Psychedelic companies are embracing their biotech bona fides, with many presenting at the JP Morgan Healthcare conference in San Francisco this week. This annual event is one of the largest in the biotech industry and typically gets over 8,000 attendees and 400 companies to participate.
Last year’s event was scaled back over COVID-19 concerns, so this year is expected to be well-attended. There are also a slew of mini-conferences at the same time, as event producers try to capitalize on the attendance of so many deal makers.
Overall health care-related companies saw a decline in deals and stock valuations last year, not unlike the cannabis and psychedelic sectors. However, December experienced a pop in stock buying as the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI.P) was up more than 18% for the month.
The lack of deals in 2023 has many hopeful that companies are prepared to spend pent-up cash.
Mind Medicine Inc. (NASDAQ: MNMD) (NEO: MMED) provided a corporate update and outlook for 2024 ahead of its participation at the conference. The company, which is also known as MindMed, said it expects to host an analyst and investor day in the first half of 2024 to provide an update on its lead development program MM-120 and discuss the treatment landscape, potential market, and commercial opportunity for MM-120 in GAD and other psychiatric disorders.
“Our strong progress in 2023 culminated in the delivery of statistically and clinically significant topline results for our lead program (MM-120) in our Phase 2b study of GAD. These positive results reinforce our scientific understanding of the mechanism of action for MM-120 and emphasize the critical role we believe the perceptual effects of MM-120 play in driving clinical outcomes,” CEO Rob Barrow said.
Barrow highlighted several plans for the year, including:
- Advance the MM-120 program into Phase 3
- Analysis of the full 12-week results for MM-120 in GAD
- Compiling results from the Phase 1 pharmacokinetics bridging study to support advancement of the MM-120 ODT formulation into clinical trials
- Providing additional results from its collaborator University Hospital Basel’s one-year follow-up study of lysergide in anxiety disorders.
“We will be working closely with the FDA to finalize our Phase 3 development program for MM-120 in GAD and expect to hold our End-of-Phase 2 meeting with FDA in the first half of the year with initiation of our Phase 3 clinical program in the second half of the year,” Barrow added.
Psilocybin drug company Lobe Sciences will also meet with prospective investors and corporate partners during the Healthcare Conference.
“2023 was truly a transformative year for Lobe Sciences,” CEO Philip Young said. “With the completion of the first-in-man clinical work on L-130, we have demonstrated that we have a very valuable pharmaceutical product with a more predictable PK stability profile that we believe the preferred drug candidate for any company pursuing the development of serotonin targeted therapeutics, including psychedelic uses and non-psychedelic dosing as we are pursuing.”
Young continued, “We believe the initial sales of Altemia portend a promising 2024 for the use of Altemia by the patient and physician Sickle Cell Disease community. The company plans to build on this momentum in 2024 and I look forward to updating our investors throughout 2024.”
Lobe acquired Altemia in 2023 and has recorded more than $1 million in revenue so far.
The company said it has finished the first Phase 1 study evaluating the PK and safety of L-130 and demonstrated L-130’s 12-month shelf stability. It also confirmed the improved pharmacokinetics of L-130 delivered as a shelf-stable capsule over its inactive prodrug, psilocybin.
Other psychedelic companies attending the conference include:
PurMinds NeuroPharma, a clinical-stage neuroscience company focused on neurological and neurodegenerative disorders, said it is set to meet with prospective partners and investors showcasing its small molecules (PUR400 series) and non-hallucinogenic Psychedelic molecule (PUR501) clinical programs, and proprietary formulation of botanical Psilocybin program (PUR101) for neurological disorders, as well as showcasing its licensed capacity to produce generic psychedelic compounds and proprietary formulations for worldwide distribution.
Privately-owned Psilera’s Chris Witowski, Ph.D., will speak at multiple events during JP Morgan Health Conference week. He will be presenting the latest pre-clinical data for Psilera‘s lead clinical compound PSIL-006. On Jan. 9, he will participate in a panel covering intellectual property and FDA regulation of AI/ML technologies at the RESI: Redefining Early Stage Investments.