Pharma Focus Asia

MindMed Signs Partnership with Swiss Psychedelic Drug Discovery Startup MindShift Compounds AG

Friday, February 12, 2021

MindMed, a leading psychedelic medicine biotech company announced a new partnership with Swiss startup MindShift Compounds AG to develop and patent next-gen psychedelic compounds with psychedelic or empathogenic properties.

As part of this partnership, MindMed and MindShift Compounds AG have agreed to develop next-gen psychedelic and empathogenic substances together. The first initial compounds have already been synthesized by MindShift Compounds AG and related patent applications were filed by MindMed. MindMed plans to begin first-in-human Phase 1 clinical trials as early as Q1 2022 through its existing clinical trial platform for psychedelic and empathogenic compounds in Switzerland.

The partnership on these initial targets will expand MindMed's current, well-established clinical pipeline with additional backup and expansion compounds with similar and potentially improved therapeutic properties. The related synthesis intellectual property and pharmaceutical technology will be owned outright by MindMed, and MindShift Compounds AG will provide all intellectual property related to the new psychedelic compounds exclusively to MindMed.

This partnership adds to MindMed's existing IP portfolio development efforts underway in collaboration with the University Hospital Basel's Liechti Lab for classic psychedelic compounds including LSD, MDMA, Psilocybin, MDMA-LSD combinations, personalized dosing technologies and an LSD Neutralizer technology, which are based on multiple clinical trials and years of research conducted by the Liechti Lab.

MindMed plans to work with the experienced drug discovery team at MindShift Compounds AG to further broadly cover preclinical psychedelics research into novel compounds and expects to continue to file a substantial number of patents on a large number of novel substance matters, production innovations, and later clinical applications, allowing MindMed to further consolidate its leading position in the overall psychedelic-medicine market as it moves these next-gen compounds into the clinic through advanced patient clinical trials.

MindShift CEO, Dr. Felix Lustenberger, said "Our innovative psychedelic drug-discovery platform based in Switzerland is pioneering next-gen psychedelic compounds that complement in a synergistic pipeline approach the later-stage development work underway at MindMed. The compounds we are working on are typically derivatives or analogues of known substances with psychedelic properties, such as phenethylamines, tryptamines, and ergolines, and are therefore enhanced versions of both the established and classic psychedelic compounds such as mescaline, psilocybin, DMT, and LSD, as well as compounds with expected combined psychedelic-empathogenic effect profiles. These novel chemical structures, for example MDMA and LSD-like compounds, are designed and synthesized with expected ameliorated psychoactive properties and duration-of-effect profiles with potential added therapeutic benefits."

MindMed President and Head of Clinical Development, Dr. Miri Halperin Wernli, said "While first-generation psychedelic molecules, such as psilocybin and LSD, provide an obvious starting point for novel therapies such as psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, there are clinical limitations to these compounds linked, for example, to the onset of action and to the duration of effect - and this can cause concern for clinicians. Through the application of innovative medicinal chemistry and cutting-edge laboratory and computational technologies we will expand the development of new, pure and well-characterized active ingredients for next-gen pharmaceutical psychedelic drug products. We are developing a pipeline of novel, patentable psychedelic drug candidates that are specifically engineered to improve on first generation psychedelic compounds, targeting predictable pharmacokinetics and shorter half-life that will result in better efficacy and reduced toxicity. We expect that synthesizing these next-gen psychedelic derivatives will be very useful to create predictable, pharmaceutical-grade ingredients, and will bear less regulatory risk in the overall mental healthcare system than working with natural compounds."

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