(Part three of a four-part series)
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atai Life Sciences (NASDAQ: ATAI) and COMPASS Pathways (NASDAQ: CMPS) hold a strategic partnership, currently displayed in three advanced, yet "limited to equity interest," clinical trials under COMPASS' lead.
On the recent publication of the Phase 2 results, atai’s co-founder and CEO Florian Brand commented: “We couldn't be prouder of the team at COMPASS for their historic achievement. COMPASS was atai’s first psychedelic initiative, and we continue to be a supporter and largest investor in the company. We believe that the success of COMP360 will help pave the way for future therapeutics like those in atai's diversified pipeline.”
To further understand the trial’s potential repercussions, Benzinga spoke with Ronan Levy, lawyer and co-founder of Field Trip and partner at the cannabis and biotech VC fund Grassfed Ventures with extensive experience in both fields.
After the company’s recent split, Levy is now CEO of Field Trip Health & Wellness, the company that provides ketamine-assisted therapy for PTSD, depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and trauma.
Levy says he's confident that the results of COMPASS’ trial present solid evidence for the further development and once-legal offering of psilocybin-assisted therapies for treating several mental health disorders.
“I think it’s a very good foundation for a very controlled clinical trial, showing extremely positive results. It’s important to keep in mind that this is a single dose, with a limited degree of psychotherapeutic time, which compared to available alternatives of depression treatments some studies suggest 85% of people do not respond to, are still fabulous.”
Levy referred to another critical aspect of the results: the psychotherapeutic component involved. “I think increasingly more people are beginning to understand that when it comes to our mental health and well being, we shouldn’t think about it as isolating the brain and its neurochemistry from how we live our lives and the emotional processing that happens.”
As such, Field Trip’s CEO is certain that the larger psychotherapeutic support pairing the 2 psilocybin doses in the Phase 3 trials will substantially increase the Phase 2 trial's results.
Regarding concerns about the study’s cases of suicidal ideation (SI,) Levy explained that the majority of them came from non-responders.
“So for people who had larger doses and did not respond, SI was enhanced, because this population have already tried conventional treatments who may have had hope coming into this trial that they’d respond, whether …