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NEW YORK, Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Research continues to mount on the health benefits of psychedelic drugs like psilocybin and loosening government restrictions are completely changing the way the world views psychedelics. What was once reserved for teenagers tripping out in their parents' basement is now being viewed for its potential health and wellness benefits, particularly in regards to mental health. Up until recently, anti-anxiety and antidepressants from Big Pharma companies like Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) were the primary treatments used for anxiety, panic disorder, and depression. However, a recent FDA warning about the risks associated with most of these drugs, which includes addiction, abuse, dependence, and withdrawal, has led consumers to look for more natural options to treat their mental illness. Luckily, companies like COMPASS Pathways (NASDAQ:CMPS) and Mydecine Innovations Group (CSE:MYCO) are stepping in to develop novel therapies that could completely change the way doctors treat mental health.
Taking Mental Health Treatments to New Heights
Mental illness has always been prominent in the US, but the numbers have only gotten higher due to the ongoing health crisis. At present, roughly one in five American adults suffer from mental illness, yet effective medications and treatments like counseling and therapy are still very much out of reach for many. What's more, many of the prescription medications available to treat mental illness come with a laundry list of side effects. Luckily, companies like Mydecine Innovations Group (CSE:MYCO) (MYCOF) are stepping in to offer unique and effective solutions.
Over the past decade, research published by leading academic institutions like Johns Hopkins University, Imperial College of London, and Yale University has demonstrated that psychedelic medicines like MDMA, psilocybin, and ketamine can be used as effective and safe treatments to treat a variety of mental health conditions. Mydecine Innovations, which is a life sciences parent company, is focused on developing and producing psychedelic medicine naturally derived from fungi, therapeutic solutions, and fungtional™ natural health products.
In September, Mydecine Innovations completed the acquisition of NeuroPharm, a developer of natural health, psychedelic-based treatments for mental disorders that is currently conducting first-of-its-kind clinical trials to study psychedelics for the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans.
Mydecine Innovations then launched its health app Mindleap to provide an additional step in the fight against mental illness. Mindleap, which is the first psychedelics-focused digital telehealth platform, helps people to track their mental health and connect with trained mental health specialists for psychedelic aftercare. The platform not only increases access to mental health services, but it also provides analytics to improve outcomes starting with goal-setting, emotion, mood, and habit tracking.
The launch of Mydecine's Mindleap app couldn't have come at a better time. The telehealth market is projected to reach $559 billion by 2027 at a 25.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and the global pandemic has only increased high demand for telehealth services, with telehealth visits expected to exceed 1 billion by the end of 2020.
COMPASS Pathways (NASDAQ:CMPS) is another company looking to use psychedelics to treat mental illness. Coming off it's hot IPO, the newly listed company's proprietary formulation of synthetic psilocybin, COMP360, has been designated a Breakthrough Therapy by the FDA for treatment-resistant depression (TRD) and is currently undergoing a Phase 2B clinical trial of psilocybin therapy in 216 patients with TRD in 20 sites across Europe and North America.
FDA Warning Creates Urgent Need for Effective, Non-Addictive Treatments for Mental Illness
When the FDA issued a warning last month requiring makers of benzodiazepines to outline the risks of addiction, abuse, dependence, and withdrawal on the drugs' labels, it sparked concerns over the abuse of prescription meds.
Benzodiazepines are used for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, seizures, social phobia, and panic disorder and include brand name drugs like Pfizer's (NYSE:PFE) Xanax and Ativan and Roche's Valium and Librium.
Of course, this isn't the first time the FDA has urged drugmakers to include "black box" warnings on mental health treatments. In 2004, the administration recommended that all antidepressants, including Eli Lilly's (NYSE:LLY) Prozac, carry "black box" warnings, which are among the most stringent cautions issued and are reserves for drugs that have very serious or fatal side effects.
Although these prescription drugs have been used for decades, there is growing evidence around the high potential for abuse and addiction. What's more, the FDA found that benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed for periods longer than recommended and are frequently abused with alcohol, opioids, or other illicit drugs, which increases the risk of serious or fatal health problems.
In 2019 alone, over 92 million prescriptions were written for benzodiazepines, with the most commonly used drugs being Pfizer's Xanax (38%), followed by Klonopin (24%) and Ativan (20%).
But perhaps more concerning is the Illicit use of benzos. In a report released last year by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the drugs were found to be involved in a full third of all fatal opioid overdoses.
With the growing number of mental health cases, along with the increase in fatal opioid overdoses in recent years, it's become glaringly clear that disruptive treatments like the ones being created by Mydecine Innovations Group are essential in the fight against both mental health and addiction.
For more information on Mydecine Innovations Group, please visit this link.
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