Canadian Biotech Company Pursuing Psychedelics with Unique Compound
BetterLife Pharma is encouraged by the potential of a derivative LSD molecule, which has opened the doors to psychedelics for the company.
A long-running small-cap Canadian biotech company is stirring up the psychedelics space with a possible non-altering psychedelic compound.
Research from BetterLife Pharma (CSE:BETR,OTCQB:BETRF) indicates promising potential from an LSD derivative molecule known as TD-0148A, whose medical impact is not marred by the psychoactive effects of the well-known psychedelic drug.
In an interview with the Investing News Network (INN), Dr. Ahmad Doroudian, CEO of BetterLife, said his company only recently started evaluating the opportunity attached to psychedelic drug development.
According to Dr. Doroudian, his company’s standout factor is its biopharma approach to psychedelics.
Psychedelics are flourishing in the investment market as the potential increases around the possibility of a new age of mental health drugs based on psychedelic compounds.
At the end of September, BetterLife shared with the market an initial batch of results for its TD-0148A compound; they indicate that it binds to “neurological receptors which are known to play key roles in neuro-psychiatric disorders.”
Dr. Doroudian said the company wants to investigate this “very close cousin” of LSD as a way of sidestepping the regulatory hassles of working with psychedelic substances that are still facing strict rules.
“This appealed to me in a way that we eliminate a lot of regulatory restrictions and controls and permits that you need — it facilitates the manufacturing, distribution, storage and administration of this compound,” the executive told INN.
He added that pursuing this separate psychedelic compound could also reduce costs in the long run.
When asked about the exact intentions the company has in terms of ailments to treat with the TD-0148A compound, Dr. Doroudian explained that the first two indications the company will pursue are cluster headaches and treatment-resistant depression.
“We are encouraged that the number of indications could be expanded,” the executive added. BetterLife eventually intends to look at the compound’s potential to treat other issues as well.
The BetterLife leading executive said at the moment his company has four different research groups working on generating more data to investigate how to move forward with its compound.
Medical approach to new age of psychedelic business
Dr. Doroudian didn’t shy away from his expectations for the company in the long term.
“There’s a lot of groups like us in many, many different parts of biotech … for us, it will be the next couple of years of development and then a partnership with a large pharma (company) to take this to commercialization,” Dr. Doroudian explained.
It has long been speculated that big-name pharmaceutical companies will eventually be ready to step into the psychedelics space, likely via acquisition transactions once confirming data starts rolling out for psychedelics-related products that are ready to be commercialized.
BetterLife isn’t operating as a total outsider since it has already earned a vote of confidence from some early stakeholders in the psychedelics business.
Henri Sant-Cassia, co-founder of psychedelic investment firm the Conscious Fund, joined the board of directors for the company back in June.
“We believe that BetterLife has enormous untapped potential, both within second generation psychedelic therapies and in the wider medical field,” Sant-Cassia said in the announcement.
Dr. Doroudian said many in the psychedelics investment market still don’t understand how much the templates used in the biopharma space will dictate company roadmaps.
“We want the investment space to look at this not just as psychedelics, (but also as a) biotech and pharma investment,” he said.
When it comes to valuations and expectations in the market, the executive added that psychedelics is a market in which companies will ultimately follow the biopharma model of looking for drugs to generate revenues and deliver on their promises to investors. But at this point it’s not quite there.
“That maturity and graduation from psychedelic hype to actual biotech investment hasn’t happened yet,” he explained to INN.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.
Bryan is a Senior Editor with INN. After graduating from the Langara journalism program he did some freelance reporting with community newspapers in British Columbia. He initially wrote about the life science space for INN and now spends his time covering the marijuana market, from Canadian LPs to US-based companies, and the impact of this sector on investors.
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