Cybin Inc.'s (CYBN:NYSE American; CYBN:NEO) psilocybin-assisted psychotherapeutic method is being tested on frontline medical workers suffering from depression and anxiety caused by the COVID crisis.
The potential for psychedelic-assisted therapeutics is enormous. As Cybin's General and IP Counsel Robert Mino said in a recent interview with Streetwise Reports, "This sector has the potential to improve the human condition on a massive scale."
Psychedelics to Therapeutics™
The promise of the company's Psychedelics to Therapeutics™ research is so significant that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently classified psilocybin — the psychedelic ingredient found in certain hallucinogenic mushrooms — as a "breakthrough therapy" for depression, and so promising that the company trademarked the phrase. Cybin is in a prime position to deliver on such breakthroughs.
"Recent pioneering academic research demonstrating the potential benefits of psychedelic therapeutics changed perceptions and created a significant reemergence of interest in this field."
—Robert Mino, General & IP Counsel, Cybin Inc.
(It's important to note that the FDA has not yet approved psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for any indication.)
COVID's Toll on Mental Health
The mental health challenges of the COVID era make the need for innovative treatments more acute than ever. Along with its dreadful toll in sickness and death, the pandemic is causing waves of anxiety and depression. In particular, studies of frontline medical workers have shown high incidences of post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and major depression. Untreated, these illnesses can endure for years beyond the circumstances that triggered them.
In response, the University of Washington has enrolled frontline medical workers in a clinical trial studying the efficacy of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. The study utilizes Cybin's EMBARK psychotherapeutic training method, which the company developed to standardize the process of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy.
As Mino explained, "Psychedelics are most useful when there is a preparatory psychotherapeutic process before administration of the drug and a psychotherapeutic integration process after." In other words, the method combines psychotherapy with psilocybin treatment.
"[The] personal connection deep in our company’s corporate culture has driven Cybin to pursue these potential therapeutics to treat mental health with a personal passion."
The study of psychedelic compounds had been stymied since the 1970s, when a wave of criminalization made them hard to obtain. But, Mino told Streetwise, "recent pioneering academic research demonstrating the potential benefits of psychedelic therapeutics changed perceptions and created a significant reemergence of interest in this field."
For Cybin, Mental Health Is Personal
Cybin’s three co-founders have backgrounds in biology and psychology, medical devices, and cannabis startups. Mino told us that all three also have personal experiences with loved ones affected by mental health disorders. With this motivation and their business experience, the trio launched Cybin in 2019 to create new therapeutic options for mental health treatments.
"This personal connection deep in our company’s corporate culture," Mino said, "has driven Cybin to pursue these potential therapeutics to treat mental health with a personal passion. Cybin has a great corporate culture because we are all on this collaborative journey toward a common, altruistic goal."
Executive Chairman and President Eric So and fellow Co-Founder John Kanakis were co-founders and managing directors of Trinity Venture Partners Inc., a boutique merchant bank. Kanakis worked for over a decade in medical device manufacturing and regulatory frameworks; So majored in anatomy and cell biology and minored in psychology as an undergraduate at McGill University. The third co-founder, Paul Glavine, is a serial entrepreneur who sold his first cannabis startup, Truverra, to Supreme Cannabis Company Inc. (TSX:FIRE) and co-founded Global Canna Labs, which was granted the first ever Tier 3 cultivation license in Jamaica.
A Wide Range of Potential Uses
Cybin's Psychedelics to Therapeutics™ approach shows promise for a number of mental health problems. Cybin has developed 50 novel compounds, with 10 patent filings. These active drug programs target addiction and neuroinflammation as well as depression and anxiety. As Mino pointed out, academic studies "have shown that certain psychedelics may have significant promise" in treating addiction as well as depression.
In addition to the FDA approval of the Washington University study, Cybin's milestones in 2021 included:
- Receiving a manufacturing license from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency for the company’s Boston-area research lab
- Expanding its operations into Europe, so that the company now has bases in Canada, the U.S., and Ireland
- Becoming the first company focusing on psychedelic therapeutics to list on the NYSE American exchange
- Raising nearly $70 million, taking total capital raised since inception to over $120 million
- Signing a drug development agreement with pharmaceutical technology and development company Catalent and an exclusive research and development collaboration agreement with mental health center operator TMS NeuroHealth Centers Inc.
With all that, it's no wonder Cybin is bullish on what it can accomplish in 2022. "We spent 2021 building the top team in the sector, creating proprietary intellectual property, and doing a significant amount of pre-clinical work to bring us closer to the clinic," Mino told us. "We outperformed in 2021, considering that Cybin was still building its team. Now that we have that core team, I see Cybin having an even greater highlight reel to post at the end of 2022."
Cybin is publicly listed on both the NYSE and the NEO exchange under the symbol CYBN. At the time of writing, its market capitalization is at $168.362 million with 160.36 million shares outstanding and share price of $1.05.
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