Setting the Record Straight: Bringing MindMed back from the Shaft

bringing mindmed back

MindMed is one one of the major players in the psychedelic space and one of the companies that are included in the very first psychedelic ETF: The Horizons Psychedelic Stock Index ETF (PSYK) that was launched at the end of January, 2021

So when misinformation is passed along to the public about the founder of the company that causes the stock to sink worse than stories about mobsters sending “people to sleep with the fishes”  then it is time to set the record straight about what happened and the good work that MindMed does.

 For those who do not know what MindMed is let’s start with that. MindMed is a (bio)medical company focused on helping the “mental wellbeing of patients” with a focus on psychedelic science, LSD in particular,  and therapy to help patients overcome a variety of issues such as opioid addiction, anxiety, and adult ADHD.

“While LSD—an illegal drug most associated with 1960s counterculture—seems like an unlikely solution to a mental health crisis, MindMed has attracted wealthy investors and prestigious research partners. These include Steve Cohen’s Point72 hedge fund, which is among those who have invested $182 million in MindMed, and NYU Langone Health. The latter recently accepted a $5 million grant from MindMed to help train medical staff in administering psychedelics as treatment.”

MindMed’s philosophy is to get patients out of symptom management which is where classical pharmaceutical treatments leave patients.

“We focus on helping patients overcome rather than survive”

“We believe patients deserve better than to linger in symptom management forever. We help patients make breakthroughs that get them out of the symptom management cycle that’s all too commonplace in mental healthcare.”

That is an important distinction because a study has shown that more and more people are self-treating with psychedelics. Full disclosure: this writer self-medicates with cannabis (which in some circles is considered a psychedelic) rather than traditional anti-anxiety or antidepressants and so the trend away from the long term use of traditional pharmaceuticals is on the rise and growing.

“The use of psychedelic drugs as an underground self-treatment for mental health conditions is on the rise, according to the world’s largest drug survey, with thousands of people turning to substances like LSD, MDMA, psilocybin and ketamine to treat psychiatric illnesses and emotional distress.”

“Of the 110,000 worldwide respondents to the 2020 Global Drug Survey, 6,500 (just under six percent) reported using recreational drugs as a DIY mental health treatment. These included cases of people microdosing alone with LSD or magic mushrooms, as well as cases where people took psychedelics under the supervision of another person in an unregulated setting. While these supervisors were most commonly reported as being friends and partners, the unregulated settings also included psychedelic retreats and so-called “traditional healing groups”.

The good folks of Reddit feel the same way:

So with all this interest in psychedelics what would cause a major psychedelic company’s stock that has been holding steady to fall from 0.35 to 0.26 on March 5?   The answer: incomplete reporting from a crowd sourced content service for financial markets

An article written on March 3, 2021 which stated that MindMed’s CEO sold almost 25% of his shares in recent months which raised doubts about MindMeds’s  uplisting to the NASDAQ.  Additionally, the article reported that MindMed was interested in utilizing telehealth for LSD-assisted-psychotherapy.

“The CEO has also sold almost 25% of his shares, which raises doubts about an imminent Nasdaq uplisting in Q1 of 2021. If a Nasdaq uplisting is postponed, there is a high likelihood of price collapse. While MindMed has great potential, it is based on a questionable business model. I would suggest abstaining from investing until there is more clarity from management’s side.”

The article was incorrect. MindMeds’s CEO J.R. Rahn did not sell his shares. The stock was for loan which is perfectly common in the world of investing.

“A sale by an insider, let alone a founder, of an early stage company is never a good sign as it implies that the founder is exiting the company for some unknown reason.” 

“This would be no different in the case of MindMed, except that today’s hysteria seems to be a problem with technology, not with the health of the company.”

“It turns out that the communication between the reporting platform SEDI and has resulted in a story without all the facts.”

“On, it appears that Rahn has sold half of his shares without any further context. Digging deeper into the actual filing though, one will notice that JR simply has loaned his shares for a limited amount of time.”

“According to SEDI:

Pursuant to a securities lending arrangement terminating no later than November 13, 2020 at which time the securities will be returned to Mr. Rahn; no sale has occurred and beneficial ownership and voting rights have been retained by Mr. Rahn.”

“But, share loans also aren’t uncommon and some of the highest profile CEO’s engage in them such as Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk.”

“Investment banks are often eager to give executives share loans at low interest rates. The loans often allow the executives to diversify their holdings without being forced to sell their stock.”

In a world where facts are on the chopping block this might have cost people undue stress. MindMed has yet to recover and as of Friday, March 5 MindMed closed at 2.86

Now if MindMed’s dive was a result of the wider market’s giant headache this past week it does not negate the fact  – or help the fact – that facts do count. So for you psychonaut investors – brew some tummy tea and tighten your seatbelt  because it could be a bumpy ride for a little while but one well worth it in the long term as these new medicines prove their mettle and MindMed swims to the surface and proves themselves a leader in the space.

In fact, MindMed is moving along nicely.  MindMed submitted its application last September 2020 to uplist to the NASDAQ which will open itself up to the world of U.S. investors.

Additionally and most exciting,  at the end of February 2021, MindMed announced its acquisition of HealthMode, a digital medicines and therapeutics startup.

“NEW YORK, Feb. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Mind Medicine (MindMed) Inc. (NEO: MMED,OTCQB: MMEDF, DE: MMQ) (“MindMed“), a leading psychedelic medicine biotech company, is pleased to announce that it has closed the previously announced acquisition of HealthMode, a digital medicine and therapeutics startup that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled digital measurement to increase the precision and speed of clinical research and patient monitoring (the “Acquisition“).”

“MindMed Co-Founder and CEO J.R. Rahn said: “The HealthMode acquisition marks the start of MindMed 2.0 as we seek to not only build a drug development company for psychedelic medicines, but also a comprehensive mental health technology platform to one day potentially launch these transformative medicines to patients in a scalable manner.”

“MindMed CEO J.R. Rahn said: “Our mission is to make MindMed as much a digital medicine company as a drug development company. With the addition of Dan and Bradford’s team of engineers and product experts, our digital medicine division, Albert, is now the Special Ops of digital medicine, applying machine learning to drug development and patient care. The future of modern mental healthcare and psychedelic medicine ultimately will rely on improving infrequent, self-reported and observed measures for mental health to a paradigm where the continual digital measurement of our mind and body is as vital as the drug treatment itself. In effect, we see a possible future mental health treatment paradigm where potential drug products such as our LSD experiential therapy might be prescribed right alongside software application programming interfaces (APIs) to prepare the patient for treatment and optimally monitor the after-care of one’s anxiety disorder.”

That does not sound like a CEO who wants to unload his company. As I have said before, in the words of my favorite Vulcan, may MindMed, “Live Long and Prosper”.

Full Disclosure: This writer does own stock shares in MindMed but is getting no special treatment for writing this article. I simply want to clear up the facts.

Author: Sherri Margolin (Dark Matters)

Disclaimer: Absolutely nothing you read in here should be taken as investment advice. The discussion of securities and ideas is never to be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any.  Always do your own due diligence.

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