Who is Rob Tessarolo? What makes him a good CEO? How much experience does he have?
Clearly, Rob Tessarolo is a veteran in the pharmaceutical industry. His latest position was President & CEO of Mind Medicine Inc. MindMed ($MMED) is a psychedelic drug discovery and development company that is now traded on the NEO exchange.
Previously, Mr. Tessarolo has served as President & CEO of Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc. Cipher ($CPH) was considered a diversified specialty pharmaceutical company that listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).
Through Mr. Tessarolo, Cipher underwent 7 business development transactions over 18 months, which restored the company to a positive EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization).
Being the first employee of Watson Pharmaceuticals prior to this, Mr. Tessarolo grew the company under his leadership for no revenue at all, to $190 million annually.
Today he heads the team at NeonMind Bioscences (CANADA: NEON) (U.S.: NMDBF) (EUROPE: 6UF).
Recently, we have had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Tessarolo on what makes NeonMind stand out from its market peers.
As we know, NeonMind is focused on advancing clinical research in a variety of psychedelic compounds. Their first and primary focal point is studying the potential benefits of psilocybin and its ability to treat weight loss and obesity related issues.
We took some time to break this interview down for you with some of our own insight.
Rob, Why Obesity?
When we asked Rob about their first target condition (obesity), he brought in some interesting insight within the medical world.
There exists a bit of a treatment paradigm regarding the conventional methods to treat weight loss. Of course, exercise programs are key and effective diets are crucial. Some patients are even prescribed medications to help suppress appetite.
There are, also, surgeries available. The above treatment methods, if done correctly can ultimately reduce the weight of a person.
However, we are forgetting why the excessive weight gain happened in the first place. Conditions like obesity are more than just a simple issue of eating “too much of the wrong things”. They stem from our neurological pathways in the brain.
If one’s mind doesn’t change from these conventional methods, who is to say they won’t relapse and gain it all back? This is, of course, if the patients even successfully go through with the prescribed diet and exercise plans.
Your First Drug of Choice is Psilocybin. Why?
Psychotherapy, with the aid of psilocybin as a way to open up long-formed neurological pathways, is the key to truly overcome one’s battle with obesity, according to NeonMind.
Psilocybin itself stimulates two neurological receptors: 5HP2A and 5HP2C.
5HP2A is implicated in hallucinogenic experiences, while 5HP2C suppresses appetite.
The company is currently working on both scenarios for various cases. A high-dose session to impact a patient’s life is the first method, which can lead to mental breakthroughs. Such an experience would be stimulating the 5HP2A receptors.
A milder experience would be a low-dose session, or series of low-dose sessions, to test the natural appetite suppressing abilities. This would involve the psilocybin stimulating the 5HP2C receptors.
These two approaches not only involve the administering of psilocybin, but the psychotherapy aspect as well, working with the patient’s mind as it is stimulated by various doses of psilocybin.
A carefully crafted ambience, involving aspects such as music are considered as well.
Why is Neon’s Solution Better Than What’s on the Market Today?
This was a burning question amongst many investors.
Based on Rob’s insight, there is growing evidence that shows even 1 or 2 treatments of this kind of approach can be substantial for a patient’s outcome. The breakthrough of one’s mind being able to change is the most important aspect of healing from these underserved and widely undertreated conditions.
Traditional methods of treatment tend to just mask or remove symptoms, without addressing the underlying cause of the problem. This creates a cycle of repeat business and profitability, which strays from the whole mission of healing in itself.
Psychedelics Are Said to Be Over-the-Counter and In Clinics. Why the Clinical Route?
There are many psychedelic substances being invested in and investigated for government-approved research. By 2025-2026, there will be many ideas presented to the FDA for various implications.
All substances when regulated will need specific, specialized settings to be administered across North America.
NeonMind wishes to be in front of that, before it happens.
Whether the substance is psilocybin, MDMA, Ketamine, Esketamine, or anything else, the goal is to be a trusted service provider when these substances are approved by regulators.
According to Rob, NeonMind plans to tailor their clinics to the local market and work from there. By gathering data regarding the needs of the market surrounding the proposed clinic, NeonMind can deploy a program that best suits the needs of that specific community.
What Does NeonMind Have in Store for the Next Year?
As we know, NeonMind is initially focused on psilocybin and its ability to treat obesity.
According to Rob, investors should expect a drug development plan to be rounded out and announced in the near-term.
The goal is to get the pre-IND (Investigational New Drug) request in front of the FDA, so their proof of concept can be up and running by 2022’s first quarter.
The company is seeking out partnerships to roll out their first clinic. Rob estimates they will ideally establish their debut clinic towards the end of the year.
We thoroughly enjoyed talking with Rob. He was super genuine, concise, and expresses his vision well. As he touched up on the fact that there is so much interest in psychedelics right now, we remember that these substances have been around for years and years; we are just scratching the surface on their potential and ability to solve long-standing problems that our world has been facing for decades.
The primary focus for Rob and the team and Neon is to get these substances approved and get the regulated medicines in front of the FDA.
One that finish line is crossed, the healing process can begin.
Rob closed off with mentioning that although the psychiatric angle to mental health research is incredible, it is quite flooded now with many companies tackling the same problems.
While this is wonderful news for humanity, NeonMind’s unique approach to tackle obesity puts them ahead of the curve, and in their own lane.
Nothing like carving out a unique niche within one of the most promising sectors dedicated to healing humanity.
Disclaimer: Neonmind Biosciences is a communications client of Edge Investments, and we own shares in the company. … …