Lucy Scientific Scores Richard Nanula as CEO After Senior Roles at Disney, Amgen, Starwood – ExecEdge
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Lucy Scientific Scores Richard Nanula as CEO After Senior Roles at Disney, Amgen, Starwood
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Lucy Scientific Scores Richard Nanula as CEO After Senior Roles at Disney, Amgen, Starwood

Lucy Scientific Discovery Inc. CEO, Richard Nanula

By Daniella Parra

Psychotropic industry innovator Lucy Scientific Discovery Inc. (Nasdaq: LSDI), has appointed Richard Nanula, former CFO at Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) and The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), as its new CEO.

With a career spanning senior executive positions at global giants like Starwood Hotels and Resorts, now part of Marriott International, Inc. (Nasdaq: MAR) and Colony Capital, Nanula brings decades of leadership experience. His roles have overseen more than $50 billion worth of M&A and financing transactions.

Lucy Scientific’s mission revolves around pioneering innovative therapies, enhancing mental health outcomes and promoting well-being on a global scale.

“I’ve known some of the founders for a decade, and as I learned more about the opportunity in wellness and Psychotropics, I recalled my time at Amgen where our entire mission was to develop patients, and thought there would be no better way to affect so many people,” Mr. Nanula told Exec Edge in an exclusive interview.

Nanula will retain his Chairman role while succeeding Christopher McElvany, the founder and former CEO of Lucy Scientific Discovery, who will continue to support the company as a consultant.

“Psychedelics appear to be the next frontier for the pharmaceutical industry and are generally thought to be safe and highly effective in a myriad of ways. Based on personal experiences, many who have benefited from them claim that no other form of therapy has been as effective in their treatment,” Mr. Nanula said. “Today there are dozens of clinicals studies that are setting up to prove statistically that these compounds are  successful and safe.”

The nascent psychotropic industry didn’t exist five years ago and many companies have been hampered by toxic capital structures that have allowed developmental companies to get funded.

“I believe with the right market conditions, capital markets experience, and a disciplined approach, there are many opportunities that exist,” Mr. Nanula said. “For example, we recently made an offer to purchase Pasithea Therapeutics (Nasdaq: KTTA), and believe their shareholders would benefit from the offer as would the shareholders of Lucy.”

When asked about his experience translates to his leadership with Lucy, Mr. Nanula said he looks forward to the challenges and new business markets.

“When I joined Disney, I knew nothing about theme parks, nor did I know much about biotech or hotels when I joined Amgen or Starwood,” Mr. Nanula said. “But I have always enjoyed the challenge of learning a business and the specific challenges that exist within a specific sector and trying to solve for them.”


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