Irwin Naturals, Numinus And Field Trip Discuss Psychedelic Industry At Cantor Event

Cantor Fitzgerald’s Pablo Zuanic hosted a virtual panel discussion about the psychedelics industry with three ketamine therapy providers: Irwin Naturals IWINF’ CEO Klee Irwin, Field Trip Health & Wellness FTHWF’s co-founder and director Mujeeb Jafferi and Numinus Wellness NUMIF’ CEO Payton Nyquvest.

While all three interviewees seem to share similar views on most of the discussed topics, one thing seems certain: the mental health industry is increasingly more open to including psychedelic assisted therapy within the range of available treatments, as state and federal regulations and public perception join that possibility.

Irwin Naturals, Aka The Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Clinics Giant

CEO Klee Irwin said the best clinics he has seen are the Field Trip clinics, “from the bedside manner to the emotional experience and the interior design.”

Zuanic asked how clinics differentiate their offerings. “What we want to do is have a minimum level of best practices, beyond that competition is based on providing access,” Irwin replied.

“This is a multi-trillion dollar industry that is disruptive. It happened with the internet, but it’s pretty rare. In the $8 trillion global healthcare industry, $1.5 trillion corresponds to mental healthcare. That’s a gigantic industry.” 

He added that 25% of the adult population suffers from mental illnesses that correspond to “canonical treatments.”

“That means the entire industry is open to this radical sea change, disruption. At the end of the day, you have to think simplistically. Clinical studies showed 80% of effectiveness: that is a disruptor waiting to happen because no pharma or talk therapy is known…to even get remotely close to those ranges of healing.” 

He noted that the psychedelic mental health revolution is occurring without major resistance in Congress, universities or the public and therefore is going to accelerate in the coming 24 months.

Field Trip H&W, A Growing Set Of Insurance-Covered Psychedelic Treatments

Having spun out of a larger company now renamed Reunion Neuroscience REUN and specializing in drug R&D, Field Trip H&W focuses on delivering psychedelic therapies such as ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP). 

“Up until now, almost 100% of revenue comes from KAP, in-person at our clinics,” explained director Jafferi. “Starting this quarter, we will see small uptrending revenue of the digital offerings. This service is 100% insurance-covered, we’re on a network with major insurance providers. Going forward, priority is to expand accessibility, and a big part of the strategy is bringing insurance coverage to our in-clinic KAP program.” 

Field Trip’s centers are purpose-built for psychedelics-assisted psychotherapy (PAT) and treat patients with TRD, anxiety, MDD, PTSD or related mood disorders.  

“We deliver [dosing sessions] through intramuscular (IM) injection in the US, and we use rapidly-dissolving tablets in Canada, the choice being primarily based on regulatory considerations.”

What differentiates Field Trip’s offer from the other 30,000 existing mental health centers?

Not all of them, Jafferi explained, are prepared to deliver PAT, “especially when MDMA and psilocybin come online” as these therapies need experienced staff and a certain delivery way. 

Regarding next-gen psychedelics, Jafferi said, “it’s the natural evolution of the market: the known molecules don’t have as much IP value, so you’re looking for next-gen with a better action (shorter duration, more targeted to receptors).”

More innovation is expected, he added.

“I think there’s going to be a significant sea change in the next five years in attitudes both from physicians, therapists, and the general public on psychedelics’ use and assisted therapy towards having a place in our mental health toolkit. That will be a significant thing to look out for.”

Though  Jafferi doesn’t think psychedelics will be sold over the counter. “I like the fact that it is going with data, with science, with actual clinical trials and actual data points around patient outcomes.”

Numinus Wellness, Partnerships And Consistent In-Practice Knowledge Building

Numinus also owns several clinics in Canada and the US where the focus is on brick-and-mortar policy as well as virtual healthcare platforms.

“90% of our services get insurance coverage, including about 80% of our ketamine services. We’ve done $50 million worth of reimbursed ketamine services to date, and we continue to see strong demand for that as well,” said Numinus CEO Nyquvest.

The company also has a clinical trial site management organization where they host a number of clinical trials, including some of MAPS’ MDMA for PTSD trials, MindMed MNMD LSD studies and psilocybin with Usona Institute. These have served to  provide Numinus with PAT experience and the ability to innovate its clinical services.

Numinus CEO says that the company’s always worked with that in mind, being able to hold a wide array of psychedelic therapies, while last quarter’s results showed very strong, continued revenue growth, which further “demonstrates a path to profitability.”

I think we’re seeing a consolidation of mental health services as well, where the space got very fragmented and for people struggling with severe mental health indications that can be very overwhelming to have to go to many places to get the services they need. Consolidation allows people to receive more services within one client or engagement experience.

Numinus CEO, Payton Nyquvest

“For all three of us here, I think we probably collectively agree that this new model is necessary to really be effective as a service provider. When we talk about the context of PAT.” 

As for indications targeted by Numinus, Nyquvest believes it’s an interesting momentum in psychedelic research, “probably because our mental health education is finally coming up to speed and realizing that trauma and being trauma-informed is really at the focal point of all these indications.”

And mental health services are starting to transition less around symptom-management and more around curative intent, he says.

“That’s a loaded phrase, but a necessary one. PAT is an intervention model to actually alleviate and move people past these mental health indications where traditionally we just put them on a symptom-management path and treated them as something that they might have to suffer with for the rest of their lives,” Nyquvest concluded.

He noted an important distinction between being the product producer and prescriber, which is why he expects companies like MAPS, who have taken on the whole clinical trial process, will be the producer or have partnerships around production but will no doubt be the suppliers of MDMA the drug. 

“And those will be the two access gates for MDMA therapy,” he concluded.

Will psychedelics potentially ever be on the OTC market?

Nyquvest says, from a federal standpoint, it could be at least 10 more years though there is an ongoing conversation on microdosing yet major hurdles regarding the distribution of a microdosing product.

“Again, when we’re talking about the federal level, I think research has continued to show us that the necessity of a therapeutic container is absolutely paramount if we’re going to try to ensure the kind of outcomes that are being shown on clinical trials.”


This article was originally published on Benzinga and appears here with permission.


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