer reviewed papers. They've had collectively 37 exits, which means they're good at creating value for themselves and for investors as well. On our board we have the former head of Pfizer Asia, so big multinational pharmaceutical company Eric Hoskins, who is the former Ontario minister of health is on our board and then on our advisory board, Tom Laughren, who was the former head of FDA psychiatry for 25 years is helping with advisor. We have a really strong robust team, both on the management side and also of course on the board side as well.

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

DD: I think that this year is moving away from a period of news and hype when we saw a lot of companies getting formed, small companies - into a period of real news and data in 2022 and Cybin is established. It's both a team and an ecosystem to make sure that we can really execute this year and we retain the strong balance sheet so that we can hit those key milestones throughout 2022. A lot of progress ahead for us, thanks for having us, Dave.

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

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