Beckley Psytech Limited has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire clinical-stage life science company Eleusis Therapeutics Limited in an all equity transaction.
Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved by shareholders, Beckley Psytech has acquired 100% of Eleusis, receiving full developmental and commercial rights for the company’s assets, which will further enhance Beckley Psytech’s pipeline of psychedelic compounds. Eleusis CEO Shlomi Raz will be appointed chief business officer of Beckley Psytech, and the Eleusis research and development team will be integrated into Beckley Psytech with immediate effect.
The acquisition adds ELE-101, a next-generation, short-duration psychedelic ready for phase 1 clinical trials, to Beckley Psytech’s pipeline. ELE-101 is an intravenous (IV) formulation of psilocin, the active metabolite of psilocybin. This proprietary formulation of psilocin has the potential to deliver a more consistent and controllable response in patients, with a rapid onset, significantly shorter treatment duration and less variability compared to oral formulations of psilocybin.
ELE-101 has U.S. patents granted for composition of matter and is complementary to Beckley Psytech’s strategic focus on developing short-duration psychedelic therapies. The company aims to initiate a phase 1 single ascending dose study of ELE-101 in healthy volunteers before the end of 2022, with a proof-of-concept phase 2a clinical study in patients with depression following soon after.
In addition, the acquisition provides Beckley Psytech with access to a library of novel psychedelic compounds, which the company will add to its pipeline of differentiated NCEs for use in psychiatry and beyond.
Beckley Psytech has also selected BPL-003 as its lead candidate for its upcoming MHRA-approved phase 2 studies in depression and alcohol use disorder in combination with psychotherapy. BPL-003, a patented intranasal benzoate formulation of 5-MeO-DMT, has demonstrated good tolerability and favorable pharmacokinetics in an ongoing phase 1 study.
The company has also taken the decision to discontinue its clinical program evaluating oral psilocybin for the treatment of short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks (SUNHA). The company said it will continue the analysis of existing data from the phase 1b clinical study and apply the findings from this program to current and future pipeline candidates.
The decision will allow the company to maintain the efficient use of resources and prioritize the most promising clinical assets in its portfolio, which, with the addition of ELE-101, now includes two patent-protected, clinical-stage, short-acting psychedelic compounds.
Cosmo Feilding Mellen, CEO of Beckley Psytech, said: “This is a hugely exciting acquisition for Beckley Psytech, and we are delighted to add Eleusis’ innovative products to our portfolio of differentiated clinical assets. With a cash runway for operations extending into 2025, this acquisition reinforces Beckley Psytech’s position as a market leader in the development of psychedelic therapies.”
Shlomi Raz, CEO and founder of Eleusis, said: “Beckley have been pioneers in psychedelic science for more than two decades and we are excited to become a part of that story through this transaction. I am thrilled to be joining the leadership team at Beckley Psytech as we look to develop meaningful, practical and cost-effective solutions and treatments to these devastating conditions.”