In his latest interview with The Dales Report, CEO Payton Nyquvest of Numinus Inc. (CVE: NUMI, OTC: LYKSF) answered questions submitted by TDR readers via YouTube, Reddit, and Twitter. Questions touched on everything from analyst coverage and M&A to IP protections and even the upcoming Canadian election.
The first submitted question asked about the likelihood of an uplisting to the NASDAQ or NYSE. Numinus was recently uplisted from the TSX Venture Exchange to the TSX Venture Tier-1 designation, “which… is sort of like the TSX Mainboard waiting room,” said Nyquvest.
“We do anticipate the TSX listing dropping fairly shortly, and then a subsequent uplisting to a major U.S. exchange thereafter,” he said.
On Analyst Reports and Investment Banks Coverage
Another reader asked why there seems to be a lack of analyst reports about the company, and whether obtaining investment bank coverage was a high priority for Numinus.
Nyquvest was quick to say that the latter is something high on the company’s to-do list but couldn’t disclose much beyond noting that Numinus has been “intentional” about who it engages with.
As far as analyst coverage goes, he said that the company’s multi-tiered approach has been something new for analysts who have focused on either wellness or pharmaceutical companies, but never both.
“One of the things that’s been an education for the analyst as well, is the psychedelic space is this interesting, interweaving, wellness/services [aspect], and then drug development/drug discovery, pharma approach,” he said.
“With Numinus, the depth and breadth of what we’re doing on both sides has been a lot for analysts to sort of digest and work through robustly. Analysts usually pick a lane… and so it’s been a bit of education on that front.”
On Possibilities for M&A
Another reader-submitted question focused on mergers and acquisitions in the psychedelics space, and whether they would happen sooner rather than later. Nyquvest believes they will, particularly due to the high cost of conducting research.
“If you’re looking to roll out a full FDA clinical trial, it’s a very, very expensive process and requires a lot of capital,” he said. “I think the service provision side of things and what the regulatory environment is going to look like over the next couple of years is starting to form up much more than it was last year. There’s opportunity for M&A, for sure, and I think a bit of weeding out in terms of who’s here for the long game and who might not be.”
On The Canadian Election
One reader asked the CEO how a change in political leadership in Canada might affect the industry following the September 20 election.
Nyquvest said that the only major effect he could see on the space in Canada is that the election has taken focus away from the regulatory change “in the immediate.” Otherwise, he doesn’t believe there is an impending threat to the ongoing work at Health Canada.
“I think the train has left the station,” he said. “There has been representation and already a lot of changes have come into play. With this supporting research that’s coming in over the next couple of months, I don’t really see any significant changes in regard to Health Canada’s enthusiasm for supporting the space.”
On Working with MAPS
When it comes to research, Numinus is conducting trials involving psilocybin as well as MDMA, the latter of which involves MAPS. Nyquvest anticipates the latter drug being tested for indications beyond PTSD soon.
“MAPS has been doing this with MDMA for 35 years. It’s been a long road, and they’ve done so much heavy lifting. MDMA, we believe, will be first, obviously behind ketamine, but the next legally available psychedelic,” said Nyquvest.
The company is hoping to conduct a MAPS-sponsored, single arm, open label, safety and feasibility study evaluating MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD. Numinus has obtained Health Canada approval for the study and is hoping to launch it sometime this fall.
“The Health Canada approval process is a huge step forward,” he said. “The facilities are ready to go, we’ve trained a significant amount of practitioners in MDMA training, and it’s very, very close.”
On IP Protections
The final reader-submitted question asked how Numinus intends to monetize generic drug compounds without IP protections, as well as the role of its clinic model.
“We’ve filed some patents around our process for production of a naturally occurring psilocybin mushroom, and we see opportunities on the patent process more around the production side and the formulation side, while not being restrictive,” he said.
“I don’t think there’s a place for restrictive medicines in the psychedelic therapy space, especially, if this goes to a decriminalization type of movement, or something more broadly accessible, those patents are out the window. So, for us, it’s more around the drug production side of things… and then really coming down to the therapeutic model.”
Nyquvest said based on existing research that suggests the therapeutic container is as important as the substance being used in an assisted psychotherapy context, psychedelics will primarily be administered in a service-based model.
“I think that groups that figure out scalable service models, whether that’s group work, whether that’s using virtual tools—that’s been a lot of our work over the summertime, is how do we make this cost-effective and accessible for people—and then start to look at insurance coverage, public health coverage, and all of those different types of mechanisms that we have within the health care systems in Canada and the U.S.”
Watch the video above to hear the interview in its entirety.