A $52-billion pain management market, a $14-billion antidepressant market, and a $4.5 trillion global wellness market are all coming together to make what could be a mega opportunity for a segment that few can ignore anymore…
That segment is psychedelics… and it could be a game-changer for the mental health of our nation.
The convergence of these three mega markets could well end up being bigger--and better--than cannabis.
Psychedelics are emerging as a possible solution for pain management and multiple mental health issues.
It’s got nothing to do with recreation.
This is science and drug development for some of the biggest medical challenges of our time.
But we think the real story is what’s going on behind the scene, where a little-known cultivation and extraction innovator may be emerging as a supplier of some of the underlying product to labs and retailers that hope this will be the next big thing in wellness.
The little-known company is HAVN Life (CSE: HAVN; OTC: HAVLF) and we think its entrance into the public market couldn’t have come at a better time. In a post-pandemic world, where opioids, antidepressants, PTSD treatments, and immunity-boosting supplements may see demand soar - a natural alternative could be exactly what the market needs.
COVID-19 cases and deaths may be starting to decline in some places around the world, but the scars left behind by the pandemic will be deep. We think it’s time for a new therapy--and it’s not another addictive opioid. It’s science and nature, and the stigma could be slowly melting away.
One Disrupting Compound. Two Revenue Verticals
Psilocybin is the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, and its possible fast-track commercialization is what this is all about …
It’s not about Big Pharma, which has struggled to positively tackle mental health. It’s about a new and natural approach, one that may help deal with issues like depression, which is the number one cause of disability and ill-health in the U.S.
Even the FDA calls psilocybin a “breakthrough therapy”.
And HAVN Life is what happens when two major names in the cannabis industry get together to harness what may be the next major wellness trend for shareholders.
Remember Aphria (NYSE:APHA)? Remember its valuation increase of over 2,300%?
Some of those same people look like they’re planning to do it again, this time with psilocybin.
Vic Neufeld and Gary Leong, both founders of Canadian cannabis darling Aphria (NYSE:APHA), are helping to pioneer the new industry.
Together, they’ve developed a global community in support of “microdosing” therapy research, extraction, formulation, and delivery to the market. And their work with veterans and the military, especially in the area of PTSD, is fast making them a new industry standard.
Neufeld is the former CEO of Aphria and the former CEO of Jamieson Wellness (TSX:JWEL), which he built into a leader in vitamins and botanical medicines during his 21 years at the helm.
And now, HAVN Life (CSE: HAVN; OTC: HAVLF) has brought on Gary Leong, a highly sought-after chemist who was the former Chief Scientific Officer at Aphria and another 14-year veteran of Jamieson Wellness. Leong has also served as an advisor to several Canadian government regulatory committees.
Now, coming off the big success at both Aphria and Jamieson, we think they may have mapped out a path to success for HAVN Life.
They’ve got two potential revenue verticals to interest shareholders: Haven Labs and Haven Retail.
Havn Labs is aimed to take advantage of the soaring demand for psilocybin for clinical research, which needs a reliable supply that is safe and of high quality. That’s why HAVN is reported to be spending C$800,000 on a new state-of-the-art mycology laboratory in Vancouver British Columbia.
It’s said to be set to launch this year and will aim to be a premier cultivation and extraction facility for clinical-quality psilocybin. Here, HAVN says it will be able to formulate and produce naturally-derived psychedelics in one location.
There are several hundred studies around the world on psychedelics, but it’s almost all being done using synthetic psilocybin. HAVN saw the opportunity to build a library of naturally derived APIs to support pre-searchers and formulators to provide a safe supply of naturally derived compounds.
They plan to become the standard.
HAVN is in the process of building out supply agreements with researchers that may eventually lead to a supply agreement with experienced names creating commercialized products in this space.
But there may be another vertical here, too, that could be exciting for investors.
HAVN looks to be casting a very wide net around this emerging megatrend.
The consumer wellness market has already reached $4.5 trillion, and HAVN Retail is targeting this with its fungi-based nutraceutical supplements.
HAVN (CSE: HAVN; OTC: HAVLF) says it only takes 60 days to develop a product for market once it’s cleared by Health Canada, which can then be distributed to HAVN Retail’s e-commerce store and retailers around the country.
And demand for supplements is already high--and rising.
The Canadian vitamins and minerals market is valued at $471 million, with 74% of adults taking at least one supplement per year.
The same market in the U.S. is valued at over $7.4 billion.
Mushrooms were the second-highest growing natural health supplement and are underserved in the market. HAVN intends to change that.
And this isn’t just another mushroom. HAVN’s products are reported to rely on specialized extracts rather than whole plants because research has shown that 200mg of mushroom extract has a greater therapeutic effect than 200mg of dried mushrooms.
And what happens next could increase this company’s enterprise value: HAVN announced it has launched preclinical trials to investigate the effects of psilocybin on the immune system--a potentially ground-breaking study that could lead to the development of new medicines.
Look No Further for the Next Megatrend
Psychedelics are set to be the next great health megatrend.
For us, there’s no better indication that this has gone mainstream than this: There is even a psychedelic exchange traded fund (ETF).
Horizons Psychedelic Stock Index ETF (PSYK) began trading on the Canadian NEO exchange in January this year. PSYK will offer investors exposure to a basket of 17 publicly traded companies focused on using psychedelics like LSD to treat mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD, and even eating disorders.
In a milestone for investors, HAVN was one of the 17 companies included in the ETF, bringing more exposure and presumably generating greater value for shareholders.
Psychedelics are an emerging megatrend as much as depression is a pandemic of its own--one that is getting worse due to COVID-19.
The statistics are more than alarming.
And while experts are still waiting for more data, Harvard notes that initial data suggests the coronavirus invades the brain, leaving more than one-third of patients with neurologic symptoms. That’s one-third of 150 million people--just this week.
It’s also worsened mental health conditions overall thanks to isolation, loss and extreme stress.
So, welcome to the psychedelic renaissance that has the global scientific community hungry for new research that shows that compounds such as HAVN’s psilocybin can have “profound mental health benefits” when used in controlled settings.
The decriminalization drive is fully underway, and assuming its success with psychedelics find their way into Big Pharma’s production facilities for depression, anxiety, PTSD, addiction, this may be a $100-billion segment, according to analysts at Eight Capital.
HAVN isn’t just in this space, it’s a supplier for this space. It’s helping to define this space with a state-of-the-art lab in British Columbia, an entire retail setup, and the cannabis veterans who have already taken a megatrend stock to substantially increased valuations for investors--twice.
Other companies looking to transform the mental health sector:
Sage Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SAGE) is a fantastic example of a company using its resources to tackle the growing mental health crisis in the United States and abroad. With a focus on exciting new ways to treat mental health disorders, the company released the only FDA-approved treatment for post-partum depression. It's drug, Zulresso, soared through clinical trials with no issues, and is advertised to help mothers feel better in just 2.5 days. The drug is administered under the careful guidance of professionals in their specialized treatment centers and has been a huge success for the company.
But that’s not all it’s working on. Another drug in Sage’s pipeline is Zuranolone, which seeks to treat major depressive disorder and even treatment resistant depressive disorders. The drug is already in phase three of testing and could potentially provide help for patients who have previously struggled to find a medication that works for them.
Over the past year, Sage has performed strongly against the market as a whole. Its share price has risen from just $37 in May 2020 to its current price of $74. Though it missed its revenue mark in its latest earnings report, the company still has a ton of potential.
Cassava Sciences (NASDAQ:SAVA) is another pharmaceutical company making major waves in the treatment of mental health, in particular, Alzheimer's disease. While its Sumifilam is still in its clinical trials, it's outlook is promising. The revolutionary new drug aims to help treat the devastating Alzheimer's disease by bringing together different proteins to interact properly.
Alzheimer’s affects over 5 million people in the United States alone, and it’s set to grow in the years ahead. And unfortunately, it’s incurable. Treatments such as these can offer a higher quality of life for patients suffering with the disease, and Cassava’s efforts could be life-changing.
Cassava has had an incredible year. And has continued to make headlines with new partnerships, grants, and deals. Thanks to its efforts, it has seen its share price skyrocket from just $2 last May to its current price of $37.50. That’s a 1775% return for early investors in this innovative company.
COMPASS Pathways plc (NASDAQ:CMPS) is a mental health care company dedicated to accelerating patient access to evidence-based innovation in mental health. The company is pioneering the development of a new model of psilocybin therapy, in which a proprietary formulation of synthetic psilocybin, COMP360, is administered in conjunction with psychological support. COMP360 has been designated a Breakthrough Therapy by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for treatment-resistant depression (TRD), and the company is currently conducting a phase IIb clinical trial of psilocybin therapy for TRD, in 20 sites across Europe and North America. COMPASS’ meticulous approach to psilocybin treatments is important because, while legalization may look imminent, there’s still a long road ahead for this relatively new medicine.
"There simply isn't yet enough evidence of safety and efficacy of psilocybin therapy, which is why we're doing our trials," adding "the review and approval to regulatory agencies is really the best way ensure the safety, efficacy and quality of any medicine or therapy," CEO George Goldsmith explained.
Though the British company made its NYSE debut in September, COMPASS has made tremendous progress and has attracted a lot of attention along the way. Though its share price has fallen from its February highs, it is still one of the first-movers in the burgeoning psilocybin industry, which means there is still plenty of upside.
Neuronetics, Inc. (NYSE:STIM) is a commercial-stage medical technology company focused on designing, developing, and marketing products that improve the quality of life for patients who suffer from psychiatric disorders. The company’s first commercial product, the NeuroStar® Advanced Therapy System, is a non-invasive and non-systemic office-based treatment that uses transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, to create a pulsed, MRI-strength magnetic field that induces electrical currents designed to stimulate specific areas of the brain associated with mood. The system is cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, for the treatment of major depressive disorder in adult patients who have failed to achieve satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant medication in the current episode.
Working with its NeuroStar therapy system, the company’s TouchStar protocol is a non-drug, non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatment for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Greg Harper, Vice President of Product Development and Operations at Neuronetics, explained, The TouchStar protocol is particularly impactful when paired with our patented Contact Sensing precision technology that provides clinicians with the confidence of knowing they are giving patients the right dose at the exact location."
Though Neuronetics posted a third quarter loss, the company did, however, beat earnings estimates. And it has outperformed many of its peers this year, which is no small feat. Since falling to $1.46 in March, Neuronetics has seen its share price soar by 480%, rising to a yearly high of $8.51.
Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHC) sets itself apart from other companies in this list due to its approach to the mental health industry. It’s not a drug producer, but rather a treatment provider. Acadia is a multinational behavioral healthcare conglomerate with over 580 facilities across the United States and the United Kingdom. From psychiatric hospitals to residential treatment centers, the company is well-versed in the needs of patients in crisis, providing top-tier services for people suffering from a wide range of mental health issues.
Acadia has had a particularly strong year, rising over 20% since January alone. But that hardly compares to it’s 2020 showing. Acadia’s stock price was sitting at just $24 in May of 2020, and has since soared by nearly 200%, rising to its current price of $61. And with strong financials, the company’s share price could head even higher in the coming months.
AEterna Zentaris Inc. (TSX:AEZS) is a major biopharmaceutical up and comer. The company has seen steady growth, and an array of new developments over the recent years. With a focus on oncology, endocrinology, and women's health solutions, AEterna has created a variety of new products, including Macrilen, the first and only FDA-approved oral test for the diagnosis of Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency.
Recently, AEterna received European approval to market Macrillen which has pushed its value even higher. Dr. Christian Strasburger, the Head of Clinical Endocrinology at Charité Unversitaetsmedizin Berlin and the principal investigator for macimorelin explained, “Clinical studies have demonstrated that macimorelin is safer and much simpler to administer than the current methods of testing for insulin-induced hypoglycemia, and is well-tolerated by patients and reliable in diagnosing the condition.”
Aptose Biosciences Inc. (TSX:APS) is a biotech company specializing in personalized therapies to address Canada’s unmet oncology needs. The company uses genetic and epigenetic profiles to gain insights into certain cancers and patient populations in order to develop new treatments within the space.
Aptose has an exclusive partnership with Ohm Oncology to develop, manufacture and commercialize APL-581 in order to treat hematologic malignancies and related molecules.
CRH Medical Corporation (TSX:CRH) specializes in products and services designed for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases in the United States, Canada, and internationally. With a long history within the space, CRH has positioned itself as a leader in the field, trusted by medical professionals all over the world.
CRH also made a majpr acquisition at the beginning of the year, buying out Anesthesia Care Associates, LLC, an Indiana-based gastroenterology anesthesia practice. The estimated $2.6 million deal will increase CRH’s footprint in the space, and has been well received by investors.
Burcon NutraScience Corporation (TSX:BU) is a Canadian tech firm bridging the gap between food and health, a connection that should not be overlooked. It is known for its high-purity, sustainable, flavorful, and affordable products. The company has checked every box in the modern customer’s book. Founded over 20 years ago, Burcon has been at the forefront of the since 1998, and it’s only become more refined since.
In its mission statement, Burcon explains that it “seeks to improve the health and wellness of global consumers through the discovery and development of sustainable, functional and renewable plant-based products for the global food and beverage industries.”
Else Nutrition Holdings Inc. (CSE:BABY) is a company that proves mental and physical health shouldn’t begin as an adult. Else Nutrition has taken a different approach than many of its competitors, targeting a particularly young market – babies.
Their products aim to deliver al of the same benefits as typical baby food, but with an organic twist. In fact, 92% of their products are made from three core healthy ingredients, almonds, tapioca, and buckwheat. And the best part, is they never alter the plants’ chemistry or remove any of the micronutrients, they just alter the texture. As the science connecting physical and mental health becomes more clear, it’s more important than ever to start taking care of yourself as early as possible, something Else has recognized in a big way.
By. Jennifer Weybridge
**IMPORTANT! BY READING OUR CONTENT YOU EXPLICITLY AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY**
This publication contains forward-looking information which is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements in this publication include that the global wellness market will continue to increase and that demand for mushroom based supplements will continue to rise; that the market for nutraceutical mushroom based products will continue to grow; that the market for psychedelic mushrooms will continue to increase for research purposes focused on alternative mental health treatments; that psychedelics will gain regulatory, medical, commercial and social acceptance as a potential treatment for various mental and other illnesses; that HAVN can be a supplier of functional and psychedelic mushroom products; that HAVN can be a leader in scientific research and achieve a new standard in naturally derived psilocybin; that HAVN can successfully build out supply agreements with researches and obtain supply agreements to create commercialized products; that HAVN will develop fungi-based nutraceutical products for the wellness market that will achieve Health Canada approval and be sold on e-commerce sites and by retailers around the country; that HAVN can produce products using specialized extracts which have a greater therapeutic effect for consumers; that psychedelic mushrooms will be decriminalized and gain acceptance as a viable medical treatment for mental illness; that HAVN will develop a state-of-the-art research lab and become a supplier for the psychedelic and functional mushroom markets. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. Risks that could change or prevent these statements from coming to fruition include that the global wellness market may not increase as anticipated and that demand for supplements, and in particular mushroom based supplements, may decrease; that the market for nutraceutical mushroom based products may decrease; that the market for psychedelic mushrooms decreases psychedelic mushroom based treatments are found to be dangerous, ineffective or have unwanted side effects; that psychedelics will fail to gain regulatory, medical, commercial and social acceptance as a potential treatment for various mental and other illnesses; that HAVN may be unable to develop its business as a supplier of functional and psychedelic mushroom products; that HAVN may fail to become a leader in scientific research or achieve a new standard in naturally derived psilocybin; that HAVN may fail to achieve supply agreements with researches or obtain supply agreements to create any commercialized products; that HAVN may be unable to successfully develop and manufacture fungi-based nutraceutical products for the wellness market that receive Health Canada approval; even if they do successfully produce products, competitors may offer better and cheaper products; that HAVN’s products may prove not to work at all; that psychedelic mushrooms may not be decriminalized or gain only limited or no acceptance as a viable medical treatment for mental illness; that HAVN mau be unable to develop a state-of-the-art research lab or become a supplier for the psychedelic and functional mushroom markets.. The forward-looking information contained herein is given as of the date hereof and we assume no responsibility to update or revise such information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.
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