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MIT Future of Healthcare and Medicine 2021
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January 4, 2021
Conference panel to feature a selection of the most promising startups developing psychedelics as medicines
“The New Frontiers of Psychedelic Medicine” is one of the most highly anticipated panels in the history of the MIT Club of Northern California's annual Future of Healthcare and Medicine conference. To be held on January 27th, 2021, the panel includes representatives from groundbreaking startups such as Compass Pathways, Eleusis Ltd, Journey CoLab, MAPS, and Tactogen Inc. 

In the midst of the world’s largest mental health crisis, startups are turning to psychedelic drugs to create new solutions to epidemic-level problems. Just a few years ago, this might have seemed risky, but new scientific findings and urgent unmet market demands have drawn investor money into the emerging sector.

Within the last few months alone, events have highlighted the sector's promise. Compass Pathways (CMPS), which is developing psilocybin for depression, held their IPO in September, creating $2.0 billion of market capitalization and vindicating early investors such as Christian Angermeyer and Peter Thiel. In December, the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies, founded by industry pioneer Rick Doblin, released Phase III clinical trial data showing high efficacy for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, increasing expectation that the treatment will receive FDA approval in 2022.

Younger companies are also attracting attention. In October 2020, former YCombinator CEO and AirBnB investor and current CEO of OpenAI, Sam Altman invested $3.0M into Journey CoLabs, a startup developing synthetic mescaline to help treat alcoholism. Eleusis Ltd, fresh from publishing an analysis of the chemical structures that optimize the previously unexpected anti-inflammatory effects of some psychedelics, announced their December acquisition of Kalypso Wellness Centers. After filing over ten provisional patent applications, Tactogen Inc initiated preclinical work with researchers at NIH on serotonin release and reuptake and at Western Michigan on drug discrimination. The “New Frontiers of Psychedelic Medicine” panel will discuss neuropsychiatric medicine innovation before a virtual global audience that includes the most influential biopharma and Sand Hill investors. 

The panel is comprised of Jennifer Pisansky (COO, Journey Colab), Ekaterina Malievskaia (CIO & Co-founder, Compass Pathways), Rick Doblin (ED, MAPS), Nieloufar Family (Director of Research, Eleusis) and data science leader and neuroscientist Matthew Baggott (CEO, Tactogen Inc). Simone Celia Klein, M.D. is moderating the panel. 

Register here to join us on January 27th from 5:30pm - 6:30pm PST to learn about this shift in the future of neuropsychiatric medicine.
January 27th, 2021
5:30pm – 6:30pm PST
The science, research and investment
of psychedelic medicine for mental health.
Register here
Tactogen Participates in Panel at the 2020 Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum
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October 16, 2020
The annual Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum, held Oct 14 - 16, 2020, is Canada’s most established psychedelic conference, facilitating dialogue and shared learnings about psychedelic-assisted therapies and research. Tactogen founder and CEO Matthew Baggott participated in a panel on new directions in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.

Baggott's presentation noted that realizing the full promise of psychedelics will require integrating knowledge from basic science and underground use. Approximately 300 people have received MDMA in MAPS-sponsored clinical trials, while another 1300 people have received MDMA in basic science studies and tens of millions of people have taken MDMA in unsanctioned experiences. Baggott argued that we will need to integrate knowledge and experiences from these three populations in order to make helpful psychedelic experiences safer and more accessible. Also on the panel, Terence Ching, a PhD student in clinical psychology, shared research findings regarding the efficacy and safety of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD across ethnoracial groups, and Devon Christie, M.D., Medical Director at Numinus Wellness Inc, discussed the potential of MDMA for the treatment of chronic pain. Monnica Williams, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa, moderated the panel.
Edited videos of the Forum can be found here.
HOW CAN PSYCHEDELIC MEDICINE COMPANIES SUCCEED?
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September 8, 2020
Noetic Fund Founder Series September 2020: Tactogen Inc CEO Matthew Baggott, Ph.D. discusses how ‘psychedelicizing medicine’ can lead to positive, abrupt societal growth. 

The cure for the spiritual common cold? On September 25th, 2020, the Toronto-based Noetic Fund hosted Tactogen CEO Matthew Baggott to discuss the promises and perils of the emerging psychedelic medicine industry.

Baggott sees psychedelic medicine as part of the beginning of a revolution in personal development and wellness. The potential markets that will develop around this revolution are so large, he argues, that companies in psychedelic medicine won’t be competing in a classic sense, but will be building a new, interdependent system of wellness in which many companies and organizations will play key roles.

In this special session, Baggott argues that novel CNS molecules can help people contribute to society in healthy ways, creating waves of productivity and harnessing new human capital. He compares the challenges in scaling new and unfamiliar treatment modalities like MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to coming into a country with no dental care and scaling dental care for an entire country (it’s not just about getting enough dentists!).

Baggott's talk is especially optimistic about the room for genuine innovation in the sector, particularly with new molecules. Why? Because there are so many things about how psychedelics work that we still don’t understand. For example: Which psychedelics are good for anti-inflammatory effects? Which support neuroplasticity in the brain? How can we harness these effects for health? What causes the antidepressant effects of psychedelics?

Baggott argues that founders of psychedelic medicine companies that seek to develop new medicines should focus on 3 main strategies: (1) Focus first on the U.S., which represents 70% of profits for pharmaceutical companies and over 40% of all spending on medicines; and (2) Make access central to your mission with particular focus on care delivery costs; and (3) Seek unique value and differentiating factors that let you avoid competing with natural psychedelic experiences.

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