Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, the company that developed the blockbuster drug Abilify, has acquired a Canadian psychedelic biotech company, Mindset Pharma, for $59 million (USD).
The all-cash transaction gives Otsuka control over Mindset's preclinical pipeline of psychedelics, which includes a psilocybin-like conjugate currently being investigated for the treatment of depression.
Mindset is also working on a short-acting, high-potency psilocybin-like med in addition to a low-potency, long-duration version. Another "family" of compounds under development are inspired by DMT. In March, Mindset said it had also started to work on non-hallucinogenic therapies to treat broader central nervous system conditions.
The deal was unanimously approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close soon. It marks Otsuka's first acquisition of the year and comes as the company is cashing in on the successful development of two antipsychotic agents.
Otsuka's investment in psychedelics reflects the growing interest in these compounds as potential treatments for a variety of mental health conditions. With the first crop of psychedelics inching closer to FDA approval, Otsuka is positioning itself to be a leader in this emerging market.