Australia approves Psyence phase 2b study as it finalizes merger

Australia approves Psyence phase 2b study as it finalizes merger

Psyence Group Inc. has finalized a merger with special purpose acquisition corporation Newcourt Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: NCAC) to allow the listing of its subsidiary on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Following the deal, Psyence Group received 5 million common shares in the new Psyence Biomed (Nasdaq: PBM), which makes up about 37% of PBM.

The PBM division works on researching and developing medical treatments that use psilocybin, mainly for use in palliative care, and is partnering with an Australian research organization, iNGENū, for the trials.

“Despite a year of constrained small cap markets, particularly in the biotech sector, combined with the numerous start-up, early-stage psychedelic companies competing for a limited pool of capital,” Psyence Group executive chairman Jody Aufrichtig said in a statement Monday, “we are proud that we were able to close a financing and complete the Business Combination, allowing us to list our clinical trial and product development business on a U.S. National Exchange.”

Psyence Group said it has reduced its operational costs since it no longer needs to fund the clinical trials that are now the responsibility of PBM. The cost reduction is also due to lower administrative expenses and the departure of some senior executives who have moved to PBM.

Those adjustments in management consists of several executives transitioning to roles within PBM.

Additionally, Psyence Group is restructuring its non-clinical business units. The group is transferring some assets related to psilocybin cultivation and production and other operations to a third-party company, PriveCo.

Psyence Group will retain rights to sell and distribute products developed by PriveCo and will receive shares in PriveCo as well as a percentage of future sales as royalty.

The restructuring is aimed at reducing costs while still benefiting from future sales and operations handled by PriveCo. The company said it plans to focus more on an asset-light business model and explore less capital-intensive opportunities in the psychedelics industry.

Overall, the Psyence not is currently not making any money yet. However, it does own a facility in Lesotho, Africa, where the firm grows psilocybin mushrooms.

Last week, the company also announced that had gotten the go-ahead from Australian health authorities for a planned Phase 2B study in Melbourne.

The study will look into whether a natural form of psilocybin can help people who are having a hard time adjusting to a recent cancer diagnosis. Adjustment Disorder affects roughly 19% of patients with serious health conditions and can greatly lower their quality of life.

“(Australian Health Research Ethics Committee) approval represents an important milestone for Psyence, and we can now proceed to initiate this important trial as expeditiously as possible,” Psyence CEO, Neil Maresky, said in a news release.

The study will include 84 patients and will test different doses of psilocybin alongside psychotherapy to see if it helps reduce anxiety and stress, which could lead to better outcomes for patients and potentially lower healthcare costs. The first patients will join the study in the second quarter of 2024, and results are expected in 2025.

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