Angel CoFund, an investor backed by the UK government, holds a 5.5% stake in Small Pharma, a London-based neuropharmaceutical company. Small Pharma recently announced that it planned to list the firm on the Toronto Stock Exchange through Unilock Capital Corp, a Canadian capital pool, via reverse takeover.
The company’s objective is to raise $ 15.6 million, an equivalent of C$20 million, which will finance the clinical trial of dimethyltryptamine/DMT-assisted therapy treatment for depression. DMT is an active compound found in ayahuasca, an Amazonian psychedelic brew.
While Angel CoFund is a privately run organization, it is funded by a £100 million ($134 million) loan from the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The department recoups the gains made by the investor.
Angel CoFund expects to make a £2 million ($2.69 million) return on its investment once the company lists on the exchange. This means that the UK government will receive a seven-figure return on investment from its indirect investment in Small Pharma. The figures are based on Small Pharma’s prediction valuation, with Small Pharma adding that Angel CoFund had invested in it before the company had commenced its research on psychedelics.
After decades of not conducting research on psychedelic substances because of a general public backlash against psychedelic drugs, research in psychedelic substances and drugs has begun again with renewed zest. A variety of studies focus on the drugs themselves as well as their potential benefits on the human brain and body.
Like many other drugs — such as psilocybin, ketamine and MDMA — being studied by various biotech groups for their potential to treat PTSD and depression, DMT is still illegal in many nations in the world, including the UK.
However, Small Pharma’s chief executive Peter Rands recently stated in an interview that nearly one-third of the hundreds of millions of individuals across the globe who suffer from depression aren’t responsive to commonly prescribed antidepressant types known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. He observed that the company’s objective is to provide alternative treatment.
Rands noted that the company is working to prove that DMT-assisted therapy could help patients learn to accept and deal with their underlying causes of depression rather than tempering their symptoms, which is what many antidepressants currently on the market do. Rands also stated that while DMT may not be as effectual as psilocybin, it is easier to administrate.
Prior ayahuasca studies have shown that the psychedelic helps to reduce symptoms of depression. However, more extensive placebo-controlled trials of DMT, its active compound, are required in order to convince both regulators and medical professionals of the psychedelic drug’s safety and efficacy.
Many North American companies are also poised to tap the opportunities presented by the emerging psychedelics industry. One such company is Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN), which is making inroads into not just the functional mushrooms market but also the medicinal psychedelics space.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CYBN
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