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Our Science

NeonMind Biosciences develops evidence-backed, psychedelic-based solutions for obesity. We are currently developing the first and only novel psilocybin-based drug candidates targeting obesity as we aim to free people from their weight management struggle by changing the thought patterns that lead to obesogenic behaviors.

We are on the cusp of a significant change in how medical establishments view psychedelics. The FDA and Health Canada have already recognized the clinical potential of psychedelic substances such as psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, and ketamine, awarding Breakthrough Therapy, Priority Review, and Fast Track Status to various psychedelic therapies.

A growing body of reputable scientific evidence supports psychedelics as an effective therapy for treatment-resistant illnesses such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and posttraumatic stress.

Why We Are Focused on Psilocybin

1Nichols 2016, Pharmacol Rev., 2Reiff 2020, Am J Psychiatry, 3Vollenweider 2020, Nat Rev Neurosci

NeonMind is one of two companies exploring how psilocybin can address obesity. Psilocybin is a promising therapeutic for weight management because it acts on 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors in the brain. 5-HT2A receptors are directly involved in the hallucinogenic effect of psychedelics and can be used in Drug Enhanced Psychotherapy (DEP). 5-HT2C receptors are involved in appetite control and were the drug target of a previous FDA-approved prescription drug for obesity. NeonMind’s lead candidate, NEO-001, aims to produce neuropharmacological changes induced by psilocybin, in conjunction with psychotherapy, to achieve durable weight loss for patients suffering from obesity. The Company’s second drug candidate, NEO-002, employs low-dose psilocybin as an agonist at the 5-HT2C receptor, which controls appetite.

Each person’s brain maintains habitual thought patterns encoded in its Default Mode Network (DMN). Those thought patterns may be healthy or harmful. NeonMind is advancing a high dose psilocybin DEP treatment to target 5-HT2A, which, in conjunction with psychotherapy sessions, may allow the patient to escape hardened, dysfunctional thoughts and forge new ways of thinking that lead to healthier behaviors.

We are proposing a low-dose, non-hallucinogenic psilocybin treatment that targets 5-HT2C receptors to induce satiety. This technique could potentially be used as a traditional appetite suppressant: prescribed by doctors, dispensed by pharmacies, and administered by patients.

Obesity: A Global Health Concern

Obesity is a global health concern. According to the World Health Organization, at least 2.8 million people die each year from being overweight or obese.1 In the U.S., obesity contributes to 20% of all adult deaths.2 Obesity is a complex disease that has proven resistant to psychotherapy, medication, lifestyle coaching, and even surgery. Treating obesity improves not only physical health but also mental health and overall well-being.

1.9 Billion

Overweight adults worldwide3


Of U.S. adults who are obese 2


Estimated annual spending on weight management products and services by 2022 4

1 WHO, Facts & Pictures – Obesity
2 CDC Oct 2013, Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults
3 WHO 2020, Obesity and Overweight
4 Research and Markets 2017

Incredibly, there are currently no reliable, lasting solutions that exist for long-term weight management. While weight management medications can encourage gradual weight loss, their effects typically peak within a single year. Similar results are noticeable when analyzing bariatric surgeries, with patients typically experiencing weight gain after only five years. The problem with these methods, which are considered the current standard protocol at present, is that they only treat the symptoms. At NeonMind, we are focused on delivering long-lasting solutions by addressing the underlying issues that lead to obesity.

NeonMind is laser-focused on delivering psilocybin-based solutions for the obesity epidemic. Psilocybin is a multifaceted molecule that acts on known, approved, clinically validated targets. In clinical trials, psilocybin has helped disrupt negative thinking patterns and behavior in patients who suffer from cognitive behavior disorders. It also explicitly targets the brain receptors involved in appetite control, triggering a loss of appetite. We believe psilocybin can encourage acute weight management while also helping patients escape the patterns of behavior that lead to ongoing illness.