28. April 2021 | 07:04 CET
CureVac, PsyBio, Evotec - Revolution in the billion-dollar market!
The anxiety and limitations associated with the coronavirus pose major challenges for people suffering from depression. Officially, around 350 million people worldwide live with depression, but the number of unreported cases is significantly higher. At the moment, the number one cause of the disease is only combated with antidepressants; there are hardly any alternative treatment methods without severe side effects. A completely new field is currently emerging that could completely eclipse existing drugs, with incredible potential for the young companies.
time to read: 3 minutes by Stefan Feulner
PsyBio Therapeutics - In pole position
The topic of magic mushrooms is new only to the stock market. The history of "magic mushrooms" containing psychedelic substances goes back to the Aztec era. But it was not until the late 1950s that psilocybin and psilocin were isolated as the effective substances of the mushroom by the scientist Albert Hofmann, who also discovered LSD. The pharmaceutical Company Sandoz marketed synthetically produced psilocybin under the name Indocybin® for experimental and psychotherapeutic purposes. However, due to its abuse as a narcotic drug, LSD and other psychedelics were banned by the Reagan administration in the early 1970s.
In recent years, more studies have again been conducted to prove the positive therapeutic effects of drugs such as psilocybin, LSD and other hallucinogens to treat several otherwise untreatable mental disorders such as chronic depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and drug addiction. In this regard, PsyBio Therapeutics is one step ahead of the competition in bringing a revolutionary drug to market.
In collaboration with the University of Miami's Department of Psychology, the Canadians work with other related compounds, studying their interactions and researching substances that work even better than pure psilocybin. The successful partnership with Miami University, which has already yielded several patents, was expanded last week. The neuropsychiatric drug discovery platform will be expanded to expedite the submission for approval of an investigational new drug, IND, to the FDA.
Overall, the Canadians see themselves as having a significant advantage over other competitors in research and patent prosecution. The unique selling point that favors PsyBio Therapeutics is a process that can produce psilocybin using bacteria significantly cheaper, faster and more environmentally friendly than any other published method. The Canadians are already a big player in the mental health space and this is demonstrated by recently announced personnel appointments. Bob Oliver, who has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and has held various senior positions at Otsuka, Wyeth and Johnson & Johnson, is joining the Company, as is Dr. Michael Spigarelli, who has been appointed Chief Medical Officer.
PsyBio currently has a market capitalization of EUR 14.98 million. The industry is going strong right now. Companies in the same segment already have unicorn status. With its strong patents and successful collaborations, PsyBio Therapeutics could become a significant player in the fight against depression in the long term.
Evotec - Cooperation expanded
Good news from Evotec. The collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb, which started in 2018, has now been extended by the Americans via option. As a result, Evotec will receive a payment of an unknown amount through the early extension. The partnership is ongoing in the field of targeted protein degradation. In addition, the screening is to be expanded and with it, the drug pipeline resulting from the collaboration.
Evotec Chief Scientific Officer Cord Dohrmann said, "Targeted protein degradation is an emerging new therapeutic modality with high potential to reach not only already validated targets, but also traditionally hard-to-reach targets, through a novel mechanism of action. This will allow first-in-class disease-modifying therapeutics to be explored and developed."
CureVac - The profiteer from the chaos?
Missing vaccines in Germany, plus the confusion surrounding AstraZeneca's vaccine. Now comes the next bad news. Since last weekend, the vaccine from BioNTech has also come under criticism. The Israeli Ministry of Health is investigating heart muscle inflammation cases that could be linked to the vaccine administration. The preliminary research mentions "dozens of cases" in which myocarditis has occurred. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle, which can have various causes. The disease occurred mainly after the second dose, according to the Israeli coordinator for pandemic control, Nachman Ash.
The second German vaccine manufacturer, CureVac, is taking a little longer with its research. Now, however, the Tübingen-based Company is in the home stretch. The trial with CureVac's Corona vaccine is nearing completion. Almost all of the 40,000 subjects have been vaccinated twice and the safety and tolerability data look very good, said study leader Peter Kremsner. He expects the vaccine to be licensed and vaccinated soon, he said. "It can happen very quickly now. It should work in June unless something else comes up." It could always happen that the EMA still demands improvements, he said. If there is a vaccine to be added to the portfolio, it's CureVac!