Non-Obvious Inflection Points towards Mainstreaming
There are mile markers along the highway to medicalization and the mainstream that are obvious and notable like Breakthrough Therapy Designation, filing for an IPO, published study results, and interim analyses.
But the growth of a sector like this also happens quietly as individuals recognize the opportunity and significance and choose to get involved.
There are three recent, or upcoming, notable events that I believe will be bringing in more healthcare and biopharma professionals and investors to psychedelics:
Informa, one of the world’s largest market intelligence services, published “Psychedelics For CNS Disorders: Understanding The Opportunity” in their publication for the BioPharma industry.
The first psychedelic conference catering to established biopharma companies and investors with a price tag suited to deep pockets ($1,400).
As we noted in Wednesday’s dispatch, the Psych Congress Conference pre-conference curriculum featured notable psychedelic researchers, advocates, and operators presenting to a broad audience of mental health professionals.
This is important because rolling out psychedelic medicine will be uniquely challenging.
Two foreseeable bottlenecks include therapist training and facility/patient management requirement, and the Psych Congress audience is precisely those who will need to be enrolled to scale psychedelic-assisted therapy— psychotherapists, psychiatrists, addiction counselors, behavioral health executives, and administrators, among others.
The analogy has been made of comparing psychedelic clinics to yoga studios in that we’ll eventually see them on every corner. But before we reach that point, it is more accurate to compare to outpatient surgical centers than yoga studios, and it is much more challenging to set up a surgical center than a yoga studio.
Professionals in healthcare management, specifically in behavioral health, will need to be brought into the fold to scale this unique approach-- many of them will be in attendance at Psych Congress.
Informa is a global business publishing and market intelligence company that did almost $3 billion in revenue in 2019. They gather and disseminate market data for industries like healthcare, construction, logistics, pharmaceuticals, and many others.
The fact that Informa is educating their Biopharma readers on psychedelic medicine is significant and indicates another turn of the screw towards more conventional investment into psychedelic drug development.
The article, which is behind a paywall but can be accessed when you sign up for a week trial, is circumspect in its analysis noting the discomfort doctors and patients may have towards stigmatized drugs, the extensive patient monitoring, and Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) that many psychiatrists might find off-putting, and the difficulty of insurance reimbursement even 18 months after approval.
As COMPASS completes its IPO and trials from them, MAPS, MindMed, and Usona move further along, we should expect to see more market intelligence from outlets like Informa.
Like Informa, Hansonwade, the organizers of the Psychedelic Drug Development Summit, is a B2B market intelligence and event company that services many large industries such as the pharmaceutical industry. This event denotes a phase change in the psychedelic space because it appears to be the first to cater to more conventional biopharma and institutional investors— and has the price tag to show for it.
While the majority of presenters are coming from psychedelic drug developers, panelists also include MP Crispin Blunt, the protagonist in the saga of getting psilocybin rescheduled in England, Amanda Fielding of the Beckley Institute, and Rick Doblin of MAPS. The inclusion of these three indicates that the conventional investors in attendance will get an excellent introduction to the nuances and subtleties of the emerging psychedelic space, including the ethos and larger goals of this unique space.
So, even though another Canadian company went public and two more palliative care patients received Section 56 exemption this week, the growth of the psychedelic space is on display in less obvious places.
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Thanks for reading. See you on Monday.