COMPASS Pathways expands its Discovery Center through new collaborations with world-leading scientists
Adam Halberstadt and John McCorvy join Jason Wallach to develop new psychedelic compounds at the virtual Discovery Center
London, UK – 9 February 2021
COMPASS Pathways plc (Nasdaq: CMPS) (“COMPASS”), a mental health care company dedicated to accelerating patient access to evidence-based innovation in mental health, announced today that it has expanded its Discovery Center, through collaborations with world-leading laboratories at UC San Diego, School of Medicine, and Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). Adam Halberstadt PhD, Associate Professor, Psychiatry, UC San Diego, and John D McCorvy PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, MCW, and their teams, will join Jason Wallach PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of the Sciences (Philadelphia), at the Discovery Center, a group of researchers working together, virtually.
The COMPASS Discovery Center was established in August 2020 through a sponsored research agreement between COMPASS and University of the Sciences. It is led by Jason Wallach’s laboratory at University of the Sciences and is now expanding its research network across the US, with Adam Halberstadt in San Diego, and John McCorvy in Wisconsin. The scientists intend to develop new, optimised psychedelic compounds to address unmet medical need. COMPASS will be the exclusive licensee for all new compounds generated.
Adam Halberstadt PhD is an expert on the behavioural neuropharmacology of psychedelics. He leads a team studying how psychedelics interact with serotonin systems and the implications for psychedelic therapy. Dr Halberstadt was the co-editor of the book Behavioural Neurobiology of Psychedelic Drugs and developed an efficient, automated head-twitch response preclinical assay that is now helping to expedite the screening of novel psychedelic compounds.
John McCorvy PhD is a 5-HT receptor pharmacologist and expert in G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signalling. His lab at MCW studies multiple aspects of GPCR signalling elicited by psychedelic, antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs. This work includes the importance of functional selectivity, whereby different drugs bind to the same receptor to cause different effects. He will be conducting detailed pharmacological characterisations of new compounds.
Jason Wallach PhD, who is leading the work at the Discovery Center, is a leading chemist and pharmacologist who studies a broad range of psychoactive compounds, including psychedelic and dissociative drugs. He said, “Psilocybin and other psychedelic compounds have shown promise for helping people suffering with mental health challenges, such as treatment-resistant depression. The Discovery Center is investigating whether similar compounds could have superior properties to psilocybin. We are looking for the next generation of compounds that might make a difference to patients. I’m honoured to be collaborating with Dr Halberstadt and Dr McCorvy, who bring increased breadth and depth of expertise to our research.”
Lars Wilde, Chief Business Officer and Co-founder, COMPASS Pathways, said, “This is a really exciting collaboration with three of the world’s most eminent scientists in psychedelic research. The Discovery Center will focus on preclinical research of novel psychedelic compounds addressing significant unmet need in a number of mental health indications. We believe that this will enable us to build a broad portfolio that will ultimately help patients and bring us closer to our vision of a world of mental wellbeing.”
About COMPASS Pathways
COMPASS Pathways plc (Nasdaq: CMPS) is a mental health care company dedicated to accelerating patient access to evidence-based innovation in mental health. Our focus is on improving the lives of those who are suffering with mental health challenges and who are not helped by current treatments. We are pioneering the development of a new model of psilocybin therapy, in which our proprietary formulation of synthetic psilocybin, COMP360, is administered in conjunction with psychological support. COMP360 has been designated a Breakthrough Therapy by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for treatment-resistant depression (TRD), and we are currently conducting a phase IIb clinical trial of psilocybin therapy for TRD in 22 sites across Europe and North America. We are headquartered in London, UK, with offices in New York, US. Our vision is a world of mental wellbeing. www.compasspathways.com
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