A Visual Guide to Investing in Psychedelics
The psychedelics industry has exploded in recent years, presenting new opportunities for investors as it continues to grow and evolve.
Due to its potential to revolutionize medicine as we know it, an eye-watering increase in capital flows have been pumped into the market, spurring its development even further. But given the complexities of the industry, it is by no means easy to understand.
The graphic above from our sponsor Tryp Therapeutics provides a visual overview of the major sectors that make up the multi-billion dollar psychedelics industry, as well as some of the most active companies that operate within each of them.
The Psychedelics Industry, Sector by Sector
According to Psilocybin Alpha, there are eight major market segments (based on different stages in the supply chain) that make up the psychedelics industry today.
The companies mentioned in the graphic exhibit substantial activity within each segment but it is not an exhaustive list. Some of them are also exploring different focus areas, and therefore may appear across numerous segments. Let’s dive in.
Supply and Manufacture
[Cultivation, synthesis, and other production of psychedelics.]
This segment includes companies in the industry that currently manufacture psychedelic drugs synthetically or operate cultivation facilities. Others that fall in this category possess (or plan to apply for) licenses to cultivate or produce psychedelics.
When it comes to synthetic manufacturers, the companies operating in this space believe that this approach could generate more consistent pharmaceutical-grade yields at a lower cost compared to existing methods of extraction.
Clinics and Retreats
[The delivery of psychedelic therapies via clinics, retreats, etc.]
Regulated psychedelic therapies are gaining popularity across the globe through ketamine clinics and psilocybin retreats to name a few.
While access to legal therapies is not yet widespread, there are many companies in this space leading the way for regulated experiences. Amsterdam-based Synthesis, for example, partners with Imperial College London to collect and analyze guest data to improve the efficacy of these programs.
Adult Use and Microdosing
[Recreational use of legal psychedelics.]
While psilocybin, or magic mushrooms as they are more commonly referred to, are illegal in the Netherlands, magic truffles are not.
Even though truffles and mushrooms are essentially just two different parts of fungi (truffles grow underground while mushrooms grow above ground), they each have different regulations in the Netherlands that companies like retail startup PharmaDrug are using to their advantage.
Drug Delivery Methods
[Drug delivery methods for psychedelic therapies.]
Many of the companies in this segment have filed provisional patent applications for innovative drug delivery methods. These include hard-shell capsules, oral strips, and nasal sprays among others.
Industry Tech and Telemedicine
[Telehealth and software development.]
Some of the largest psychedelics companies are increasing their focus on digital therapeutics and are therefore carving out a new path for the industry.
As just one example, telehealth company Mindleap has created a platform that connects mental health professionals with patients seeking psychedelic-based therapy.
Nutraceuticals and Other CPGs
[Consumer packaged goods, such as functional mushrooms.]
Considering the growing awareness of psychedelics to treat both mental and physical ailments, the consumer packaged goods segment of psychedelics has massive potential. However, this is still in its early stages.
It is therefore unsurprising to find many psychedelics companies dabbling in the functional mushroom market as an additional source of revenue.
IP and Patents
[Companies building psychedelic patent portfolios.]
Patent applications are ripe in the emerging psychedelics industry, especially in the biotech arena.
Although the concept of patenting psychedelics is widely debated, companies operating in the psychedelics industry are using them as a distinct competitive advantage, while advancing innovation in the space at the same time.
R&D and Clinical Trials
[Research and development and/or clinical trials involving psychedelics.]
While there are too many companies shepherding drug candidates through the clinical trials process to mention, there are over a dozen companies currently in Phase 2.
Tryp Therapeutics for example expects to initiate at least two Phase 2a clinical trials in 2021, with others planning for 2022. The company can then apply for drug approval once Phase 3 trials have been completed.
Tryp Therapeutics: Pioneers in Psychedelic Medicine
Tryp Therapeutics is a pharmaceutical company focused on developing clinical stage compounds for diseases with high unmet medical needs.
By harnessing the power of psilocybin, Tryp Therapeutics is going beyond mental health to treat a wide range of chronic pain indications, such as fibromyalgia, phantom limb pain, complex regional pain syndrome, and eating disorders.
Smashing Atoms: The History of Uranium and Nuclear Power
Nuclear power is among the world’s cleanest sources of energy, but how did uranium and nuclear power come to be?
The History of Uranium and Nuclear Power
Uranium has been around for millennia, but we only recently began to understand its unique properties.
Today, the radioactive metal fuels hundreds of nuclear reactors, enabling carbon-free energy generation across the globe. But how did uranium and nuclear power come to be?
The above infographic from the Sprott Physical Uranium Trust outlines the history of nuclear energy and highlights the role of uranium in producing clean energy.
From Discovery to Fission: Uncovering Uranium
Just like all matter, the history of uranium and nuclear energy can be traced back to the atom.
Martin Klaproth, a German chemist, first discovered uranium in 1789 by extracting it from a mineral called “pitchblende”. He named uranium after the then newly discovered planet, Uranus. But the history of nuclear power really began in 1895 when German engineer Wilhelm Röntgen discovered X-rays and radiation, kicking off a series of experiments and discoveries—including that of radioactivity.
In 1905, Albert Einstein set the stage for nuclear power with his famous theory relating mass and energy, E = mc2. Roughly 35 years later, Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman confirmed his theory by firing neutrons into uranium atoms, which yielded elements lighter than uranium. According to Einstein’s theory, the mass lost during the reaction changed into energy. This demonstrated that fission—the splitting of one atom into lighter elements—had occurred.
“Nuclear energy is incomparably greater than the molecular energy which we use today.”
—Winston Churchill, 1955.
Following the discovery of fission, scientists worked to develop a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction. In 1939, a team of French scientists led by Frédéric Joliot-Curie demonstrated that fission can cause a chain reaction and filed the first patent on nuclear reactors.
Later in 1942, a group of scientists led by Enrico Fermi and Leo Szilard set off the first nuclear chain reaction through the Chicago Pile-1. Interestingly, they built this makeshift reactor using graphite bricks on an abandoned squash court in the University of Chicago.
These experiments proved that uranium could produce energy through fission. However, the first peaceful use of nuclear fission did not come until 1951, when Experimental Breeder Reactor I (EBR-1) in Idaho generated the first electricity sourced from nuclear power.
The Power of the Atom: Nuclear Power and Clean Energy
Nuclear reactors harness uranium’s properties to generate energy without any greenhouse gas emissions. While uranium’s radioactivity makes it unique, it has three other properties that stand out:
- Material Density: Uranium has a density of 19.1g/cm3, making it one of the densest metals on Earth. For reference, it is nearly as heavy (and dense) as gold.
- Abundance: At 2.8 parts per million, uranium is approximately 700 times more abundant than gold, and 37 times more abundant than silver.
- Energy Density: Uranium is extremely energy-dense. A one-inch tall uranium pellet contains the same amount of energy as 120 gallons of oil.
Thanks to its high energy density, the use of uranium fuel makes nuclear power more efficient than other energy sources. This includes renewables like wind and solar, which typically require much more land (and more units) to generate the same amount of electricity as a single nuclear reactor.
But nuclear power offers more than just a smaller land footprint. It’s also one of the cleanest and most reliable energy sources available today, poised to play a major role in the energy transition.
The Future of Uranium and Nuclear Power
Although nuclear power is often left out of the clean energy conversation, the ongoing energy crisis has brought it back into focus.
Several countries are going nuclear in a bid to reduce reliance on fossil fuels while building reliable energy grids. For example, nuclear power is expected to play a prominent role in the UK’s plan to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Furthermore, Japan recently approved restarts at three of its nuclear reactors after initially phasing out nuclear power following the Fukushima accident.
The resurgence of nuclear power, in addition to reactors that are already under construction, will likely lead to higher demand for uranium—especially as the world embraces clean energy.
Showcasing the Strength of Canadian Gold Mining
Canadian gold mining has grown to become a highly prolific industry, thanks to its geological riches and political stability.
Showcasing the Strength of Canadian Gold Mining
Gold mining has long played an integral role in shaping Canada’s cities and its modern day economy. The gold mining infrastructure that was built alongside the country’s towns in the 19th century has grown to provide $21.6 billion worth of exports for Canada in 2020.
When combined with the country’s superb geology, Canada’s jurisdictional strengths make it one of the most prolific and secure locations in the world for mining companies to explore, develop, and produce gold.
This infographic sponsored by Clarity Gold dives into how Canada has grown into a nation built for gold mining. Both in how the country facilitates the production of gold, and how the gold mining industry supports Canada’s economy and local communities.
Canada’s Golden Geology and Production
Gold is scattered across the Canadian landscape in a variety of gold mining regions and districts, with the most prolific located between Ontario and Québec.
The 2 billion year-old Archean greenstone belt that arcs through the centre of the Canadian shield provides the foundation for the Abitibi gold belt, which has produced more than 190Moz of gold.
|Gold Mining District/Region||Provinces/Territories||Gold Produced (million troy ounces)|
|Abitibi Greenstone Belt||Ontario and Québec||>190Moz|
|Trans-Hudson Corridor||Saskatchewan and Manitoba||>40Moz|
|Golden Triangle||British Columbia||>5Moz|
Source: Resource World
The Trans-Hudson corridor in Saskatchewan and Manitoba has produced more than 40Moz of gold, while the Red Lake mining district of eastern Ontario and the Golden Triangle in British Columbia have delivered >30Moz and >5Moz respectively.
Last year, Canada’s top 10 mines produced 3.26 million ounces of gold combined, equating to more than $6 billion worth of the yellow precious metal.
|Mine||Province/Territory||Primary Owner/Operator||2020 Gold Production (thousand troy ounces)|
|Canadian Malartic||Québec||Yamana/Agnico Eagle||569Koz|
|Detour Lake||Ontario||Kirkland Lake||517Koz|
|LaRonde (incl. LZ5)||Québec||Agnico Eagle||350Koz|
|Rainy River||Ontario||New Gold||229Koz|
Ontario and Québec are the powerhouse provinces of Canadian gold production, hosting 30 mines between the two provinces.
A Nation Built for Gold Mining
Canada’s politically secure nature and established permitting process has resulted in five of the 10 largest gold mining companies having projects in Canada. Three Canadian provinces (Saskatchewan, Québec, and Newfoundland & Labrador) are among the world’s 10 most attractive mining investment jurisdictions according to the Fraser Institute’s 2020 survey of mining companies.
Beyond the legal and permitting strengths of the nation, Canada’s extensive network of capital markets has enabled the Canadian companies to dominate the world’s gold mining industry. With Agnico Eagle and Kirkland Lake’s upcoming merger, three of the world’s top five gold mining companies will be headquartered in Canada.
The Canadian equity markets are a key driver of the world’s gold exploration and development funding, with the TSX having raised $7.5 billion in mining equity capital in 2020. Gold still remains the major driver of these money flows, with gold mining companies making up more than half of Canada’s mining exploration budget.
How Gold Mining Gives Back to Canada
Ever since the first discoveries of gold across Canada in the 1800s, the development and production of gold mines has been the foundation for many towns and merchants across the nation.
Today, Canada’s mining industry directly employs more than 392,000 Canadians, with the sector offering the highest average annual industrial rate of pay in the country at $123,000. The industry is also proportionally the largest private sector employer of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
From the nation’s prolific gold deposits to its network of funding through robust public markets for mining equities, gold mining has grown into one of Canada’s most important strengths. The discovery, development, and production of the precious metal will remain an essential pillar of Canada’s economy.
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