Investors fail to find magic in Compass’s depression data
Compass Pathways might have become the poster child for the fledgling psychedelic treatment industry had safety concerns not taken the shine off seemingly positive results for its psilocybin-based project COMP360 in treatment-resistant depression. In a 233-patient phase 2b trial 25mg and 10mg COMP360 doses were compared against a control in which patients received 1mg. The high-dose versus 1mg arm showed a significant -6.6 difference in the MADRS depression scale at week three (p<0.001). The lower 10mg dose failed to show any significant difference from 1mg on this measure. Compass stock dropped 20% in early trade, however, possibly on safety findings. 12 patients, mostly in the 25mg arm, reported suicidal feelings. While Compass argued that suicidal thoughts were common in treatment-resistant depression, investors are certain to keep a close eye on this in Compass’s phase 3 trial, now planned for early 2022. Enthusiastic investors are still likely to claim this as marking the opening up of the psychedelics space, but they might be wise to remember that phase 3 remains CNS’s graveyard and that regulators will be super cautious when it comes to safety in this emerging field.