Psychedelics biotech company Compass Pathways (NASDAQ:CMPS) has purchased an intellectual property portfolio that includes patent applications for a variety of psychedelic and empathogenic substances.
Compass reached unicorn status after becoming the first company in the sector to IPO on the Nasdaq last year. Compass is best known for its flagship program on psilocybin, which seeks to take the active compound in “magic mushrooms” through FDA approval for the treatment of depression and is currently in phase 2 clinical trials.
This announcement marks an expanded strategy for the company, looking into other molecules beyond COMP360, its proprietary version of synthetic psilocybin.
The IP purchased was developed together with inventor Dr. Matthias Grill, founder and CEO of MiHKAL GmbH in Basel, Switzerland, who will be working with Compass on a research project to develop new product candidates.
The new substances include novel derivatives of known compounds, which attempt to increase the confidence in therapeutic effects and safety profile while offering optimized characteristics.
The strategic purchase echoes the business model of competitor MindMed (NASDAQ:MNMD), which bought its way into a host of psychedelic drug development programs by striking a deal with University Hospital Basel’s Liechti Lab, an institution with a long track record investigating psychedelic compounds for mental health purposes.
“Chemistry still happens inside the flask and not on paper,” said Grill, who has synthesized psychedelic substances for a number of human research studies, including at the University of Basel and the National Institute of Mental Health in the Czech Republic.
“We are creating novel candidates to address many of the mental health challenges we face today,” he added.