search.noResults

search.searching

saml.title
dataCollection.invalidEmail
note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
CORPORATESTRATEGY


Psychedelicunicorns seizetheirmoment


VIEWFROMTHEC-SUITE


MINDMED CHIEF EXECUTIVE JR RAHN DISCUSSES THE US MENTAL HEALTH EPIDEMIC AND THE NEED FOR CHANGE WITH SETH O’FARRELL


cial instability, the toll that this epoch-changing moment will take on our psychological wellbe- ing is and will continue to be devastating. Enter MindMed, a Toronto-based pharma,


T


tech and digital therapeutics company that grew exponentially in 2020, achieving unicorn status in December. Co-founded by JR Rahn, a former Uber executive, MindMed uses sub- stances such as psilocybin and LSDin psyche- delic-assisted therapy to help curemental ill- ness and addiction. Mr Rahn tells fDi that the sub-sector of life


sciences’ emergence is laden with history. “We’re working on these substances because, in many ways, they’ve been ignored by the larger pharmaceutical and biotech industry due to a political past and headlines fromthe 1960s,” he says, adding that Albert Hofmann’s discovery of LSDoccurred while he was work- ing at Sandoz Laboratories, which is nowpart of Swiss pharmagiant Novartis. “This is no longer a fringe industry and


we’ve come back full circle into the pharma- ceutical realmwhere LSDwas discovered.”


Newparadigm Biotech companies in the mental health space —and nowthe accompanying attention from investors—are the “bastard child of the health- care system” in the US, he says. In the US, 60% of state counties, Mr Rahn


says, do not have a psychiatrist, meaning that 80%of antidepressant prescriptions are authorised by a GP, as opposed to a specialist. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 40% of adults in the US struggled withmental health and substance abuse during the pandemic. “So, clearly we need a new paradigm.” Fellow unicorn, UK-based Compass


Pathways, which delivers psilocybin-assisted therapy, listed on the Nasdaq last year. MindMed and Atai Life Sciences—the latter of which is backed by PayPal’s Peter Thiel and also rumoured to have a billion-dollar valuation— are expected to list on the NewYork-based exchange this year too.


February/March 2021 www.fDiIntelligence.com


hemental healthfallout fromthe pan- demic is self-evident. Be it from prolonged periods of isolation, bereavement or finan-


Data not politics If 2020 was the year of the “psychedelic uni- corn”, Mr Rahn predicts that 2021 will be the “graduation year”, as medicines are developed and subsequently approved. Naturally, in the US, there is a political dimension to the “acceptance” of psychedelics, not unlike the cannabis industry. “We couldn’t be further away fromcanna-


bis,” he says, insisting that MindMed is inter- ested in FDA approval above all else and con- cerns itself with neither state-by-state approv- als nor the politicalmovements attached to the legalisation of these substances. The precare and aftercare procedures will


also be a big component of the therapy offered. MindMed is working on digital therapeutics alongside clinical trials,which are essentially interventions based on AI and data to prevent and treat a disease or relapse. “If we can predictwhen somebody is going


to relapse froma drug addiction or when they have a increased potential incidence of anxi- ety, those are very, very powerful tools for a care provider and a doctor,” he says.


Mission versus growth Mr Rahn’s journey to MindMed was one led by his own struggle with mental health and addiction during his days in Silicon Valley and at Uber in Singapore,when the tech behemoth was a fledgling disruptor expanding into newmarkets. But the company’s rapid rise con-


cealed a host of negative externali- ties, he says. “The growth metrics were always theDNAwe lived by. Growth at all costs. Break things.” Now, in an age of impact capitalism


and mission-related companies, encircled by the effects of climate change and Covid-19, Mr Rahn affirms that “growth at all costs doesn’t need to be a thing in 2021”.■


11


CURRICULUMVITAE JR RAHN


2017 MindMed CEO


Previously Tech executive at Uber


GLOBALOUTLOOK


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96