With the breakthrough of psychedelic medicine just on the horizon, right now is a very exciting time to be an investor. But what is pushing the psychedelic revolution even further is the global pandemic.
The isolation of lockdown has had a significant impact on the mental well-being of many people.
The National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) reported a sharp increase in calls relating to drug overdoses and deaths, mental episodes, and the need for naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal medication. In February and March of 2019, these calls averaged 2,000 per week, while during the same months in 2020, there were about 5,000 calls per week.
Drug overdoses weren’t the only thing to rise during lockdown. The CDC reports that in June 2020, over 40% of U.S. adults struggled with mental health or substance abuse.
The prevalence of anxiety symptoms reported in June 2020 was three times greater than those reported in Q2 of 2019 (25.5% vs. 8.1%). Depressive disorders were also reported to be four times greater than those reported in the Q2 of 2019 (24.3% vs. 6.5%). It should also be noted that suicidal ideation also increased among U.S. adults, with 10.7% of survey respondents saying they have seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days versus only 4.3% from a similar poll from 2018.
These trends have given a lot of attention to psychedelic therapies and medications such as Psilocybin, Ketamine, and MDMA.
According to Florian Brand, co-founder and CEO of mental health research company ATAI Life Sciences, the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has “precipitated an increased focus on mental health and the failures of our current standards of care.”
Psilocybin-assisted therapy, a new and emerging alternative to traditional antidepressants, aims to act on the pathways in our brains that involve the use of serotonin. The research behind it suggests that psilocybin therapy can replace the existing connections in the patient’s brain with new ones, helping to end depressive patterns.
Leading The Charge
Amidst the surge of Depression, Anxiety, and other mental health issues surfacing from the pandemic, many private and public companies in the psychedelic space are gaining momentum.
ATAI Life Sciences is the largest private company in the psychedelic-assisted therapy space with investments in numerous psychedelic companies, including one of 2020’s most-watched psychedelic stocks, Compass Pathways (NASDAQ: CMPS). ATAI recently released this article regarding mental health during COVID-19.
Compass Pathways is currently running a large-scale clinical development program of psilocybin therapy. They are seeking FDA approval for Phase III clinical trials for a synthesized formulation of psilocybin, COMP 360, used to treat mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and addictions. They have seen major success this past year, including becoming the first psychedelic stock to be listed on the NASDAQ and launching a new research facility in Baltimore, Maryland.
Novamind (NM), another leader in psychedelic therapy, recently announced that they will be presenting at the Canaccord Genuity Conference for “New Paradigms & Treatment Approaches in Mental Health”. Novamind has administered over 5,000 ketamine therapy treatments since 2016 and hosted over 20,000 clients in 2020 alone.
Osmind, another cutting-edge healthcare technology startup, aims to bring psychedelic-assisted therapy into the mainstream. With the recent events of the global pandemic, Osmind has adjusted its focus to the surge of mental health needs. Their ketamine treatment software has become the #1 program in the ketamine treatment space from the spike in demand for ketamine assisted-therapy. They recently announced $2M in seed funding to accelerate the development and expansion of their electronic health record software and analytics platform. Lucia Huang, co-founder, and CEO of Osmind recently said:
“There are no objective measurements for what therapies work best for different people, leaving clinicians in the dark, researchers struggling to develop new treatments, and patients suffering through a painful trial and error process. Our software fits into a clinician’s existing workflow and patients enjoy using it. The platform then pulls in patient-reported outcomes, functional metrics, and more. It analyzes how different patients respond to treatments, enabling clinicians to tailor their care and allowing researchers to develop better therapies and diagnostics.”
These are only a few out of the many examples of psychedelic companies coming together to help those in need of mental health alternatives.
While this industry presents a massive opportunity for investors, we cannot forget the fact that these companies are providing innovative solutions for crucial mental health issues across the globe. If you want to explore more of what this industry has to offer, start off by checking out our individual public company page profiles to learn more.