MindMed to Launch Albert, A Digital Medicine Division for Psychedelic Medicines

NEW YORK, Nov. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — MindMed (NEO: MMED) (OTCQB: MMEDF) (DE: MMQ), a leading psychedelic medicine biotech company, is establishing a digital medicine division known as Albert. Albert is in the process of assembling and recruiting a leading team of technologists, therapists, and clinical drug development experts to help the company research, develop and build an integrated technical platform and comprehensive toolset aimed at delivering psychedelic inspired medicines and experiential therapies combined with digital therapeutics.

Digital therapeutics are defined as evidence-based therapeutic interventions for patients to prevent, manage, or treat a mental disorder or disease. Pairing digital tools, such as wearables and the latest in machine learning, with psychedelic assisted therapies, can give healthcare providers the ability to optimize and better understand the patient journey and therapeutic outcomes from pre-care through to after-care.

MindMed Co-Founder and Co-CEO J.R. Rahn said, “We believe that the next frontier in psychedelic medicine will be to quantify with great precision psychedelic assisted therapy’s impact on patient populations. This new division will not only build apps, technologies and other platforms to help the patient, but hopefully also make the medical community comfortable with this novel treatment paradigm for mental health and addiction by measuring the potential value to their patient populations and ultimate savings to insurers.”

Recent advancements in digital therapeutics have the potential to enable a real time assessment of efficacy in both clinical trials and real-world settings leading to a more robust understanding of the value of a treatment and long-term impact on patient outcomes.

MindMed’s clinical team under the leadership of President and Head of Clinical Dr. Miri Halperin Wernli is designing an experimental clinical trial that pairs non-hallucinogenic psychedelic inspired medicines such as microdoses of LSD with digital therapeutics to track, engage and influence patient behavior. MindMed intends to announce full details of this clinical trial once MindMed and its scientific collaborators finalize the protocol design for submission to relevant health regulators.

Dr. Miri Halperin Wernli said, “This is a perfect moment for digital medicine solutions to come to patients to help support behavioral change, measure and enhance psychiatric care and health outcomes. Our intention is to use digital therapeutics alongside pharmaceutical medicines to maximize one another’s value to the patient and for the healthcare system. The two classes of medicine, along with psychotherapy and various forms of cognitive behavioral therapies, must be regarded as complementary to enhance outcomes, which will create new opportunities to improve quality of care and patient outcomes and drive behavior change at scale.”

About MindMed

MindMed is a psychedelic medicine biotech company that discovers, develops and deploys psychedelic inspired medicines and therapies to address addiction and mental illness. The company is assembling a compelling drug development pipeline of innovative treatments based on psychedelic substances including Psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, DMT and an Ibogaine derivative, 18-MC. The MindMed executive team brings extensive biopharmaceutical experience to the company’s groundbreaking approach to developing the next-generation of psychedelic inspired medicines and therapies.

MindMed trades on the Canadian

Read more

As STAT turns 5, a look back at science and medicine’s biggest headlines

The past five years have been packed with medical and scientific advances, a series of public health crises that have gripped the world, and uproar over rising prescription drug costs.

They’ve also been a heck of a time to launch a publication about health and medicine.

As STAT celebrates its five-year anniversary, our reporters took a look back at six areas we’ve covered closely — CRISPR, infectious disease, the opioid crisis, drug pricing, AI in medicine, and cell and gene therapy — to recap the biggest headlines and controversies and cast an eye to what may lie ahead.

advertisement

Breaker for 5 year

CRISPR: A Nobel, He Jiankui’s bombshell, and an ugly patent fight

Even before STAT published its first stories, we knew CRISPR would be big: Breakthrough scientific papers in 2012 and early 2013 showed that this technique for changing the DNA of plants and animals was so easy to use that labs across the world would seize on it to understand basic biological processes as well as develop cures for genetic diseases. That’s why my first story for STAT profiled one of CRISPR’s inventors, biologist Feng Zhang of the Broad Institute. Check out his “Twinkle, twinkle, little star” analogy.

Sure enough, just five years later, CRISPR became Nobel big: Earlier this month, biochemist Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, and microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors. The award was the first science Nobel won by two women.

advertisement

What I never suspected was how fast a CRISPR nightmare might come true, how agonizingly long drug development takes, and what an ugly fight over patents CRISPR would spawn.

CRISPR’s inventors knew from the get-go that it would be theoretically possible to use the technique to alter the genes of human embryos, creating “designer babies.” That seemed like something a rogue researcher might try in, oh, 10 years. Yet there I was in Hong Kong in November 2018, at the second international conference on human genome editing, when China’s He Jiankui dropped his bombshell: He’d CRISPR’d human embryos, resulting in the birth of twin, genetically altered girls. That ignited a firestorm of condemnation and hand-wringing that the global scientific community hadn’t tried hard enough to stop him.

Also in the hand-wringing category: The fight over CRISPR patents between the Broad Institute and the University of California has been an eye-opener with its legal costs (well into eight figures; think of the science that would buy), ugly accusations, and sheer persistence.

Two happier CRISPR surprises: significant improvements on the original technique and the growing list of human diseases it might treat or cure, if success in lab mice is any indication.

With several companies as well as academic scientists already using CRISPR in clinical trials, one message from 2015 has stuck: CRISPR might actually live up to its hype, becoming the powerhouse genetic cure scientists dreamed of.

— Sharon Begley

Breaker for 5 year

Infectious disease: From

Read more

Innovative Medicines Canada Responds to Release of Patented Medicine Prices Review Board’s (PMPRB) Final Guidelines

Press release content from Accesswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

OTTAWA, ON / ACCESSWIRE / October 23, 2020 / Innovative Medicines Canada (IMC) issued the following statement today in response to the release of PMPRB’s final Guidelines:

“For the last five years we have raised concerns about the negative impact PMPRB’s amendments to the Patented Medicines Guidelines and Regulations will have on Canadian patients. The final Guidelines released today do nothing to relieve those concerns.

“If implemented, they will have a negative impact on Canadian patients. Specifically, innovative new medicines will not launch in Canada, depriving patients of potentially life-changing new treatments; we will see further reductions in the number of clinical trials in this country; and our life sciences sector will lose out on critical investments.

“The height of a global public health crisis is the worst possible time to implement regulatory changes that will have such a direct and negative impact on Canadian patients. This is made even worse because the Guidelines released today are the result of an inadequate consultation process that largely ignored the significant concerns raised by industry, patients, researchers and others.

“Fortunately, there is still time to find a better path. Our members remain committed to their offer to work with government on a solution that meets their important public policy objectives, without undermining Canadians’ access to new medicines, or driving away investment.

“In the meantime, we will continue to ask that Health Canada delay the January 01, 2021 implementation of the final PMPRB Guidelines until after the COVID-19 crisis is passed. At this time our collective focus should only be on the discovery, development and delivery of COVID-19 medicines to treat those infected by the virus, and vaccines to halt its spread.”

About Innovative Medicines Canada

Innovative Medicines Canada is the national voice of Canada’s innovative pharmaceutical industry. We advocate for policies that enable the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines and vaccines that improve the lives of all Canadians. We support our members’ commitment to being valued partners in the Canadian healthcare system.

For further information:

Samantha Thompson

Media Relations

Telephone: 613-790-4555

E-mail:

SOURCE: Innovative Medicines Canada

View source version on accesswire.com:

https://www.accesswire.com/611988/Innovative-Medicines-Canada-Responds-to-Release-of-Patented-Medicine-Prices-Review-Boards-PMPRB-Final-Guidelines

Source Article

Read more

Be Biopharma Launches with $52 Million Series A Financing to Advance B Cells as Medicines

— Creating new category of cellular medicines —

Be Biopharma (“Be Bio”), a leader in developing B cells as medicines, founded by Longwood Fund, David Rawlings, MD, and Richard James, PhD, today announced a $52 million Series A financing led by Atlas Venture and RA Capital Management and joined by Alta Partners, Longwood Fund and Takeda Ventures, Inc. The company plans to use this funding to precisely engineer B cells to treat a range of diseases, building on the pioneering work of Drs. Rawlings and James at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. B cells are prolific protein producers that can be collected from peripheral blood, have a programmable lifetime that could last decades, can target specific tissues, and have broad, customizable functionality.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201022005158/en/

David Steinberg, CEO, co-founder & director, Be Bio; general partner, Longwood Fund (Photo: Business Wire)

“Be Bio is capitalizing on the unique attributes of B cells to create a new category of medicine that is distinct from traditional cell or gene therapy,” said David Steinberg, Chief Executive Officer, co-founder and Director, Be Biopharma and General Partner, Longwood Fund. “B cells can be engineered to express a wide variety of proteins, have the potential to generate durable responses, and can be dose-titrated and administered multiple times without the need for toxic preconditioning. Moreover, the varied functions of B cells suggest that B cell medicines can address a range of conditions including autoimmune diseases, cancer, and monogenic disorders, as well as enhance the immune response to infectious pathogens. We believe Be Bio is at the forefront of a new approach to fighting disease.”

“B cells play a key role in combatting diseases by catalyzing humoral immunity – the arm of the immune system that manufactures large quantities of proteins to neutralize disease-causing pathogens and manipulate immune cell behavior,” said Be Biopharma co-founder David Rawlings, MD, Director, Center for Immunity and Immunotherapies, Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. “Today, this powerful part of the immune system is only passively and/or indirectly addressed therapeutically. Our ambition is to advance the field by building a new class of engineered B cell medicines that will provide direct control over the power of humoral immunity and help transform the prognosis for patients who currently have limited treatment options.”

In addition to Rawlings, James and Steinberg, Be Bio’s co-founders are Aleks Radovic-Moreno, PhD, President and Director, and Lea Hachigian, PhD, with Longwood Fund. The Board of Directors also includes Josh Resnick, MD, MBA, Managing Director, RA Capital Management; Jason Rhodes, Partner, Atlas Venture; and Dan Janney, MBA, Managing Partner, Alta Partners.

Be Biopharma’s Scientific Advisory Board consists of David Rawlings MD; Richard James, PhD, Principal Investigator, Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, as well as Frances Eun-Hyung Lee, MD, an Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology physician and researcher in Atlanta, GA; Shiv Pillai, MD, PhD, Professor, Harvard Medical School, Investigator

Read more

It’s time to map medicine’s sexual and gender harassment iceberg

Gender harassment happens every day in health care organizations, academic medicine, research labs, and other corners of the science, technology, engineering, and math worlds. It’s largely hidden — except to those experiencing it — unlike its more egregious counterpart, sexual harassment, which often makes headlines.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) describe gender harassment as “verbal and nonverbal behaviors that convey hostility, objectification, exclusion, or second-class status.” It undermines women, exhausts and demoralizes them, and strips them of their motivation, eventually driving them out of the workforce.

As women physicians working in academic medicine, we know this firsthand.

advertisement

With five of our colleagues, we filed a federal lawsuit in 2019 alleging sex, age, and race discrimination by Mount Sinai Health System and four of its male employees, including the dean of the medical school. (Editor’s note: All the documents are public, and the defendants have denied any wrongdoing.)

As our complaint details, we left Mount Sinai emotionally and psychologically scarred after being demeaned by male leadership, denied promotions, underpaid compared to male colleagues, and systematically gaslit by internal reporting structures that were meant to protect us. We were demoted from leadership positions and assigned menial tasks, such as managing a Mailchimp subscription list. Some of us were ignored and frozen out of important work streams, and were forbidden to meet alone with longtime colleagues and mentors. Members of our group were referred to as “bitches” and “cunts” by our colleagues without any repercussions. Those are just a few of the forms of mistreatment we endured at Mount Sinai’s Arnhold Institute for Global Health.

advertisement

We believed that our hard work and years of service to the institution would protect us and allow us to be measured on our merits. Instead we struck the “iceberg of sexual harassment,” and it sank our careers.

A 2018 NASEM report on sexual harassment in academic sciences, engineering, and medicine introduced the analogy of an iceberg to describe harassment in these fields. Sexual assault and coercion are the visible and appalling tip of the iceberg. People recognize their severity and the personal damage they wreak, the media often cover these stories, and perpetrators are sometimes held accountable. Gender harassment, in contrast is the huge mass below the surface, largely unseen but nonetheless ruinous.

iceberg_infographic harassment
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Women in health care rarely report harassment due to the risk of retaliation. Compounding this, the internal systems that should assist employees all too often make protecting perpetrators and institutional reputations their top priority. Our meetings with Mount Sinai human resources representatives were humiliating and degrading, providing neither safety nor protection, as we recount in our complaint. In one meeting, they referred to a book on “why women think they are being discriminated against when they are not.” Because of these systemic failures, the legal route was our only resort.

Since filing our lawsuit, we are seeing the enormity of the iceberg. Scores of doctors, nurses, staff, and medical students

Read more

Stan Gerson to continue as CWRU School of Medicine’s interim dean through summer 2022

Stan Gerson, interim dean for the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, will continue in his term through June 30, 2022, according to a news release.

CWRU’s interim president, Scott Cowen, and provost Ben Vinson III announced the one-year extension on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

“We knew Stan’s deep familiarity with the medical school and its hospital partners would give him distinct advantages as he started in this role,” Cowen said in a provided statement. “But his ability to apply them in such an engaging and inclusive way has far exceeded even our heightened expectations. We are delighted he will helm the school throughout the 2021-2022 academic year.”

Gerson is a Distinguished University Professor and longtime director of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCCC), a consortium including CWRU, Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals.

Gerson accepted the interim role after now-president emerita Barbara R. Snyder announced she would step down to lead the Association of American Universities starting Oct. 1. Gerson had been serving as co-chair for the university’s search for a new medical school dean, but Snyder and Vinson decided her successor should get to choose the next permanent dean, given that the medical school is responsible for about 80% of the university’s research and 43% of its revenues, according to the release. Pamela B. Davis, who previously held the dean title, announced in 2018 her plans to step back from that role and rejoin the faculty.

“Once we decided to appoint an interim dean, Stan quickly emerged as a top choice,” Vinson said in a provided statement. “Not only is he a renowned researcher in his own right, but he also has helped elevate our cancer center to distinguished prominence, making it among the nation’s most highly regarded programs.”

While serving as interim dean and with support from his leadership team, Gerson is continuing to lead the CCCC, which in 2018 received a $31.9 million grant and the highest possible rating from the National Cancer Institute. It has 400 investigators across the three institutions and supports roughly 15,000 people newly diagnosed with cancer each year, according to the release.

“I am honored by the confidence that the interim president and provost have shown in me by awarding this extension and look forward to continuing to work with our faculty, staff, students and hospital partners to advance education, research and our community’s well-being during the next 20 months,” Gerson said in a provided statement.

Source Article

Read more