- Lobe’s research into new delivery methods for psychedelics are breaking ground in the sector
- Recent sale of Cowlitz Cannabis brings a significant infusion of non-dilutive capital to the company
- Lobe Sciences also recently announced the additions of Benjamin Kelmendi, MD from Yale University to its Scientific Advisory Board, as well as Ilan Hayman of Mind Medicine Australia and President of the NFL Alumni Association Bart Oates Esq. to its Advisory Board
Mental illness is one of the most challenging public health issues facing the global community. The incidence of these disorders is extremely high, with woefully few treatment options available.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is particularly widespread and impactful, with 10 per cent of people experiencing it in their lifetime, or eight million adults each year. These figures have only been worsened by COVID-19-related illnesses, job losses, and lockdowns.
By 2030, global expenditure on mental health will reach an estimated USD$16 trillion. It’s crucial that effective new treatments are developed to fill current gaps, especially for PTSD and mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs).
“We believe that right now, the nascent psychedelic sector needs the leadership of people who are experienced in developing drugs and bringing products to market.” — Philip Young, Director & CEO, Lobe Sciences Ltd.
A new major player
“There are really no treatments to speak of right now,” says Philip Young, CEO and Director of Lobe Sciences (CSE: LOBE | OTC Pink: GTSIF). “Currently, the medical mandate is watchful waiting — just telling the patient to take it easy and hoping it clears up.”
Psychedelic-assisted therapy has emerged as a possible solution to this treatment vacuum. Earlier in the 20th century, these substances were heavily restricted and carried a negative connotation. But today, patients’ dire need — and mounting evidence — has led clinicians and regulators to consider them a viable option.
Young is not particularly surprised by this development. “Even though this is an emerging field, the use of psychedelics is centuries old,” he says. “I think patients’ and clinicians’ frustration with the lack of novel and effective therapeutics is what’s led to this resurgence of interest.”
Lobe Sciences is one company to watch in this exciting market. They specialize in drug research and development using psychedelic compounds and place a particular emphasis on new, innovative delivery methods that amplify the benefits of these substances.
The company is coming off of a fast-paced year, during which they underwent a rebrand, welcomed an infusion of new capital, pursued the development of a new nasal mist device, and finalized the divestment of their asset, Cowlitz Cannabis to Ionic Brands.
Lobe is pleased to announce we have signed a definitive agreement for the sale of Cowlitz Cannabis to @Ionicbrands.— Lobe Sciences Ltd. (@lobesciences) February 23, 2021
• Sale to provide immediate shareholder value
• The sale value of ~$32M will significantly improve our balance sheet with non-dilutive capital$LOBE #Invest pic.twitter.com/ChuQk8iurX
The sale marks a significant step forward for Lobe, bringing approximately $32 million into the company and allowing them to refine their focus away from cannabis and towards psychedelics.
“We want to ensure that our focus is strictly on the psychedelic space and that we are focusing our efforts there and not on the cannabis area,” says Young. “So, we took this opportunity to sign a very good divestiture agreement to Ionic Brands, which is a multi-state, multi-country cannabis operator with a great history.”
Experienced leadership, emerging sector
Lobe is focusing on psychedelic medicine because they see its potential to help patients who desperately need it. “Over the last three decades, the only innovation to treating most mental conditions has been the development of the SSRI,” says Young.
“We believe that right now, the nascent psychedelic sector needs the leadership of people who are experienced in developing drugs and bringing products to market.”
This expertise is where Lobe’s team really shines. Young is a 30-year veteran of the biotech sector, with extensive experience bringing drugs from the lab, through FDA approval, and into the hands of patients.
Another asset is Chief Scientific Officer, Maghsoud Dariani, who has an impressive history of developing complex biologics and bringing them to market.
That wealth of experience was crucial to Lobe’s development of their new nasal mist device for the delivery of psychedelics. Now in the proof-of-concept stage, the device has the potential to revolutionize how patients experience psychedelic therapy, making it much more potent and accessible.
A new mode of treatment
Drugs consumed orally must be taken at a much higher dose, as the body metabolizes a large amount of the compound before it ever reaches the brain. By contrast, the same drug delivered to the sinus passages reaches the brain much more quickly.
This allows for a lower dose — and, Lobe hopes, a shorter experience that’s more easily integrated into patients’ lives. The potential of this form of delivery sharply contrasts the 8-hour, highly supervised experiences that are currently associated with psychedelic therapy.
In addition to its innovative delivery method, the treatment combines the power of psychedelic compounds with the proven efficacy of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), which has been used in multiple studies to treat mTBIs.
The company is optimistic about the synergy between these two compounds. “NAC works in the acute phase to reduce the inflammatory reaction of traumatized brain cells,” explains Young. “Psilocybin would be used after that, when you need to have a boost in serotonin. So, while they have different mechanisms of action, nobody’s ever tried them together.”
Now, Lobe is looking to demonstrate the potential of this new treatment through a pre-clinical study, in collaboration with the University of Miami. The study is led by Dr. Michael E. Hoffer, professor of Otolaryngology and Neurological Surgery.
“This is a very important extension of our work, to identify new treatments for mTBI and PTSD,” Dr. Hoffer shares. “We are hopeful that this new combination of psilocybin with NAC will lead us to better solutions for those suffering from these conditions.”
Growing investor demand
These recent innovations have stoked much interest in Lobe Sciences and its ambition to change the face of psychedelic medicine. Recently, Lobe announced a non-brokered, private placement of $2.3 million. The placement indicates not just strong investor demand, but a bright future of growth and progress for the company.
Lobe will use the funds to support its pre-clinical studies and continue furthering the development of their nasal mist device, as well as provide general working capital for existing operations.
“We are extremely pleased with the support we have seen from both existing and new strategic shareholders,” says Jonathan Gilbert, Lobe’s Executive Chairman. “Our industry is seeing tremendous growth, and we intend to build upon this momentum and showcase Lobe Sciences as a leader.”
A boldly envisioned future
With their focus on innovation and a history of growth, Lobe Sciences is poised to play an even larger role in psychedelic therapy as the field matures.
“We will develop psychedelic medicines not just for mTBI and PTSD, but other mental illnesses that are currently suffering from lack of new therapies,” says Young.
He predicts that 2021 will see the company quantifying the potential of its recent innovations through rigorous, evidence-based research. Lobe plans to move through its preclinical studies into eventually conducting clinical work on humans.
“There are only four psychedelic companies that are in the clinic, treating humans right now,” notes Young. “That’s a huge opportunity.”
“We’ve all been successful at bringing drugs to market and developing therapeutics through the FDA and the global regulatory authorities,” Young says of Lobe Sciences’ team. “We’re just at the beginning, but I think investors will see that Lobe is going to be at the forefront of this sector.”
Visit Lobe Sciences’ website to learn more about the company’s research and development.
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