Interview with PsyBio Therapeutics
Interview with PsyBio CEO: Biotech newcomer tackles mental illnesses
time to read: 7 minutes | The interview was conducted by Nico Popp on March 15th, 2021 in Coconut Creek (USA).
CEO | PsyBio Therapeutics
4400 West Sample Rd, FL-33073 Coconut Creek (USA)
Table of contents:
news|financial: "As a biotech company, you want to launch a revolutionary drug against depression and are using active ingredients from psychoactive mushrooms. What studies are you basing this on?"
"[...] We are working closely with the University of Miami's Department of Psychology. [...]" Evan Levine, CEO, PsyBio Therapeutics
PsyBio Therapeutics is not only developing therapeutic compounds that are generated in magic mushrooms, we are also working with molecular candidates in a variety of plants and fungi and researching compounds that currently do not exist in nature. Psilocybin is just the first inning for PsyBio and if you enter the key word psilocybin in clinicaltrials.gov which tracks approved human studies around the globe, sixty two entries come up with just with this specific alkaloid which is being studying in a multitude of indications not limited to depression, anxiety, PTSD and substance abuse.
From my point of view, there is no doubt that psilocybin is an effective agent. But we at PsyBio are going further and working with other related compounds, investigating their interactions and looking for compounds that work even better than pure psilocybin. We are working closely with the University of Miami's Department of Psychology on this. This collaboration has already led to several filed patents and has scientific backing throughout.
Advantages of psilocybin
news|financial: "When drugs are approved, the benefits of new active ingredients are crucial. Where do you see advantages of psilocybin over currently available antidepressants?"
For the past fifty years, treatment of mental illness border lines on barbaric. The current standard of care includes drugs that chemically interfere with neurotransmitter activity. These drugs deliver many undesirable side effects that are antithetical to even treating the underlying disorder. Psilocybin and related research offer a paradigm shift in the way mental illness and other disorders are addressed by rewiring the brain and changing the mind. Further, this new class of compounds are not addictive nor lethal and do not have an adverse side effect profile.
news|financial: "What other uses are conceivable?"
For many people suffering from terminal illnesses, the situation is accompanied by deep depression. These people are afraid of death. Experience has shown that the effects of psilocybin can relieve these people's fear of death. During the states triggered by the active ingredients, many people have experiences that change their worldview forever and that still have an effect long after the particular active ingredient can no longer be detected. This can ultimately lead to terminally ill people losing their fear of dying. The quality of life gained in this way during the last months of life is priceless.
news|financial: "How do you plan to communicate your beliefs to the scientific community and regulatory agencies? Do you plan to bring additional ambassadors on board?"
"[...] We currently have a terrific team that has extensive experience in both drug development and capital markets. [...]" Evan Levine, CEO, PsyBio Therapeutics
We currently have a terrific team that has extensive experience in both drug development and capital markets. Members of the team have run large public global drug development companies and international clinical trials. We just closed on our go public round financing last week and have already started to attract additional top talent interested in joining the team. We are expanding research and development operations in both Ohio and Florida and have engaged several commercial laboratories to initiate manufacturing for two of our portfolio drug candidates.
Working with multiple agents
news|financial: "You plan to combine multiple agents. Doesn't that make the search for a final formula unnecessarily complicated? What opportunities does combining several active ingredients open up for you?"
"[...] For us, working with multiple agents is an opportunity rather than a burden. [...]" Evan Levine, CEO, PsyBio Therapeutics
Drug development in itself is a highly complex business that requires skilled professionals to successfully navigate. We believe we are one of the only companies in the space that are truly developing novel therapeutics to address the described unmet medical needs. We have a unique relationship with a large research university that offers us access to services and talent that many other companies do not experience. Our collaborations with both the Engineering and Psychology Departments at Miami University provide us with an unprecedented ability to research novel combinations that competitors would have to wait in queue for at commercial service providers. For us, working with multiple agents is an opportunity rather than a burden. We look forward to sharing a tremendous amount of data as the year progresses.
PsyBio - more than just a hype
news|financial: "There are always waves on the stock market. After the cannabis wave, now comes the psilocybin wave. How do you differentiate yourself from companies that are doing "something with mushrooms" in the wake of the hype?"
"[...] We are not participating in this for a capital markets play. [...]" Evan Levine, CEO, PsyBio Therapeutics
PsyBio is a world class leader of research and patent prosecution in the industry. Our technology has accepted multiple awards and has received international acclaim from the scientific community. We are not participating in this for a capital markets play, the entire point of our business is to legitimately transition our research to human clinical trials and deliver greatly improved therapeutics for indications that clearly have an unmet medical need.
Even if there are companies "that do something with mushrooms" and have little scientific basis, we believe that the market can quickly recognize where there is potential and where there is not. Already during our listing and the successful and also oversubscribed financing round, we have noticed that our approach also finds positive resonance on the capital market.
PsyBio's special approach
news|financial: "You have developed your own process for producing psilocybin that relies on bacteria. What advantages does this approach have over the competition, and why aren't big companies in the industry using your approach?"
"[...] PsyBio has undoubtedly developed a technology that can produce psilocybin using bacteria far cheaper, faster and more environmentally friendly than any other published method. [...]" Evan Levine, CEO, PsyBio Therapeutics
The reason is simple to explain: We hold a filed patent on the process. PsyBio has undoubtedly developed a technology that can produce psilocybin using bacteria far cheaper, faster and more environmentally friendly than any other published method. We are very confident that our process will catch on and I don't currently see any major company taking a similar approach.
news|financial: "Well-known investors, such as Christian Angermayer, are investing in companies like Compass Pathways, which is already valued at more than a billion dollars. What path does PsyBio need to take to get there? Finally, companies like Compass Pathways don't have approved compounds yet either."
PsyBio is following a similar drug development pathway as Compass and using all of the public data to pave the way for our success. They of course have some years of lead time but our industry is both evolutionary and revolutionary, so we expect several world class players to emerge as development contenders. There are thousands of biotechnology companies and each offers its own opportunity to make improvements in patient outcomes if successful.
news|financial: "You currently have CAD 13 million in your coffers. What is your monthly capital requirement? How far will the cast carry you?"
"[...] Our investors can expect us to make great progress with the funds we have recently raised. [...]" Evan Levine, CEO, PsyBio Therapeutics
We have just completed our IPO and are well capitalized. Our investors can expect us to make great progress with the funds we have recently raised. Thanks to our cooperation partners and good collaboration with universities, we can carry out a lot of work faster and also more cost-effectively.
PsyBio's investors and their long-term approach
news|financial: "More than 40% of the shares are held by insiders. Are there holding periods and a shared commitment on which path the anchor shareholders want to take together?"
All major shareholders have acknowledged that PsyBio is not a short-term project, but a long-term mission. History has shown that it sometimes takes a while for opportunities for new directions to emerge. At PsyBio, we work scientifically and do everything we can to convince the market with facts. Most of our shareholders know that PsyBio strives for long-term success. This crucially includes offering patients the best possible therapy. The entire team is working hard on this and is aware of the support of our anchor shareholders.
news|financial: "Thank you very much for talking to us."