LONDON, Dec. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Thanks in large part to the global COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has been a year of tremendous challenges and adversity. But those historic challenges have also been met with impressive resiliency and innovation from individuals, corporations and the global science community. Mentioned in today's commentary includes: Sage Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SAGE), Cassava Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: SAVA), COMPASS Pathways plc (NASDAQ: CMPS), Neuronetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: STIM), Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. (NASDAQ: ACHC).
This has sparked innovation from companies both large and small working to provide treatments for disorders such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
One of the areas of innovation that appears to be the most promising is psychedelics, where a wave of research has emerged highlighting effective treatments for mental health disorders that are often superior to traditional medicines. These treatments are showing great promise and attracting the attention of scientists, up-and-coming biotech firms and investors alike.
One under the radar company at the forefront of innovation in this area of mental health is Lobe Sciences (LOBE; GTSIF). Thanks to its valuable IP – including 5 provisional patents for psychedelics – Lobe is taking the lead in a market that's growing exponentially.
Here are 5 things to consider as this market explodes
The Mental Health Market is Massive
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in every four people around the world will be affected by a mental or neurological disorder at some point in their lives. Mental health disorders are on the rise in every country around the world and it is estimated that they will cost the global economy an astounding $16 trillion by 2030.
Currently most depressive disorders are being treated by traditional antidepressant drugs, a market that was valued at $13.7 billion in 2016 and is forecast to grow to $15.9 billion by 2023. But there appears to be a better solution.
Over the past five years, an increasing amount of academic research has emerged demonstrating the therapeutic potential for psychedelics to help treat issues such as depression, drug addiction, anxiety and more.This has triggered such a wave of growth in the development of psychedelics. The market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16.3% over the next years to reach $6.85 billion by 2027.
Intellectual Property Is Everything
One of the keys to evaluating any potentially undervalued investment is understanding the strength of the company's intellectual property. In the case of Lobe Sciences, the company continues to expand its impressive portfolio of provisional patents to position itself well for future growth.
Lobe Sciences 's IP portfolio now includes 5 provisional patents – 3 for psychedelics based medicines and 2 for medical devices. Among these patents is one for therapeutics for the treatment for mild traumatic brain injuries with PTSD or PTSD alone, and devices including a nasal mist transducer used to deliver therapeutics.
Strategic Relationships Provide a Significant Advantage
The company's acquisition of Eleusian Biosciences Corp. back in July 2020 also provided Lobe Sciences (LOBE; GTSIF) with something that most up-and-coming companies in the psychedelics space simply do not have: Access to world-class research capabilities and scientists in transformational medicines.
This comes in the form of Eleusian's collaborative relationship with a multidisciplinary team of scientists and physicians at the prestigious Miller School of Medicine. The objective of this collaboration is to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the combination of psilocybin and N-Acetylcysteine ("NAC") in treating mTBI with PTSD or stand-alone PTSD and other indications.
This collaboration for critical brain wellness research provides the company access to a research powerhouse in the University of Miami, a school which has achieved international recognition for its breakthroughs and advanced knowledge in a number of medical breakthroughs.
Experienced Team of Expert Scientists
Lobe Sciences is run by a small, focused team of scientists, engineers and operators with significant expertise in their fields.
- CEO Tom Baird is a seasoned CEO who has led a number of small and medium sized businesses. He has also led engineering design, strategy and corporate development and product management organizations for both publicly traded and private companies such as TRW , which was acquired for $7.8 billion by Northrup Grumman, Reynolds and Reynolds and Mitchell International.
- Chief Science Officer Maghsoud Dariani is also President and CEO of Semorex , a privately held company focused on the discovery and development of novel therapeutics for cancer. Previously, Mr. Dariani was president of Focus Pharmaceuticals, , where he managed the development and approval of drug products, achieving one FDA approval and bringing another to the clinical evaluation stage before negotiation the sale of the company.
- Science Advisor Dr. Mark A. Geyer Ph.D. is distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences Emeritus at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and directs the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit of the VISN 22 Veterans Administration Mental Illness Research, Clinical, and Education Center.
A World In Crisis
It's never been more important to support the field of mental health. And the FDA seems to agree. Not only have they fast-tracked psilocybin, they've also approved other exciting new approaches to tackling mental health issues.
Sage Therapeutics (SAGE) is a fantastic example. With a focus on exciting new ways to treat mental health disorders, the company released the only FDA-approved treatment for post-partum depression. It's drug, Zulresso, soared through clinical trials with no issues, and is advertised to help mothers feel better in just 2.5 days.
Another drug in Sage's pipeline is Zuranolone, which seeks to treat major depressive disorder and even treatment resistant depressive disorders. The drug is already in phase three of testing and could potentially provide help for patients who have previously struggled to find a medication that works for them.
Cassava Sciences (SAVA) is another pharmaceutical company making major waves in the treatment of mental health, in particular, Alzheimer's disease. While its Sumifilam is still in its clinical trials, it's outlook is promising. The revolutionary new drug aims to help treat the devastating Alzheimer's disease by bringing together different proteins to interact properly.
Though Cassava's stock price has fluctuated a lot this year, it has tripled in value after bouncing off its May lows. And despite its third-quarter losses, which are not uncommon for pharmaceutical companies on the research and development front, the company's progress is looking bright, and with endorsements from the NIH and more, investors are eager to see what awaits this exciting company.
COMPASS Pathways (CMPS) is a mental health care company dedicated to accelerating patient access to evidence-based innovation in mental health. The company is pioneering the development of a new model of psilocybin therapy, in which a proprietary formulation of synthetic psilocybin, COMP360, is administered in conjunction with psychological support. COMP360 has been designated a Breakthrough Therapy by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for treatment-resistant depression.
COMPASS' meticulous approach to psilocybin treatments is important because, while legalization may look imminent, there's still a long road ahead for this relatively new medicine. CEO George Goldsmith explained, "There simply isn't yet enough evidence of safety and efficacy of psilocybin therapy, which is why we're doing our trials."
Neuronetics (STIM) is a commercial-stage medical technology company focused on designing, developing, and marketing products that improve the quality of life for patients who suffer from psychiatric disorders. The company's first commercial product, the NeuroStar® Advanced Therapy System, is a non-invasive and non-systemic office-based treatment that uses transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, to create a pulsed, MRI-strength magnetic field that induces electrical currents designed to stimulate specific areas of the brain associated with mood.
Working with its NeuroStar therapy system, the company's TouchStar protocol is a non-drug, non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatment for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).
Acadia Healthcare Company (ACHC) is another company emerging in the mental healthcare scene. Though the company is not focused on the production or development of pharmacueticals or particular treatments, it is recognized globally for its involvement in the industry.
Acadia is a behavioral healthcare provider with over 580 facilities across the US and the UK. From psychiatric hospitals to residential treatment centers, the company is well-versed in the needs of patients in crisis.
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