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    Mental health disorders affect so many of us, whether it’s directly or indirectly. In the USA alone, it’s to be expected that 50% of the population will be diagnosed with a mental health disorder at some point in their lifetime – and globally, it would be an educated assumption to state that the majority of individuals globally will struggle with their mental health at some point in their lifetime.

    The truth is, we all have mental health! Just like your physical health, your mental health requires care, attention, and in some cases medication to keep it under control. Medication shouldn’t be seen as a taboo, instead – it can be a fantastic solution for millions of patients around the world to live a healthier and more stable life.

    However, developing drugs for mental health conditions, in particular psychiatric, can be challenging. These conditions and how they’re experienced are so individualised, that it can manifest differently in different people, thus making it harder to treat and develop drugs that are effective on a mass scale.

    “Medicines designed to treat psychiatric conditions may have a statistically lower chance of succeeding in drug development than most other disease areas, but that doesn’t seem to put off biopharmas.” – FierceBiotech

    We wanted to celebrate and shine a light on some incredible organisations within Life Sciences who are tackling mental health conditions, developing incredible drugs, treatments and medical devices for some of the most chronic mental health disorders in the world.

    #1 COMPASS Pathways

    COMPASS is a mental health care company dedicated to accelerating patient access to evidence-based innovation in mental health. Their first programme is researching how COMP360 psilocybin therapy could help people with treatment-resistant depression. 

    Their mission, underpinned by their four core values: compassionate, bold, rigorous, and inclusive, has seen COMPASS create an incredible pipeline, with two studies/trials in Phase II and one in Phase III. Their approach is underpinned by Psilocybin Therapy, a combination of the synthesised psychoactive substance as well as psychological support.  

    #2 Limbix  

    Limbix is creating digital therapeutics (DTx) to enable doctors to offer digital, evidence-based, therapeutic interventions for adolescent mental health.

    DTx require strict compliance with FDA quality management standards and are validated through rigorous clinical trials. Typically, upon FDA clearance, DTx can be offered by a doctor to treat specific medical conditions.

    #3 Kintsugi Health 

    Kintsugi Voice is an API-first platform that uses novel voice biomarkers in speech to identify, prioritize, and care for mental health in real time. Our technology integrates with call centers, telehealth systems, and remote patient monitoring apps to help more people get the right care at the right time.

    “A software engineer and a machine learning scientist, two ambitious women, shared a common challenge in accessing quality mental health services through their healthcare providers. They decided to put their strengths together to create something that could improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the lives of billions around the world.

    In October of 2019, Kintsugi was awarded a Phase I grant for developing new AI technology by the National Science Foundation. Since then, the Bay Area team has received a number of accolades and distinctions for their AI technology, Kintsugi Voice, which detects signs of clinical depression and anxiety from short clips of free-form speech.”

    #4 Cybin

    “We believe the greatest patient success will come with an integrated treatment regimen across the patient journey. By leveraging technology-enhanced screening, we can ensure the right treatment plan for each patient. By optimizing the drug delivery system, we are working to drive faster treatment onset with reduced side effects. Finally, by integrating concurrent therapy regimens, we can support long-term recovery.”

    Cybin currently have 6 programs in their R&D pipeline, all focussed on psychedelics to treat various mental health issues. 

    #5 Transcend Therapeutics 

    “Developing the next generation of psychoactive compounds for neuropsychiatry focused on patient access.”

    Transcend Therapeutics is a biotechnology company discovering, developing, and delivering the next generation of psychoactive compounds focused on patient access to create a world where people no longer suffer with neuropsychiatric disease. 

    They recently received a $40 million funding round for their Series A, and are working on developing a compound to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as other neuropsychiatric conditions. 

    #6 Alpha Stim  

    Alpha Stim is a medical device used to treat anxiety, insomnia, depression and also physical pain. 

    “Physician and patient surveys that show 90% of the people who use Alpha-Stim® CES and MET devices get significant relief when using it as a form of pain, anxiety, depression, or insomnia treatment. This is supported by over 100 completed independent research studies and published reports, many of which were randomly controlled trials to ensure rigorous testing and clinically validated results on the medical devices. That’s why over 200 Department of Defense (DOD) practitioners and over 92 Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals use Alpha-Stim with military personnel.”

    #7 Cervella  

    Cervella is a medical device that is used to treat anxiety and insomnia. It offers an alternative to drug-based therapies and can be used with other cognitive-based therapies. The medical device works by delivering micro-pulses through the patient’s brain, changing the amount of serotonin and b-endorphin!

    “There are several advantages of using Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulator (CES) devices such as Cervella vs. drug-based therapies (especially Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors – SSRIs). First, Cervella is quite effective, especially for treatment of anxiety (and often accompanying insomnia). According to 38 clinical trials, the average improvement rate for patients using a cranial electrotherapy stimulator is approaching 60% as compared to approx. 20-30% for various types of anti-depressant drugs.”

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