Former Actavis Head Of M&A Joins Psychedelics Company As CEO

Psychedelics Investing
Psychedelics Investing

Drysdale will serve as CEO, bringing to the table more than 3 decades of experience in the health care sector.

Pharma veteran Doug Drysdale has joined psychedelics-focused life sciences company Cybin Corp.

Drysdale will serve as CEO, bringing to the table more than 3 decades of experience in the health care sector.

“Psychedelics have been put on the back burner for 50 years and are now having a Renaissance,” he said during an exclusive conversation, explaining his decision to join the industry.

In his view, “the hundreds of studies that have been conducted over the past 10 to 20 years” at highly respected institutions like Johns Hopkins University (JHU), New York University (NYU), the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and the Toronto Center for Psychedelic Science, have made it clear that psychedelic molecules have “tremendous potential for patients with depression PTSD and addiction.”

When prompted about Cybin Corp., specifically, he added early investor validation made him feel comfortable and optimistic.

“This speaks to the strength of the team and our founders,” he voiced.

Cybin Corp. has raised more than $10 million since inception. The company is now in the midst of a brokered private placement of subscription receipts with a syndicate of agents co-led by Stifel Nicolaus Canada Inc. and Eight Capital. Canaccord, Haywood and Echelon are also participating in the raises.

Drysdale started his career in the pharmaceutical industry in the early 90’s, ascending to become the head of mergers and acquisitions at Actavis in 2004.

During his four-year tenure at the multi-billion-dollar Actavis Group, now owned by Allergan, the executive led 15 corporate acquisitions across three continents and helped raised approximately $3 billion of capital.

Remaining active in the pharma sector, Drysdale helped build and restructure several companies, including the recapitalization and restructuring of NASDAQ-listed Pernix Therapeutics. In the 28 months he spent as the company’s president and CEO, Pernix grew its valuation from around $80 million to roughly $800 million. Under his leadership, the company raised $465 million of capital.

‘The Ideal Leader’

According to Cybin’s co-founder and COO Paul Glavine, Drysdale is “the ideal leader for Cybin.

“We believe that his extensive health care sector background and international company management skills will help Cybin strengthen partnerships, develop strategic alliances, and expand our international presence. We believe his strong leadership experience will help focus Cybin during our initial path to profitability,” he said.

Drysdale, who is passionate about mental health topics, added he expects to expand the company’s development pipeline to further advance on the exploration of a “cost-effective and timely array of health care alternatives.”

The new CEO plans to continue to grow Cybin’s IP portfolio organically.

“[We] shall be looking to add to our IP through accretive acquisitions,” he said. “Research to date is showing positive indications for the potential use of psychedelic-based therapies as alternatives to current chronic depression medications and habit-forming opioids, for various treatment-resistant issues such as eating disorders, smoking cessation, PTSD, anxiety and depression. Mental illness and addiction have profoundly personal meanings for me and affect millions of people across the globe.”


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