(Editor’s Note: Welcome to the third installment of “From Magic to Money,” a Bold series on the rising psilocybin industry. The first article explored the health benefits of psilocybin and the second delved into its legal history. Don’t miss any of these stories–sign up for The Bold Wire newsletter and have them sent directly to your inbox!)
From a global perspective, therapies to better manage mental health disorders are in great demand. This is particularly true with the pandemic, which has seen a significant increase in those suffering from depression and anxiety. In fact, in the world currently, roughly 264 million people suffer from depression. This supports a $28.6 billion antidepressant pharmaceutical industry. But despite the availability of these treatments, outcomes are far from ideal. Few patients enjoy complete remission, and partial improvement is usually the best result. But this may soon be changing based on recent psilocybin and magic mushroom research.
Collectively, these types of substances are known as psychedelics, and research regarding their use looks promising. For example, several studies now show that psilocybin is beneficial for treatment-resistant depression. One study even showed that half of these patients enjoyed remission of their complaints after a limited trial of the drug. As a result, there are several psychedelic companies making moves in the marketplace. And it’s why many investors are expecting the psychedelics industry to boom in the coming years.
“We are on the verge of a paradigm shift in the field of mental health. Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies are one of the most promising new means of treatment available; they will allow clinicians to tackle the growing global mental health crisis we are facing.” – Jonathan Sabbagh, Co-founder and CEO, Journey Clinical
Rising Stars in the Psychedelics Industry
While research involving psilocybin and magic mushrooms are still in its infancy, the results are indeed promising. A number of mental health conditions could benefit from psychedelic therapies. These not only include depression but also addiction, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more. Thus, the market for use of these drugs is tremendous, which is why several psychedelic companies are emerging. And while it’s hard to know who’ll be the long-time winner in the psychedelics industry, a few are quite intriguing. The following are a few of the psychedelic companies that could be leading the market in the years to come.
- Mind Medicine, Inc. – This is one of the psychedelics companies that has a broad vision of the psychedelics industry of the future. They suggest the market involving psilocybin and other similar drugs could exceed $100 billion. With this in mind, Mind Medicine is pursuing a diversified pipeline of psychedelic drugs as well as digital therapeutics. By combining the two, they hope to introduce new therapeutic approaches for a number of mental health conditions.
- 20/20 Global, Inc. – This is another one of the psychedelic companies pursuing digital therapeutics and psychedelic drugs. The company recently joined forces with Mycotopic Therapies in an effort to advance the use of these drugs alongside psychotherapy. It hopes to use data collection, analytics, and algorithmic applications to streamline care in the psychedelics industry.
- Compass Pathways – Based in the U.K., Compass Pathways has already gained $290 million in funding. It is one of the psychedelic companies interested in providing synthetic psilocybin for therapeutic use. In addition, the company holds the patent for the use of synthetic psilocybin in treatment-resistant depression. Therefore, if its flagship compound, COMP360, proves to be a success, it could be the early psychedelics industry leader.
- Cybin, Inc. – Not only is this one of the psychedelic companies involved in the development of psychedelic medications. It is also pursuing new drug delivery methods as well. Currently, Cybin is working on a sublingual formulation of psilocybin that reduces the dose required for administration. It also recently completed a reverse merger takeover of Clarmin Explorations to expand this medications applications. Cybin currently is working on two different drugs, one for depression and one for anxiety.
- Journey Clinical – This New York City startup is new to the psychedelics industry. However, it is one of the psychedelic companies taking a unique approach to the marketplace. It plans to offer a decentralized system by which therapists can access psilocybin and similar psychedelic drugs. This will allow therapists to act autonomously while gaining access to needed tools of care. Journey Clinical has already raised $3 million in capital funding.
- Numinus Wellness, Inc. – Based in Canada, Numinus Wellness is well-poised to be a leader in the psychedelics industry. Health Canada has already licensed it among psychedelic companies to cultivate, extract and sell naturally-occurring psilocybin. The company is also publicly traded now on the NEO exchange. Eventually, the company hopes to expand its licensing options even further within this sector.
“[Psychedelics] could save lives, cure depression, help alcoholism, get people off opioids—why wouldn’t I want to be invested?” – Kevin O’Leary, International Investor and Shark Tank Personality
Psychedelic Companies of Tomorrow
For the last several decades, psychedelic research has essentially been placed on hold. Governments across the world declared psilocybin, magic mushrooms, and other hallucinogens illegal and a danger. But this was view was both biased and short-sighted. As new research emerges, it is clear that these compounds have tremendous potential when it comes to mental health interventions. And given the magnitude of the population suffering from refractory mental health conditions, this is exciting news. This is why the future of the psychedelics industry looks so bright. If new drugs offered by psychedelic companies fulfill their promise, then these could revolutionize mental healthcare.
At the current time, it appears that the role psilocybin and other drugs will play will be in combination with psychotherapy. This approach allows a professional therapist to guide the response to the altered state of mind into a therapeutic realm. Based on the approach of many psychedelic companies, this appears to be the favored strategy as well as the safest one. And it’s also the one supported thus far by existing clinical studies. Given this model, it is therefore more likely that psychedelics will gain favor with the public as well as governments. The psychedelics industry is banking on this as is clearly evident by the array of psychedelic companies that already exist.