Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc (CSE:AGN) (OTCQB:AGNPF) (FRA:AGW) and Betterlife Pharma Inc (CSE:BETR) (OTCQB:BETRF) (FRA:NPAU) have been added to the high-profile Horizons Psychedelic Stock Index ETF (NEO:PSYK) in its first quarterly rebalance of holdings.
The world’s first exchange traded fund (ETF) offers exposure to North American securities that have significant exposure to the rapidly growing psychedelics industry. The proprietary index is operated by Horizons ETFs, and Solactive AG is the independent calculation agent for the index.
“On February 1, 2021, Algernon announced that it had established a clinical research program for the treatment of stroke focused on AP-188 (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine or DMT), a known psychedelic compound,” Algernon CEO Christopher J Moreau said in a statement.
“Being added to PSYK is a reflection of the important work Algernon has undertaken with its DMT stroke research program and will help bring a further level of awareness to the company among a wide range of investors.”
At higher doses, DMT has a rapid onset, intense psychedelic effects, and a relatively short duration of action with an estimated half-life of less than 15 minutes. Like other hallucinogens in the tryptamine family, DMT binds to serotonin receptors to create euphoria. Since the effects of DMT don’t last very long, it is often referred to as the “businessman’s trip.”
Named the “Spirit Molecule” by DMT research pioneer Dr Rick Strassman, DMT has been shown to induce neuroplasticity in a number of preclinical studies. While Dr Strassman’s Phase 1 bolus intravenous human study identified the sub-hallucinogenic dose of DMT in humans, another preclinical animal study demonstrated this same dose level still retains the neuroplastic effect seen in higher hallucinogenic doses.
Algernon will be investigating an intravenous sub-psychedelic dose of DMT as a potential stroke treatment in its clinical studies. It has filed new provisional patents for new forms of DMT, in addition to formulation, dosage and method of use claims for ischemic stroke. Algernon has also filed claims for a combination therapy of DMT and constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT).
Meanwhile, Betterlife Pharma’s therapeutic pipeline includes TD-0148A, a nontoxic second-generation Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) derivative molecule that mimics the projected therapeutic potential of LSD in the treatment of disorders such as severe depression, substance dependencies, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and migraines.
In a statement, Betterlife CEO Ahmad Doroudian said: “We are honoured to be included in the Horizons Psychedelic Stock Index ETF as part of the first quarterly rebalance of its holdings.”
“The ETF will bring additional exposure to potential new investors and generate value for existing shareholders,” he added.
Separately, BetterLife said Monday that it has closed a non-brokered private placement by issuing 1,779,833 common shares at a price of C$1.40 per share for gross proceeds of C$2,491,766. The shares issued are subject to a four month hold period. Betterlife said it will “use the proceeds for working capital purposes and for advancement of pre-clinical and clinical programs.”
Horizons ETFs have over $17.5 billion of assets under management and 88 ETFs listed on major Canadian stock exchanges.
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