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Ontario Brain Institute Increases Investment in Diamond Therapeutics to Accelerate Innovation in Mental Health – Canada NewsWire



TORONTO, Jan. 7, 2021 /CNW/ – Emerging psychedelic drug development company Diamond Therapeutics has received new investment from the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI), a not-for-profit organization that accelerates discovery and innovation, benefiting both patients and the economy.

An early believer in Diamond’s precision, low-dose approach to psychedelic therapies, OBI provided the company with funding in 2019. Now, OBI has more than doubled its investment. Proceeds will support a clinical trial of low-dose psilocybin intended to begin in early 2021, pending Health Canada approval. The investment is in the form of a convertible debenture.

“There’s an unmet need for the next generation of drugs in the mental health space,” says Tom Mikkelsen, President & Scientific Director of OBI.

“By furthering our investment in Diamond through the NERD (Neurotech Early Research & Development) program, OBI will help improve the evidence base related to low-dose psilocybin. We hope this investment will lead to more accessible treatment options for people living with anxiety and other mental health disorders,” he adds.

“We are very grateful for this follow-on support,” says Judith Blumstock, CEO and Founder of Diamond. “Initial funding from OBI subsidized compelling foundational research into precision, low-dose therapies, and OBI’s continued support will help advance our work to the next level.”

OBI’s first backing helped fund several animal studies exploring the behavioural effects of low-dose psilocybin. 

Data from Diamond’s early research rallied investors to an oversubscribed $2.8 million seed round in spring 2020.

Following its planned Phase 1 clinical trial of low-dose psilocybin in 2021, Diamond intends to conduct clinical studies in anxiety disorders, which represent the most prevalent form of mental illness.

“OBI’s backing will further our pursuit of accessible, low-dose, non-hallucinogenic therapies,” says Blumstock. “We are working to deliver solutions that are safer and more effective, and can provide patients with an ideal therapeutic for the conditions affecting their mental health.”

About Diamond  
Diamond Therapeutics is a psychedelic drug development company based in Toronto. Our mission is to develop new and better therapies for mental health conditions by unlocking the promise of psychedelic compounds. Diamond’s focus is developing and commercializing sub-perceptual, non-hallucinogenic treatments that hold potential for use across a broad patient cohort — maximizing the positive impact better drugs can have on the global mental health crisis. To learn more about Diamond, visit us at

About Ontario Brain Institute
The Ontario Brain Institute is a not-for-profit organization that accelerates discovery and innovation, benefiting both patients and the economy. Our collaborative ‘team science’ approach promotes brain research, commercialization and care by connecting researchers, clinicians, industry, patients, and their advocates to improve the lives of those living with brain disorders. Welcome to Brain Central. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter (@OntarioBrain). Funding provided, in part, by the Government of Ontario.

SOURCE Diamond Therapeutics Inc.

For further information: Rebecca Brown, [email protected]

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Arizona Coyotes' Investment in Forwards Must Pay Dividends in 2020-21 – The Hockey Writers



It’s no secret that the offense hasn’t been the strength of an Arizona Coyotes team since…. well, ever. The ‘Yotes moved to the Valley of the Sun 25 years ago, and, since then, they’ve scored the second-fewest goals in the league, at 2.58 per game. They finished in the top-10 in goals only once, in 2001-02, and haven’t finished better than 20th in scoring since 2011-12.

Until this organization is able to draft and develop top-tier talent on a regular basis, scoring is likely to be a problem, so they’ll need to continue winning games in the manner in which they did so in 2019-20 – with outstanding defense and goaltending, along with a scoring-by-committee approach at the other end.

These efforts will be bolstered in 2020-21 if the Coyotes’ three highest-paid forwards – Clayton Keller, Phil Kessel, and Nick Schmaltz – are able to help out offensively on a regular basis. Across the NHL, there have been 379 different 60-point seasons from various players throughout the past eight years. Meanwhile, the only Coyotes’ skater to reach that mark since 2011-12 was Keller, in 2017-18. This needs to change in 2020-21, and Arizona’s highest-paid forwards need to be the ones leading the way.

Coyotes Counting on Keller

First and foremost in this group is the 22-year-old Keller, who has just wrapped up his entry-level contract and is now into his eight-year deal with an average annual value of $7.15 million. With the increase in pay comes an increase in expectations and responsibility, and Keller will need to reverse the trend in his play that has emerged over his first three years in the league.

After a breakout rookie season in 2017-18 where Keller posted 65 points, hopes were high that the Coyotes had finally found the game-breaking forward that they’d spent the better part of the prior two decades searching for. However, Keller’s play declined in Years 2 and 3, as he posted 47 and 44 points, respectively, and failed to match the 23 goals or the 42 assists he recorded as a rookie.

Clayton Keller must step up and be Arizona’s best offensive player in 2020-21. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

With star forward Taylor Hall now playing for the Buffalo Sabres, Keller is expected to lead Arizona’s offense in 2020-21. He’s fresh off of a solid performance in the Edmonton playoff bubble, where he posted seven points in nine games, and he collected two points in Thursday’s opening-night shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks, so there’s reason for optimism here.

If Keller is able to produce consistent offense at even strength and help the team’s power play, the Coyotes should be in good shape and should be in the conversation for the West Division’s fourth playoff spot in May as the season winds down. If not, it could be a long year in Glendale.

Schmaltz, Kessel Must Rebound

While Keller is the main piece of the Coyotes’ forward group, Kessel and Schmaltz are not far behind. Arizona’s second and third-highest paid forwards, respectively, Kessel and Schmaltz had down years in 2019-20, but Kessel’s production was especially concerning.

‘Phil the Thrill’ endured an injury-plagued 2019-20 season, his first in Arizona. His ironman streak is now up to 845 games, but one could argue that he would have been better off sitting for a few games in order to recover from the various ailments he was attempting to play through.

Phil Kessel Arizona Coyotes
The Coyotes need Phil Kessel to return to his All-Star form this season. (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

At any rate, Kessel posted arguably his worst season as a pro last year, with just 14 goals and 24 assists, good for 38 points. This came after a three-year run in Pittsburgh where Phil racked up 244 points in 246 games. Obviously, this is a huge drop-off in production. While it’s true that leaving a team with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin would result in most NHL players seeing a decrease in offensive output, Kessel’s play fell off of a cliff last season in a development that few saw coming.

As with Keller, though, Kessel got out to a good start in 2020-21, scoring the biggest goal of his Coyotes tenure with 3.2 seconds left in the third period on Thursday at Gila River Arena:

When it comes to Schmaltz, the Coyotes are looking for consistency from him this season. Acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks on Nov. 25, 2018, in the trade that sent 2015 third-overall pick Dylan Strome to the Windy City, Schmaltz is in his third year in Arizona. He enjoyed a brief run of success in 2018-19 after coming over from Chicago, posting 14 points in his first 17 games in the desert (a 68-point pace) before going down with a knee injury on Dec. 30, 2018.

Coyotes Need Consistency from Schmaltz

Last year, Schmaltz posted 45 points in 70 games, which is fine and equates to a 52-point pace over a full 82 games, but he was invisible for large parts of the season. In a 16-game stretch between Nov. 7 and Dec. 6, Schmaltz scored only once to go with five assists, while in 18 games from Jan. 7 to Feb. 17, the Madison, WI native endured a seven-game scoring drought while posting just a single goal along with four helpers.

Nick Schmaltz Arizona Coyotes
Nick Schmaltz will need to be more consistent going forward in Arizona. (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

These offensive downturns were offset by two 13-game hot streaks where Schmaltz averaged better than a point per game. From Oct. 10 to Nov. 5, the 24-year-old collected 4 goals and 10 assists, while from Dec. 8 to Jan. 4, Schmaltz scored twice and added 13 helpers, for a combined total of 29 points in 26 contests.

Unlike the rest of his teammates, Schmaltz did not have a chance to build upon his regular-season performance in the Edmonton bubble, as he was the recipient of a questionable hit from noted Vegas Golden Knights’ tough guy Ryan Reaves in an exhibition game between the two Pacific Division rivals on July 30. Schmaltz suffered a head injury on the play and missed both the qualifying round against the Nashville Predators as well as the first-round series against the Colorado Avalanche.

In 2020-21, Schmaltz will need to become a more consistent scorer in order to avoid being labeled as a “streaky” player, as was the case with many Coyotes players in the past, most notably so for winger Radim Vrbata, who was notorious for going long stretches without scoring before coming out of seemingly nowhere to dominate the opposition and light up the scoresheet.

Radim Vrbata, Arizona Coyotes
Radim Vrbata was notorious for his streaky play at the offensive end of the ice. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

For example, over the final 41 contests of the 2013-14 campaign, Vrbata had a three-game heater where he collected five assists, which was followed by a stretch where the veteran posted six points in 18 games, which was immediately followed by a six-point outburst across four games, which was then followed by a season-ending cold streak with a goal and four assists in 16 games.

In order to live up to his $5.85 million salary over the next six seasons, Schmaltz must avoid becoming just another skilled but streaky NHL forward. Obviously, it’s unrealistic to expect Schmaltz to consistently score 15 points in 13-game stretches throughout the year (as discussed above), but the potential is there for the former first-round pick to be a 60 to 70-point player in the league. It’s why the Coyotes gave him a $41 million contract extension, and it’s time for him, along with Keller and Kessel, to step up and be difference-makers for Arizona in 2020-21.

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Turkey announces $18.5 billion public investment programme for 2021 – The Journal Pioneer



ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey has announced a 2021 public investment programme worth 138.5 billion lira ($18.53 billion), with communication and transportation projects receiving the largest allocation of the investment funds.

The programme, published in the Official Gazette late on Friday, set aside nearly $6 billion for public investments in the transportation and communication sectors in 2021, and another $2.6 billion for education projects. Other investment areas include manufacturing, health, agriculture, tourism and energy.

Under the programme, Turkey’s Transport and Infrastructure Ministry will receive some $2 billion, while the State Hydraulics Works (DSI) will receive $1.8 billion and the Highways Directorate $1.75 billion.

President Tayyip Erdogan, who has been in power for nearly 20 years with five consecutive election victories, had until 2018 enjoyed steady annual growth of around 5% fuelled by cheap foreign credit and “mega projects” ranging from bridges and tunnels to highways, hospitals and other construction.

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ebru Tuncay; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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Fraser Institute says oil execs find several US states more attractive than Alberta for investment – CTV Toronto



Alberta is a much less attractive place for petroleum executives to invest in, says a new poll released this week.

The report, published by the Fraser Institute, says Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas are the top three places for oil and gas investment out of 21 North American jurisdictions.

Alberta placed 12th overall on the list, which asked a group of petroleum executives a series of questions based on polices affecting energy investment.

The institute says investors were concerned about environmental regulations, the cost of regulatory compliance and regulatory enforcement in Alberta as well as the four other provinces included.

“Canada’s onerous and uncertain regulatory environment, along with our lack of pipeline capacity has created a significant competitiveness gap between Canadian and American jurisdictions,” said Elmira Aliakbari, associate director with the Fraser Institute and co-author of survey in a release.

It found 64 per cent of respondents were concerned over Alberta’s environmental regulations while 65 per cent said the cost of regulatory compliance here would lead to them spending their money elsewhere.


The Kenney government is still reviewing the content of the Fraser Institute’s report, but says it is confident its policies will help rebuild the economy after the policies of the previous government.

“Alberta is still recovering after five years of economic decline and stagnation made worse by the policies of the Notley NDP which drove billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs out of Alberta,” said Peter Brodsky, spokesperson on behalf of Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage, in an email to CTV News.

He says the UCP government’s work is already “paying off.”

“(On Wednesday) the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers projected more than three billion dollars of additional investment in Alberta’s energy sector.”

calgary, alberta, ucp government, oil and gas, ene

NDP energy critic Kathleen Ganley says she isn’t so sure of the UCP government’s record of job creation and success with stimulating growth in the energy sector.

“After almost two years in office, the UCP have failed to create a single new job or attract new investment to the energy industry,” she wrote in a statement. “Instead, investment in the industry is still well below 2019 levels and we’ve seen companies such as Encana and Equinor pack up and move out of the province.”

Instead of having a government that blames others for its failures, Ganley says Albertans need one that is focused on economic recovery for everyone.

Saskatchewan, which placed eighth, was the highest among Canadian provinces while B.C., which has “the greatest barriers to investment” placed 20th.

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