Psilocybin Technology https://psilocybintechnology.com The latest in psilocybin technology Sat, 19 Oct 2019 17:56:53 -0700 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3 136717321 American Chemical Society Meeting – Only One Talk about Psychedelics? https://psilocybintechnology.com/american-chemical-society-meeting-only-one-talk-about-psychedelics/ https://psilocybintechnology.com/american-chemical-society-meeting-only-one-talk-about-psychedelics/#respond Sun, 18 Aug 2019 18:11:26 +0000 https://psilocybintechnology.com/?p=2513 The upcoming 2019 American Chemical Society (“ACS”) Fall Meeting and Exposition in San Diego features two presentations pertaining to psychedelic chemistry: (1) a talk by Dr. David Manke and Dr. ...

The post American Chemical Society Meeting – Only One Talk about Psychedelics? appeared first on Psilocybin Technology.

]]>
The upcoming 2019 American Chemical Society (“ACS”) Fall Meeting and Exposition in San Diego features two presentations pertaining to psychedelic chemistry: (1) a talk by Dr. David Manke and Dr. Andrew Chadeayne, about the chemistry of psilacetin; and (2) a poster presentation by Sm Ashikur Rahman on the synthesis of several psychedelic molecules.  The enormous potential for psychedelic drugs combined with significant gaps in our chemical understanding of these substances suggests that the topic is underrepresented at the upcoming ACS conference.

Psychedelic Drugs – an Important Chemical Topic

Psychedelic drugs have recently attracted attention as potential treatments for many of the world’s most costly health problems. Over the past several years, the scientific community has been outspoken about the therapeutic potential for drugs like psilocybin, LSD, ketamine, DMT, 5-MeO-DMT, ibogaine, MDMA, and others.  See, e.g., Johns Hopkins study. However, despite the enormous global importance of these drugs, they have received almost no attention from the chemical community. This omission seems especially important given the following challenges facing the psychedelic community:

  • Highly variable chemical composition of naturally derived psychedelics;
  • Unknown and potentially dangerous chemicals in naturally derived psychedelics;
  • Variability in chemical concentration of naturally derived psychedelics;
  • Unreliable purity and physical characterization of existing psychedelic drugs.

The above described gaps in chemical understanding prevent progress in other areas of scientific research.  For example, the medical community cannot draw valid conclusions about the effect of naturally derived psychedelics (e.g., magic mushrooms) without knowing the chemical composition of those substances.  In the case of “magic mushrooms,” both the chemical profile (ratio of psilocybin derivatives) and total concentration thereof vary substantially. Those variations are known to cause significant differences in the clinical effect.  

Unmet needs in chemical research not only impeded research in applied sciences like biology.  Lack of chemical understanding also creates significant barriers to legal and political progress.   For example the “Decriminalize Nature” organization seeks to unwind legal deterrents to possessing and using natural psychedelics, like magic mushrooms. The group, led by Kevin Mathews has succeeded in decriminalizing magic mushrooms in Denver. Similar efforts have succeeded in Oakland. As a result, other efforts are taking hold across the United States.  Unfortunately, this legal and political progress has surpassed our chemical understanding of the natural products at issue. For example, some of the language is unclear about the scope of the chemicals at issue — are these groups decriminalizing magic mushrooms or do they intend to include purified molecules from those mushrooms– or synthetic derivatives thereof?  Additionally, developing a chemical understanding is important because magic mushrooms are highly variable in their chemical composition and some species have (unknown) chemicals that cause paralysis, i.e., “Wood Lover Paralysis.”

Psychedelic Presentations at the American Chemical Society

The American Chemical Society (“ACS”) is the world’s largest scientific society. The American Chemical Society’s mission is “to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people” and  “to improve people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry.” The upcoming 2019 Fall Meeting and Exposition in San Diego will feature two presentations (only one talk) pertaining to psychedelics. Information about these presentations is provided below.  Given the global importance and chemical nature (drugs are chemicals after all) of psychedelic drugs, the topic appears to be underrepresented at the American Chemical Society.

Psychedelic Chemistry Presentation #1 – Dr. David Manke and Dr. Andrew Chadeayne

David R Manke from the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Andrew R Chadeayne of CaaMTech, LLC will present on the “Chemistry of Psilacetin: Prodrug of psilocin.”  According to UMass Dartmouth’s webpage, Dr. Manke is an Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry.  According to LinkedIn, Dr. Chadeayne is Founder and Inventor at CaaMTech, LLC, former Chief Innovations Officer at Ebbu, and a former patent practitioner.

The abstract of their presentation to the American Chemical Society is as follows:

“Psychedelic drugs have earned newfound attention as treatments for some of society’s most troubling medical problems – depression, anxiety, addiction and PTSD. The tryptamines found in so-called “magic mushrooms” (e.g. psilocybin, psilocin, etc.) are particularly attractive because they appear to offer immediate and long-lasting benefits without unwanted side-effects. This great promise has led political groups across the United States to seek legislative reform for ‘magic mushrooms’.

Despite their potential benefits, the physical properties of these molecules have not been adequately studied. In this talk, we will present new developments regarding the purification, characterization, stability and chemical reactivity of psilocybin derivatives, including the first reported crystal structure of psilacetin fumarate, a readily attainable, cost-effective prodrug of psilocin.”

The work will be presented in a 30 minute presentation on Monday, August 26th at 10:20 am in Room 32B of the San Diego Convention Center,

Psychedelic Chemistry Presentation #2 – Mr. Ashikur Rahman

Sm Ashikur Rahman is a PhD Student in the Department of Chemistry at Western Virginia University. He will present on the “Total Synthesis of Complex Molecules.”  According to the West Virginia University Department of Chemistry webpage, Ashikur Rahman was awarded the 2017-18. Eugene Bennett Fellowship.

The abstract of his talk at the American Chemical Society is as follows:

“Ergot alkaloids have been shown to exhibit useful medicinal properties such as labor inducing activity, migraine relief, mood-perception regulation. Ergotryptamine, an ergot alkaloid, was recently isolated in minute amount from Aspergillus nidulans. In order to facilitate biological studies, this compound was selected as a target for synthesis. Proposed key synthetic steps include a palladium catalyzed Kosugi-Migita-Stille cross coupling, a Mizoroki-Heck reaction, and a carbon monoxide-mediated palladium-catalyzed reductive N-heterocyclization. Using a similar synthetic approach, synthesis of two indoles norpsilocin and aurantioclavine has been envisioned in 1-2 additional steps. Norpsilocin, a component of magic mushroom with promising psychotropic effects, was recently isolated from Psilocybe cubensis. Aurantioclavine was first isolated in 1981 from the fungus Penicillium aurantiovirens. It has become an attractive target for synthesis due to its role as a biosynthetic precursor to the communesin alkaloids, which display cytotoxicity against leukemia cell lines.”

The work will be presented on Wednesday August 28th at 7 pm in Exhibit Hall A of the San Diego Convention Center.

The post American Chemical Society Meeting – Only One Talk about Psychedelics? appeared first on Psilocybin Technology.

]]>
https://psilocybintechnology.com/american-chemical-society-meeting-only-one-talk-about-psychedelics/feed/ 0 2513
Coffee with Psilocybin? https://psilocybintechnology.com/magic-mushrooms-in-morning-coffee/ https://psilocybintechnology.com/magic-mushrooms-in-morning-coffee/#comments Fri, 02 Aug 2019 21:00:23 +0000 https://psilocybintechnology.com/?p=2398 Based on newfound benefits of magic mushrooms and the changing cultural (and legal) climate, some early movers have started working on psilocybin containing consumer products, like foods and beverages. On ...

The post Coffee with Psilocybin? appeared first on Psilocybin Technology.

]]>
Based on newfound benefits of magic mushrooms and the changing cultural (and legal) climate, some early movers have started working on psilocybin containing consumer products, like foods and beverages.

On July 29, 2019, Strava Craft Coffee announced its plans for introducing coffees and teas that include microdoses of psilocybin from magic mushrooms.  See New Atlas article by Rich Haridy.

Strava already produces “a Full-Spectrum CBD-Rich Hemp Infused Coffee line called “Peace & Wellness.”  According to Strava’s CEO, Andrew Aamot, moving into the magic mushroom space fits the company’s mission: “the company’s vision is to bring consumers amazing beverages infused with promising natural compounds.”
Mr. Aamot further explains that Strava’s goal “in the case of psilocybin, [is] to seek physical, mental and spiritual therapeutic benefits without triggering psychedelic “trips,” which can occur when psilocybin is consumed in high doses.”

“Strava doesn’t anticipate selling the beverages until 2020 at the earliest, banking on a more favorable regulatory environment emerging within the new few years.”

Strava CEO Andrew Aamot says in a statement announcing the new product: “As research is proving, with measured consumption, cannabis and psilocybin can both promote physiological, mental and spiritual health.”

According to their press release, Strava plans on infusing coffee and tea with “microdoses of psilocybin.” Stave’s statements also make clear that they intend to us“psilocybin from mushrooms,” aka “magic mushrooms,” as opposed to synthetic psilocybin.

Strava already has some experience making with naturally derived products. Strava was one of the first coffee roasters to sell CBD-infused coffee in 2017. 

Other logical fits for making psilocybin containing coffee include Four Sigmatic and Bulletproof.   Four Sigmatic is a “functional mushroom company,” which makes a line of mushroom based beverage formulations. Although Four Sigmatic has not made any formal announcements about making psilocybin containing products, its founder, Tero Isokauppila has discussed possibilities in the space.  See Maxim Oct. 14, 2018.

Bulletproof makes a line of “science-based” products. Bulletproof’s founder and CEO, Dave Asprey describes himself as the “Father of Biohacking,” which speaks to the companies mission: “take control of your own biology.”  Clearly psychedelics, like magic mushrooms have potential within the context of biohacking.  Nevertheless, Mr. Asprey explains in his blog that he has no intentions of including mushrooms in their coffee products. “In the early days of Bulletproof, we experimented with developing mushrooms and herbs to put in coffee. We put the kibosh on that for a few reasons, the main one being that mushrooms in coffee tastes like crap. Why ruin a perfectly good cup of coffee with the taste of mushrooms? Some types of mushrooms can be pretty earthy — that’s a coffee snob’s way of saying it tastes like dirt.”  Mr. Asprey appears to agree with the potential biohacking benefits of magic mushrooms by opposes the idea of including mushrooms in coffee: “With a little research, expert guidance, and self-experimentation, mushrooms can be a valuable addition to your supplement stack, without making your coffee taste mega gross.”

The Future of Psychedelic Beverages

On account of their newly appreciated health benefits and safety profile, magic mushrooms could become the next cannabis.  See Cannabis and Magic Mushrooms – a Near Perfect Analogy.  Such development will necessarily give rise to a variety of consumer products that provide users with options aside from eating mushroom fruiting bodies.  Beverages, like coffee and tea, are one logical product category.  But, it remains to be seen whether companies like Strava can develop products that don’t “taste like crap.”

Another lingering question is how manufacturers will control the does and chemical composition of the active ingredients.  Presently available cannabis coffees, like Strava’s “Peace & Wellness” line clearly articulate the precise amount of CBD contained in each serving.  Given the substantial chemical variability in magic mushrooms, any company using them within a formulation will need to control for both the different active ingredients in the mushrooms and the concentration of those ingredients. (Simply adding magic mushrooms to coffee or tea would result in considerable variability in both the identity and quantity of active psilocybin derivatives.). Arguably, the future of magic mushroom coffee and tea will adopt the precise and reliable dosing practices now standard in cannabis products.  This could be accomplished by using magic mushroom formulations having precisely dosed amounts of select ingredients.

The post Coffee with Psilocybin? appeared first on Psilocybin Technology.

]]>
https://psilocybintechnology.com/magic-mushrooms-in-morning-coffee/feed/ 3 2398
Psilocybin for Sale in Canada – Dana Larsen of the Medicinal Mushroom Dispensary https://psilocybintechnology.com/psilocybin-for-sale-in-canada-dana-larsen-of-the-medicinal-mushroom-dispensary/ https://psilocybintechnology.com/psilocybin-for-sale-in-canada-dana-larsen-of-the-medicinal-mushroom-dispensary/#respond Tue, 30 Jul 2019 18:43:48 +0000 https://psilocybintechnology.com/?p=2372 A recent article in Yahoo Finance reported that Dana Larsen of the Medicinal Mushroom Dispensary is selling psilocybin containing products. As discussed below, it is unclear whether these are mushrooms ...

The post Psilocybin for Sale in Canada – Dana Larsen of the Medicinal Mushroom Dispensary appeared first on Psilocybin Technology.

]]>
A recent article in Yahoo Finance reported that Dana Larsen of the Medicinal Mushroom Dispensary is selling psilocybin containing products. As discussed below, it is unclear whether these are mushrooms or some other form of psilocybin product.

Despite the current legal status of psilocybin (and magic mushrooms) Dana Larsen is selling psilocybin containing products online. He explains that his actives are limited to providing subthreshold doses to people with a medical need: “I’m only selling microdoses to people with a confirmed medical need.”

Is Dana Larsen Selling Magic Mushrooms or Psilocybin?

In the article, Elianna Lev of Yahoo Canada News uses the terms “psilocybin” and “magic mushrooms” interchangeably, which makes it unclear whether Dana Larsen is selling psilocybin (the single active molecule) or magic mushrooms (comprising psilocybin along with multiple other active ingredients). See Taking Pure Psilocybin is Different from Eating Magic Mushrooms.

At some points in the article, Ms. Lev appears to clearly distinguish magic mushrooms from psilocybin:

  • “Dana Larsen is behind the Medicinal Mushroom Dispensary, an online shop that sells microdoses of psilocybin, the psychoactive component in magic mushrooms.” 
  • “While magic mushrooms are illegal in Canada, psilocybin is being studied for its potential to treat mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, and PTSD, amongst others.”
  • These quotes suggest that Mr. Larsen is selling psilocybin (the chemical) not mushroom material containing it.
  • In the U.S., Denver and Oakland have decriminalized magic mushrooms. In Canada, there’s currently no therapeutic products containing psilocybin that have been approved.
  • “Larsen says some activists will be in court later this year to challenge psilocybin prohibition under Section 56 of the controlled drug act,”

However other parts of the article suggest exactly the opposite, that Mr. Larsen is selling small doses of magic mushroom material:

  • “Now that Canadians have access to legalized cannabis, a Vancouver-based activist is focused on administering another substance that’s said to have both medicinal and recreational benefits: magic mushrooms.”
  • While magic mushrooms are illegal in Canada, psilocybin is being studied for its potential to treat mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, and PTSD, amongst others.”
  • Notably, Mr. Larsen’s shop is called the “Medicinal Mushroom Dispensary.”
  • The article includes a section about “The future of psilocybin in Canada,” in which Jordan Donich, a Toronto-based criminal lawyer discusses the future for legalizing magic mushrooms.

The article’s discussion of the product dosing is also confusing.  According to the Yahoo article, “Larsen explains that the shop sells 25 ml, 50 ml and 100 ml doses – about five to 10 per cent of what you’d take if you wanted to experience hallucinations.”  These milliliter quantities make sense for neither psilocybin (the chemical) nor any mushroom material containing it. Milliliters describe units of volume whereas psilocybin and mushrooms are both solid materials, which would be measured in grams (or milligrams).

See also Three Key Points of Journalists Reporting on Magic Mushrooms or Psilocybin.

The post Psilocybin for Sale in Canada – Dana Larsen of the Medicinal Mushroom Dispensary appeared first on Psilocybin Technology.

]]>
https://psilocybintechnology.com/psilocybin-for-sale-in-canada-dana-larsen-of-the-medicinal-mushroom-dispensary/feed/ 0 2372
Chemical & Engineering News Discusses Entourage Effect https://psilocybintechnology.com/chemical-engineering-news-discusses-entourage-effect/ https://psilocybintechnology.com/chemical-engineering-news-discusses-entourage-effect/#comments Tue, 23 Jul 2019 19:57:16 +0000 https://psilocybintechnology.com/?p=2316 A July 21, 2019 article in the American Chemical Society’s Chemical & Engineering News by Britt E. Erickson discussed the importance of the Entourage Effect in cannabis health. Like magic mushroom ...

The post Chemical & Engineering News Discusses Entourage Effect appeared first on Psilocybin Technology.

]]>
A July 21, 2019 article in the American Chemical Society’s Chemical & Engineering News by Britt E. Erickson discussed the importance of the Entourage Effect in cannabis health.

Like magic mushroom fruiting bodies, cannabis plant material includes multiple active ingredients (cannabinoids, terpenoids, and other “minor components”), which modulate its biological and clinical properties. Often, taking a combination of those active ingredients is better than taking only one of them. Similar to how natural mushrooms offer benefits over pure psilocybin, full spectrum cannabis products (or formulations) provide benefits over single active ingredients, like pure THC or pure CBD. See also Psilocybin Formulations. See Cannabis v Magic Mushrooms Analogy.

From the article:

“Whole-plant extracts not only are more effective but also have fewer side effects than pure CBD at higher doses, Russo says. The bottom line, he says, is that “whole-cannabis extracts are going to have an advantage over pure compounds in almost every instance.”

Ms. Erickson’s article is consistent with Rolling Stone’s indication that the future of the cannabis industry will come from formulations. 

The post Chemical & Engineering News Discusses Entourage Effect appeared first on Psilocybin Technology.

]]>
https://psilocybintechnology.com/chemical-engineering-news-discusses-entourage-effect/feed/ 2 2316
Review of the State of the Art for Microdosing Psychedelics https://psilocybintechnology.com/review-of-the-state-of-the-art-for-microdosing-psychedelics/ https://psilocybintechnology.com/review-of-the-state-of-the-art-for-microdosing-psychedelics/#respond Tue, 16 Jul 2019 18:53:29 +0000 https://psilocybintechnology.com/?p=2276 As of July 2019 the state of the art for microdosing psychedelics is best described as a collection anecdotal reports from people taking unknown amounts of unknown drugs at wildly ...

The post Review of the State of the Art for Microdosing Psychedelics appeared first on Psilocybin Technology.

]]>
As of July 2019 the state of the art for microdosing psychedelics is best described as a collection anecdotal reports from people taking unknown amounts of unknown drugs at wildly variable intervals.

On July 14th, 2019, the Journal of Psychopharmacology published a review of the state of the art of microdosing psychedelics.  The review highlights how the chemical variability in existing psychedelic compositions makes it virtually impossible to conduct medical research with those compositions.

The study concluded that there is presently a lack of scientific support of microdosing. This lack of support is caused by the community’s longstanding uncertainty regarding the chemical composition of microdosing formulations. Without standardizing the drug administered, it is impossible to draw valid scientific conclusions about whether or not it causes a particular clinical effect.

Professor David Nutt, Chair in Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London explained:

“Despite so much interest in the subject, we still don’t have any agreed scientific consensus on what microdosing is – like what constitutes a ‘micro’ dose, how often someone would take it, and even if there may be potential health effects.”

Presently, there is no standardized “dose,” largely because the materials used to make microdosing formulations vary wildly in chemical composition.  For example, in the above cited review, the authors note that magic mushrooms are one of the most popular compositions taken for microdosing. They also highlight the variability in the chemical composition of magic mushrooms.  See also Commentary by Dr. Torsten Passie. (“Plant/fungal material is generally quite unreliable for calculating a dose.”)

In addition to problems arising from chemical variability, microdosing “research” also fails to control for the subjects’ dosing regimen:

in practice, frequency [of dosing] may vary widely – from a few consecutive days, to weekdays – as may strength and potency of substances depending on what it is and where it’s from.”

Conclusion: Need for Standardized Microdosing Formulations

The chemical variability in psychedelic drugs makes it impossible to conduct controlled scientific studies, which are standard in medical science. Future research into microdosing will require measuring the effect of a treatment against a control or placebo group.  Such research will require administering a consistent amount of a known drug treatment. See “Unmet Need for Precise Dosing.”  Within the context of microdosing magic mushrooms, such a formulation would benefit from combining particular amounts of specific psilocybin derivatives in order to optimize the Entourage Effect for purposes of microdosing.

Reference  

Kuypers, K. P., Ng, L., Erritzoe, D., Knudsen, G. M., Nichols, C. D., Nichols, D. E., … Nutt, D. (2019). Microdosing psychedelics: More questions than answers? An overview and suggestions for future research. Journal of Psychopharmacology. https://doi.org/10.1177/0269881119857204

The post Review of the State of the Art for Microdosing Psychedelics appeared first on Psilocybin Technology.

]]>
https://psilocybintechnology.com/review-of-the-state-of-the-art-for-microdosing-psychedelics/feed/ 0 2276
Why Formulations are Better than Mushrooms https://psilocybintechnology.com/why-formulations-are-better-than-mushrooms/ https://psilocybintechnology.com/why-formulations-are-better-than-mushrooms/#respond Thu, 11 Jul 2019 02:02:03 +0000 https://psilocybintechnology.com/?p=2212 Formulations made from magic mushrooms offer some advantages over mushroom fruiting bodies or natural preparations.  We previously discussed the analogy between cannabis and magic mushrooms.  Both cannabis and magic mushrooms ...

The post Why Formulations are Better than Mushrooms appeared first on Psilocybin Technology.

]]>
Formulations made from magic mushrooms offer some advantages over mushroom fruiting bodies or natural preparations.  We previously discussed the analogy between cannabis and magic mushrooms.  Both cannabis and magic mushrooms live and grow in nature. Each produces its own cocktail of chemical compounds. Cannabis contains cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.  Magic mushrooms contain a collection of tryptamine compounds, aka, psilocybin derivatives.  When ingested, the user’s experience is a result of multiple active ingredients, working synergistically.  See Entourage Effect.

In nature, a particular organism’s cocktail of active ingredients varies wildly between species, cultivars, and even parts of the organism.  This chemical variability creates substantial variability in the user’s experience.  (Varying the composition and amount of psychoactive drugs results in varying the clinical effect). Many consumers do not like the unpredictability inherent to natural preparations or extracts. However, consumers also seem to heavily favor full-spectrum compositions compared to single active ingredients, e.g., pure THC vs cannabis or pure psilocybin vs magic mushrooms. 

Responding to the unreliability of natural preparations, the cannabis industry has moved towards formulated products.  Dr. Tristan Watkins of Lucid Mood explains some of the reasons for adopting formulated cannabis products.  See Extraction Magazine, Issue 8, May/June 2019 at 38-39. Below, we highlight Dr. Watkins’s comments about cannabis formulations because the same logic applies to magic mushroom products. 

“Current cannabis products are build on a weak foundation — the cultivar name or plant name.” 

This exact same criticism applies to the state of the art for magic mushrooms.  Magic mushrooms are described by their species or strain name, which does not describe the chemical composition. 

Plant compositions are “notoriously inconsistent…. Cannabinoid, terpene, and flavonoid profiles differ with each growth cycle.  Inconsistent cultivar profiles mean unpredictable effects.” 

The exact same criticism applies to the state of the art for magic mushrooms.  Psilocybin containing mushrooms are notoriously variable in their chemical compositions.  As a result, a consumer of magic mushrooms must accept considerable variability in the chemical composition and amount of active ingredients consumed.

“Different extraction processes yield dramatically different compositions.” 

The exact same criticism applies to the state of the art for magic mushrooms.  A variety of “mushroom tech” publications describe how to extract mushroom material using a variety of solvents and conditions, which virtually guarantee different chemical compositions for the resulting extracts.

“…companies should work towards formulating their products from the ground up.  Isolate each compound of interest, study the effects of each compound, formulate products based on those findings.” 

This advice is equally valid within the emerging psilocybin space.  Using magic mushrooms (or extracts) as a means for administering psychedelic compounds requires accepting significant chemical variability.  Many consumers are willing to accept such variability.  But in some contexts, such as conducting research or administering medicine, a scientist would consider the identity and dose of the drug to be essential information.

“With formulated cannabis, you can create products with consistent composition profiles…. Not only does formulating your products allow you to add in exactly what you want, it allows you to deliberately leave out any compounds that my interfere with your intended effect.”

This advice is equally valid within the emerging psilocybin space.  According to expert mycologist Paul Stamets, some species of magic mushrooms are known to produce “temporary paralysis.” See Michael Pollen’s conversation with Paul Stamets.  Many consumers would consider temporary paralysis to be an unwanted side effect.  Thus, removing the compounds responsible for temporary paralysis would seem to have benefits for some consumers.

Dr. Watkins explains a general strategy for creating formulated cannabis products:

“… learn more about the myriad of compounds naturally expressed in cannabis, and begin designing your own formulated products.” 

This strategy seems equally valid within the magic mushroom space, where even less is known about which active ingredients are present and how they effect the resulting experience.  In short, the magic mushroom industry will ultimately benefit from some of the lessons learned in the cannabis industry.  One such lesson appears to be that formulated products have some advantages over natural preparations.

Similar to the pharmacology of cannabis, the effect of “magic mushrooms” arises from combining multiple different active ingredients to arrive at an “Entourage Effect.” Psilocin is one important active ingredient found in magic mushrooms. But, it is not the only active.

The post Why Formulations are Better than Mushrooms appeared first on Psilocybin Technology.

]]>
https://psilocybintechnology.com/why-formulations-are-better-than-mushrooms/feed/ 0 2212
Wuhan Signs LOI with Biodelta One Month after Launching Psilocybin Division https://psilocybintechnology.com/wuhan-signs-loi-with-biodelta-1-month-after-launching-psilocybin-division/ https://psilocybintechnology.com/wuhan-signs-loi-with-biodelta-1-month-after-launching-psilocybin-division/#respond Sun, 19 May 2019 20:14:07 +0000 https://psilocybintechnology.com/?p=1699 On May 17, 2019, Wuhan General Group (“Wuhan”) announced signing a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) with Biodelta Nutraceuticals, Ltd.  This announcement follows Wuhan’s April 5, 2019 announcement that its wholly-owned ...

The post Wuhan Signs LOI with Biodelta One Month after Launching Psilocybin Division appeared first on Psilocybin Technology.

]]>
On May 17, 2019, Wuhan General Group (“Wuhan”) announced signing a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) with Biodelta Nutraceuticals, Ltd.  This announcement follows Wuhan’s April 5, 2019 announcement that its wholly-owned subsidiary MJ MedTech, Inc. created a new division (M2BIO) dedicated to exploring opportunities in the psychedelic medicine space.

The LOI between Wuhan and Biodelta calls for Wuhan’s purchasing 49% of Biodelta’s land, buildings, and infrastructure. These assets include but are not limited to:

  • 1.3 million square feet of cultivation space
    • 300,000 sq. ft. of turnkey space
    • 1,000,000 sq ft. of additional space expected by 2021
  • Specialized ISO 22000 processing factory 
  • 8 Industrial GMP compliant dryers
  • Water rights

A full agreement between the parties is expected to be reached in 45 days.

Wuhan’s recent launch of its psilocybin division (M2BIO), coupled with the acquisition of Biodelta’s cultivation resources further illustrates their commitment to developing commercial-scale psilocybin products.

Wuhan General Group Wholly Owns MJMedTech, Which Operates Both Dr. AnnaRx and M2BIO.

Wuhan General Group is a publicly traded Nevada corporation, listed under the ticker WUHN.

According to Wuhan’s webpage, the company is an “alternative medicinal and botanicals company,” focussing on “Tomorrow’s Alternative Medicine” with an “aim to build a great sustainable and equitable portfolio of ventures in the emerging markets through advanced research & development, acquisition, production and services commercialized through our divisions.”

Wuhan operates two divisions through its wholly-owned subsidiary, MJMedTech.

MJ MedTech is a nutraceutical biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing botanical-based medicine by deploying medical grade CBD and other plant-based products to help alleviate everyday illness.

MJMedTech’s two divisions are as follows: 

  1. Dr. AnnaRX, which focuses on cannabis medicinals, especially CBD products; and
  2. M2BIO which focuses on magic mushroom medicinals, especially psilocybin products.

According to their webpage, Dr. AnnaRx is “committed to supplying medical grade CBD products, superior patient care while increasing shareholders ROI.” The company states that it “on track to achieve a positive cash flow in the second quarter of 2019” and expresses optimism regarding “a new estimate from cannabis industry analysts the Brightfield Group, the CBD market alone could hit $22 billion by 2022.”

MJ MedTech’s new division, M2BIO aims “to develop new therapies that will help patients who suffer from mental illness thereby globally easing the burden on healthcare systems. Towards this goal, M2BIO will be exploring additional indications for psilocybin, with the goal of bringing new therapies to market in the years to come.

M2BIO is led by Wuhan’s CMO, Dr. Anna Morera Lorelta.

According to Dr. Lorelta, psychedelic medicine is experiencing a remarkable revival in the wake of recent research studies and positive findings from great institutions, such as Johns Hopkins. ’’Psilocybin has become a very promising candidate for future treatments for anxiety and depression because it appears to disrupt the sorts of engrained brain activity patterns that are the hallmark of those diseases.” Dr. Lorelta notes “Just like it took time for the regulators to get behind marijuana, we believe the same will happen with ‘magic mushrooms’ in due course.”  See Cannabis and Magic Mushrooms – A Near Perfect Analogy.

MJ MedTech CEO, Jeff Robinson described the company’s strategy as follows: “We want to be far ahead of the curve and become pioneers in the market, collaborating with legislative bodies to help find better and healthier solutions.”

About Biodelta Nutraceuticals, Ltd.

According to Wuhan’s press release, Biodelta Nutraceuticals (ISO 22000 and organic certified) is a Cape Town-based manufacturer and merchandiser of premium health products to all pharmacy & health shop chains across South Africa. For the past 12 years, Biodelta has developed, designed and produced more than 1,000 products and is now strategically positioned to launch CBD products through these channels. In addition, Biodelta has license applications in process for growing, extracting and product development as well as dossiers for various CBD based products.

Indications of an Emerging Psilocybin Industry

For a variety of reasons, research in psychedelics increased tremendously over the past decade.  Owing to many promising scientific results and some indications of legal and political changes, some early movers have started investing in psilocybin, magic mushroom, and psychedelic technology.  This latter activity has been identified as a bold new investment opportunity.

Five years ago, there were no commercial entities working on psilocybin technology.  Now, as of May 2019, there are at least four commercial entities focused on developing psilocybin technology:

  1. COMPASS Pathways (see also ATAI Life Sciences);
  2. CaaMTech; and
  3. M2BIO (see also Wuhan General Group and MJ MedTech).
  4. Paul Stamets.

Non-commercial activity also appears to be gaining momentum.  For example, Business Insider recently published an article about how Tim Ferriss just helped launch the world’s first research center dedicated to turning psychedelics into medicines. “These compounds may help treat intractable conditions affecting tens of millions of people….” Ferris said in a statement. Robin Carhart-Harris, the head of the new center and a neuroscience and pharmacology researcher at London’s Imperial College, told Business Insider, “Things have really started to gain momentum.”

Magic mushrooms were recently decriminalized in Denver, Colorado, suggesting that legal barriers to recreational exploration may decrease alongside the increase in both academic and commercial R&D.

Although the psilocybin industry is still in its nascent stages, all signs suggest that the momentum behind developing psychedelic medicines will continue to grow.  As James Hamblin recently wrote in The Atlantic, “The growth of cannabis is a reminder that once there is money to be made, industries form lobbies in Washington, D.C., and it becomes difficult to contain the profit-driven energies that have put CBD in every conceivable product….”

The post Wuhan Signs LOI with Biodelta One Month after Launching Psilocybin Division appeared first on Psilocybin Technology.

]]>
https://psilocybintechnology.com/wuhan-signs-loi-with-biodelta-1-month-after-launching-psilocybin-division/feed/ 0 1699
Compass Pathways’s Patents https://psilocybintechnology.com/compass-pathwayss-patents/ https://psilocybintechnology.com/compass-pathwayss-patents/#comments Thu, 16 May 2019 21:24:05 +0000 https://psilocybintechnology.com/?p=1674 In late April of 2019, both the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) and the World Intellectual Property Office (“WIPO”) published Compass Pathways’s Patent Applications directed to psilocybin technology.  ...

The post Compass Pathways’s Patents appeared first on Psilocybin Technology.

]]>
In late April of 2019, both the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) and the World Intellectual Property Office (“WIPO”) published Compass Pathways’s Patent Applications directed to psilocybin technology.  These applications were previously unavailable for public inspection, which led some journalists to speculate that Compass Pathways was creating a “magic mushroom monopoly.”

Now that Compass’s patent applications have published, it seems clear that they have no intentions of creating an expansive patent portfolio or stifling R&D by other entities.  To the contrary, their patent claims are extremely narrow, bordering on insignificant. Thus, fears that Compass Pathways has been creating a “magic mushroom monopoly” have been drastically overstated.  By way of analogy, Compass Pathways has claimed a few grains of sand in the middle of a vast desert– not the entire desert.

Despite widespread concern that Compass’s patent portfolio would impede psilocybin science, their patent portfolio probably won’t affect psilocybin research or commerce in any meaningful way.  Again referring to the analogy of a few grains of sand in the desert:

  • There are over 180 known species of psilocybin containing “magic” mushrooms
  • Those magic mushrooms contain many active ingredients — psilocybin is just one of them.
  • Psilocybin can exist in many forms, including mushrooms, mushroom preparations, crude mushroom extracts, separated/isolated psilocybin, or synthetic psilocybin.
  • Synthetic psilocybin can exist in many forms, including crystalline material.
  • Pure crystalline psilocybin can exist in a variety of different crystalline forms, aka “polymorphs.”
  • Compass has claimed (but not yet received a patent for) two specific crystalline forms.

The figure below shows how magic mushrooms can be extracted and separated into individual active molecules.  Instead of extracting those molecules (e.g., psilocybin) from a mushroom each of them could be made synthetically in a chemical laboratory.

Naturally occurring psychoactive mushrooms contain many active ingredients. Those ingredients can be extracted with a solvent to eliminate the insoluble structural material of the mushroom. That extract can be further processed to separate out the molecules present in the extract — resulting in a collection of isolated individual molecules that are much easier to study scientifically.
Psilocybin is just one of those molecules. Psilocybin can also be produced synthetically. Synthetic psilocybin can exist as a number of different salts and crystalline forms. Compass Pathways is only claiming one new crystalline form of synthetic psilocybin.

Concerns about Compass Pathways Monopolizing Psilocybin

Over the past year, Compass Pathways has received considerable attention for its commercial interests in psilocybin technology.  Compass Pathways is presently conducting clinical trials for administering pure synthetic psilocybin to patients with Treatment Resistant Depression.  Compass Pathways is poised to become the first legal provider of pure synthetic psilocybin.

Because of a somewhat anti-capitalist reaction towards commercializing psilocybin, Compass has been the subject of considerable criticism.  Much of this criticism has focused on Compass’s filing of several patent applications related to psilocybin. Robert Jesse of John’s Hopkins University fears that corporate influence could create a landscape “clogged by proprietary methods, restrictive licensing, exclusive contracts, patents, and the like.”

In November of 2018, Olivia Goldhill wrote an article in Quartz, stating that “A millionaire couple is threatening to create a magic mushroom monopoly,” referring to Compass’s founders George Goldsmith and Katya Malievskaia.

In her article, Ms. Goldhill explained that Compass was “well ahead of other institutions working in this field—and a recently filed patent application could help the company stay ahead.”

“Compass Pathways has relied on conventional pharmaceutical-industry tactics that could help them dominate the field, including blocking potential rivals’ ability to purchase drugs, filing an application for a manufacturing patent, and requiring contracts that give Compass power over academics’ research and are restrictive even by pharmaceutical-industry standards.

Responding to concerns about the implication of their patent portfolio, Compass Pathways told Quartz “our patents will not restrict research in the field, or preclude others from creating different solutions for the synthesis and formulation of psilocybin.”

In her article, Ms. Goldhill conceded “It’s not clear what exactly would be covered by the patent.”  Now that Compass’s patent application has published, it appears that Compass was telling the truth.  Their patents will not restrict research in the field, or preclude others from creating different solutions for the synthesis and formulation of psilocybin.

Compass’s patent application is extremely narrow. It does not create a threat of any sort of “magic mushroom monopoly.”

Compass Pathways’s Published Patent Applications

Compass Pathways United States Patent Application Number 16/155,386 published on April 25, 2019 as U.S. Patent Application Publication Number 2019/0119310.  International Patent Application Number PCT/IB2018/057811 published on April 18, 2018 as WO2019073379A1.  Both of these applications claim priority dating back to the British Application Number GB1716505.1, filed on October 9, 2017. Both applications claim extremely narrow subject matter.

The claimed subject matter is extremely narrow because all of the claims are limited to one specific crystalline form of psilocybin.  Currently pending claim 1 recites:

1 . Crystalline psilocybin in the form Polymorph A or

Polymorph A ‘ , characterised by one or more of :

a . peaks in an XRPD diffractogram at 11 . 5 , 12 . 0 and

14 . 5°20 + 0 . 1°20 ;

b . peaks in an XRPD diffractogram at 11 . 5 , 12 . 0 and

14 . 5°20 + 0 . 1°20 , further characterised by at least one

further peak at 19 . 7 , 20 . 4 , 22 . 2 , 24 . 3 or 25 . 7°20 + 0 .

1°20 ;

c . an XRPD diffractogram as substantially illustrated in

FIG . 7a or 7b ; or

d . an endothermic event in a DSC thermogram having an

onset temperature of between 205 and 220° C . substantially as illustrated in FIG . 8a or 8b .

Compass’s claims do not read on previously known forms of psilocybin.  Compass’s claims have nothing to do with “magic mushrooms.” Compass’s claims have nothing to do with the other active ingredients found in magic mushrooms.  In short, Compass’s claims are only relevant the particular crystalline form of psilocybin created and used by Compass.

Unless they use Compass’s specific process and crystalline form(s), other entities would be unaffected in their ability to make, use, or sell psilocybin or the other active ingredients in magic mushrooms.

Similarly, other entities would be unaffected in their ability to make, use, or sell other prodrugs of psilocin, such as psilacetin. They would also be unaffected in their ability to make, use, or sell any varieties of magic mushrooms.

The only monopoly sought by Compass Pathways is for the right to make, use, or sell their extremely narrow and specific form(s) of synthetic psilocybin.  Compass claims ownership of new crystalline forms of psilocybin on account of their intellectual contribution to the crystallization of psilocybin.  Compass’s new/inventive crystallization step is described in detail within Example 1 at paragraph 285 of the published application. In short, the crystallization method involves dissolving crude psilocybin in hot water and then gradually cooling the water. The process is similar to making rock candy from sugar.

Compass’s method of making psilocybin is also disclosed in the application.  Their method is best described as an optimized version of a procedure that was published in the Journal of Natural Products 2003, volume 66, pages 885-887.  Compass claims to have optimized this method for making larger batches of psilocybin: “In contrast to the prior art, the present invention sought to produce psilocybin at a commercial large scale.”  Para. 276.

Conclusions

Concerns about Compass Pathways monopolizing magic mushrooms or psilocybin have been drastically overstated. Based on their recently published patent applications, Compass is only claiming a new crystalline form of psilocybin. The patentability of that “new” form has yet to be determined. During examination of the claims, a patent examiner will determine whether crystallizing psilocybin from water to afford Compass’s “new” forms represents a patentable advance beyond the prior art.  Either way, Compass is highly unlikely to impede scientific progress with its patent portfolio.

 

The post Compass Pathways’s Patents appeared first on Psilocybin Technology.

]]>
https://psilocybintechnology.com/compass-pathwayss-patents/feed/ 5 1674
New Psilocybin Patent Application by Paul Stamets https://psilocybintechnology.com/new-psilocybin-patent-application-by-paul-stamets/ https://psilocybintechnology.com/new-psilocybin-patent-application-by-paul-stamets/#respond Wed, 01 May 2019 20:46:58 +0000 https://psilocybintechnology.com/?p=1593 The increasing interest in psychedelic investment opportunities, including some recent developments in China, has led some analysts to begin studying the psychedelic patent landscape. Given the relatively small amount of ...

The post New Psilocybin Patent Application by Paul Stamets appeared first on Psilocybin Technology.

]]>
The increasing interest in psychedelic investment opportunities, including some recent developments in China, has led some analysts to begin studying the psychedelic patent landscape. Given the relatively small amount of research in the psychedelic space, very little IP has been generated to date.  Two exceptions to this rule include world-renowned mycologist Paul Stamets and CaaMTech, LLC. The UK based pharmaceutical company, COMPASS Pathways has also filed some psilocybin related patent applications, but they appear to be relatively narrow in terms of both the subject matter and geographical relevance.

Paul Stamets is one of the leading authorities on psychedelic mushrooms. See, e.g., Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World, by Paul Stamets, which is arguably the leading book on magic mushrooms. He is also an inventor of several patents, including some in the psychedelic space. On April 11, 2019, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the “USPTO”) published a new patent application by  Mr. Stamets.

This article focuses on Mr. Stamets’s new application, US Patent Application serial number 16/211,281 (filed Dec. 6, 2018; herein “the ‘281 Application”). The ‘281 Application is a continuation of Mr. Stamets’s earlier filed U.S. Patent Application serial number 15/494,503, (filed Apr. 23, 2017), which claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/365,982, (filed Jul. 23, 2016).  Juxtaposing these two applications raising some interesting questions about the direction of psilocybin research and technology. Or, at least they may signal a change in Paul Stamets’s research focus, which may be significant to the industry in its own right.

Changing Focus of Stamets Patent Applications

Mr. Stamets’s new application (the ‘281 Application) claims a broader subject matter than the earlier filed application.  The (earlier) ‘503 Application was titled “Compositions and methods for enhancing neuroregeneration and cognition by combining mushroom extracts containing active ingredients psilocin or psilocybin with erinacines or hericenones enhanced with niacin.” The new ‘281 Application is simply titled “Psilocybin compositions.”

Arguably, the differences between the application titles illustrate Mr. Stamets’s intentions to broaden the scope of his earlier disclosure– changing the focus from (A) methods comprising at least three ingredients (psilocin or psilocybin + erinacines or hericenones + niacin) to (B) compositions containing three ingredients (a psilocybin derivative + psilocybin mushrooms or extracts + niacin).  The later-described compositions do not require erinacines or hericenones, which were an essential aspect of the original disclosure.

The evolution of the claims in the ‘281 and ‘503 Applications follow a similar trend.

The claims of Mr. Stamets’s earlier filed application (the ‘503 Application) were directed entirely to methods (not compositions), and those methods included more limitations regarding the compositions.  Claim 1 of the ‘503 Application recites:

1. A method for improving neurological health of an animal comprising: administering a therapeutically effective amount of a composition to an animal, wherein the composition comprises one or more of psilocybin, psilocin, baeocystin, norbaeocystin, salts thereof, or combinations thereof, one or more of erinacines, hericenones or combinations thereof, and niacin.

By contrast, the most recent ‘281 Application focuses on compositions.  Claim 1 recites:

1. A composition comprising:
psilocybin, psilocin, baeocystin, norbaeocystin, or salts thereof, psilocybin mushrooms or extracts thereof, or combinations thereof; and
niacin.

Compositions Combining Psilocybin Derivatives + Cannabinoids

Another interesting difference between Mr. Stamets’s earlier disclosure (the ‘503 Application) and the latest published application (the ‘281 Application) is his increased focus on combinations of psilocybin derivatives with cannabinoids.

For example, Claim 6 of the new ‘281 Application recites:

6. A composition comprising:
psilocybin, psilocin, baeocystin, norbaeocystin, or salts thereof, psilocybin mushrooms or extracts thereof, or combinations thereof;
Cannabis extracts comprising cannabidiol, tetrahydrocannabinol, or combinations thereof; and
niacin.

By contrast, the earlier disclosure provided only a limited general disclosure of this idea.  For example, claim 11 of the (earlier) ‘503 Application disclosed the following within claim 11:

11. The method of claim 1, wherein the composition additionally comprises one or more of (Bacopa monnieri), Gotu kola (Centella asiatica), Gingko (Gingko biloba), Ginger (Zingiber officinale), Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum), Hu Zhang (Polygonum cuspidatum), Oregano (Origanum vulgare, Origanum onites), Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis, Rosmarinus eriocalyx, Rosmarinus species), Turmeric (Curcuma longa), Green Tea (Camellia sinensis), lavender (Lavandula spica and Lavandula species), skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), oat straw (Avena sativa and Avena byzantine), Diviner’s Sage (Salvia divinorum), ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria species), Tabernanthe iboga, Voacanga africana, Tabernaemontana undulate, peyote (Lophophora williamsii), morning glory (Ipomoea tricolor, Argyreia nervosa), Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica or Cannabis ruderalis, or combinations thereof.

Accordingly, the newer application narrows the focus considerably from (A) methods including compositions that contain (any one of) an extensive list of plants, to (B) composition having several specific compounds from one specific plant.

Discussion and Remaining Questions

Although neither Mr. Stamets’s ‘281 Application nor his ‘502 Application have issued as patents, the evolution of the claims in these applications suggest that Mr. Stamets has substantially changed the focus of his invention.

  1. Mr. Stamets’s original focus on neuroregenerative methods has evolved into a focus on all-purpose compositions.  Does this signify a departure from neuroregeneration research and development?  If not, why change the focus from particular methods to all-purpose compositions?
  2. Mr. Stamets’s original focus on erinacines or hericenones or both has virtually disappeared in the latest application.  The original disclosure was clear that the disclosed compositions all included niacin combined with erinacines or hericenones.  But the latest published application (the ‘281 Application) appears to eliminate these once critical components from the compositions.  Why the change of heart regarding erinacines or hericenones?  Given that these ingredients were critical ingredients throughout the original disclosure, why aren’t they important now?
  3. One clear consistency between Mr. Stamets’s ‘281 Application and his ‘502 Application is the absolute requirement that all of the disclosed methods or compositions include niacin. Arguably the niacin component of the invention is more important than even the psilocybin derivative: The disclosure provides for some flexibility regarding the chemical compositions of the mushrooms/mushroom extracts; But, all methods and compositions must include niacin.  Arguably, Mr. Stamets’s applications are most appropriately categorized as “Niacin Compositions.”
  4. Why the new and specific focus on psilocybin derivatives and cannabinoids? These are all naturally occurring molecules with therapeutic potential.  But, the earlier application only listed the cannabis plant alongside dozens of other plants and fungi. In the most recent application, cannabis and specific cannabinoids have been elevated to a level of importance that is surprisingly inconsistent with the original filing.

The post New Psilocybin Patent Application by Paul Stamets appeared first on Psilocybin Technology.

]]>
https://psilocybintechnology.com/new-psilocybin-patent-application-by-paul-stamets/feed/ 0 1593
Investing in Psychedelics, Psilocybin, or Magic Mushrooms https://psilocybintechnology.com/investing-in-psychedelics-psilocybin-or-magic-mushrooms/ https://psilocybintechnology.com/investing-in-psychedelics-psilocybin-or-magic-mushrooms/#comments Thu, 18 Apr 2019 18:37:11 +0000 https://psilocybintechnology.com/?p=1507 [Updated October 2019] Are magic mushrooms (or psilocybin) going to be the next big investment opportunity after cannabis?  Many investors think yes. But it’s hard to invest in psychedelics (like ...

The post Investing in Psychedelics, Psilocybin, or Magic Mushrooms appeared first on Psilocybin Technology.

]]>
[Updated October 2019]

Are magic mushrooms (or psilocybin) going to be the next big investment opportunity after cannabis?  Many investors think yes. But it’s hard to invest in psychedelics (like magic mushrooms or psilocybin) because the psychedelic industry is just beginning to emerge.

As of May 2019, only three companies (Compass Pathways, the Imperial Center for Psychedelic Research, and CaaMTech) were developing formulations based on the molecules found in magic mushrooms.  Compass Pathways is focussing on creating treatment methods using pure synthetic psilocybin. According to their patent applications, CaaMTech is developing formulations that combine multiple of psilocybin derivatives, designed to preserve (or improve upon) the combinations of compounds found in naturally occurring magic mushrooms.  According to their press release, CaaMTech also appears to be developing synthetic psilocybin derivatives, such as psilacetin. Neither of these companies is publicly traded. The Imperial Center for Psychedelic Research is focused on developing medicines from psychedelic substances, including but not limited to magic mushrooms or psilocybin.

[UPDATED OCTOBER 2019] As of October 2019, there are considerably more companies focused on developing psychedelic (including psilocybin based) technologies. They are emerging rapidly.  LinkedIn lists 317 “psychedelic” companies.  Notably these companies include everything from for-profit businesses (like Compass Pathways) to psychedelic clubs, connecting people for nothing more than discussion.

Similarly, LinkedIn now lists 19 “psilocybin” entities, again spanning the entire spectrum of purposes—from politic groups to for-profit entries.  One new company is Orthogonal (aka Orthogonal Thinker) which is listed as a “Financial Services” firm.  According to their webpage, Orthogonal has raised money form “600+ investors from our seed round.”  This money appears to be directed towards “EI.ventures,” which “will combine psychoactive compounds such as DEA-registered psilocybin, together with technology, to empower customized compounds and personalized formulas to better mental wellness.”  A recent article in Green Market Report quoted Orthogonal’s founder David Nikzad as follows: “We are in the process of patenting everything we are working on to distribute everything we have to the world.” Aside from “patenting everything,” Nikzad’s company appears to be focused on microdoses of psilocin.  Note: psilocin not psilocybin.  According to Nikzad, Orthogonal’s goal is to create a business model that supports providing a three-milligram microdose of the product Psilly for $1.  This equates to about $333 per gram.  According to Nikzad, “We know this product is very inexpensive to make the way we make it.” Compared to the price of other psilocin equivalents (like synthetic psilocybin or 4-AcO-DMT), the price of Orthogonal’s “psilly” falls somewhere in the middle– less expensive than COMPASS Pathways cGMP psilocybin; but more than 5x the price of 4-AcO-DMT.

Another recent addition to the psychedelic industry is Wuhan General Group, which we previously covered here and here.

Entheogen Biomedical jumps out as the largest entity, a “Research” company with “201-500 employees.”  Their webpage is not accessible to the public due to a login requirement.

Frontier Neurochem, Inc. is “a biopharmaceutical company developing, licensing and marketing small molecules neurotherapeutics derived from plant-extracted alkaloids compounds and other phytochemicals.”  The company lists iboga-type alkaloids as its primary focus.

Tassili Life Science, Corp. is a biotechnology company in Toronto, Canada.  According to their LinkedIn page, “Tassili Life focusses on R&D related to Psilocybin to better understand the potential application to enhance humanity.” According to their webpage, “At Tassili Life Sciences we strive to enhance the knowledge and applications of 5-HT2A through clinical trials and the development of patents.”  They also describe the company as “focus[ing] on research and development related to Psilocybin through clinical trials.”  Their webpage does not explain how Tassili intends to “enhance the knowledge” of a serotonin receptor (5HT-2A) with “the development of patents.” 

“How does one invest in the psilocybin (or magic mushroom) industry?”

(Unsatisfying) Answer: Either get creative or wait. Traditional mechanisms for investing capital in psychedelics are virtually non-existent.  Given the undisputed promise for psychedelic medicine, one could argue that the industry needs more investment opportunities. As discussed below, “bold” investors with “big fortunes” are finding ways to invest early. For everyone else, the two options are as follows: (1) wait for an investment opportunity; (2) create one by investing in R&D and intellectual property.

This article was originally published on April 18, 2019.  Since then, some “bold” investors have invested money in psychedelic research. For example, Tim Ferriss just helped launch the Imperial Center for Psychedelic Research. This is the world’s first research center dedicated to turning psychedelics into medicines. See Business InsiderSee also Tim Ferriss and PsychedelicsThe lead scientist at the center, Robin Carhart-Harris, explains that psychedelic research has “really started to gain momentum.”

Psychedelic Industry Presents Big Opportunities for Bold Investors

Recently, Bloomberg published an article about “unusual” investment opportunities for investors “with big fortunes and a taste for the exotic.” Woolley, S., “Psychedelics, Ferraris and Art: An Alternative Investment Guide Opportunities for those with big fortunes and bold tastes.”  Bloomberg (accessed April 15, 2019).  Investments in “Psychedelics” earned top billing in the article’s title.

Other journalists have discussed investments in psychedelics: “Like cannabis, wealthy investors are shoving millions of dollars into psychedelics.” See Capps, R., Rooster, Oct. 23, 2018 (accessed April 15, 2019).

According Ms. Woolley, “Weed is so 2018. Next year, cutting-edge investors are going psychedelic.”  She notes that our perception of “psychedelics” will need to change.  The first movers in the psychedelic industry ”aren’t wearing tie dye and driving VW buses, but are at work in the lab and treatment room.”

“There’s a renewed wave of research and testing the use of hallucinogenic compounds, primarily psilocybin, the active ingredient in ‘magic mushrooms,’ to alleviate treatment-resistant depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction and other conditions.”

Virtually all available evidence indicates that psilocybin and other psychedelics have tremendous potential for treating some of the world’s most costly health problems.  The scientific community and mainstream media appear united in the reasons supporting increased access to psychedelic treatments. See, e.g., “Johns Hopkins Scientists Recommend Rescheduling Psilocybin“.  While some have highlighted the astronomical costs of mental health problems that could be mitigated by psilocybin treatments, the potential economic opportunities remain poorly defined.

With near universal agreement in the benefits of psychedelics, many savvy investors are beginning to ask “How do I invest in psychedelics like psilocybin?”  Presently it appears extremely hard to invest capital in this industry, leaving the question open.

Investment Opportunities in the “Magic Mushroom” or Psilocybin Industry – Intellectual Property?

The psychedelic industry is just emerging.  Although scientists all agree that molecules found in “magic mushrooms” hold tremendous potential, the future of the psychedelic industry is still unclear.

Only one company (Compass Pathways) appears to be conducting clinical trials for a “magic mushroom” product.  Compass Pathways is developing a product with pure psilocybin as the only active ingredient.  That product fails to account for the importance of the multiple active ingredients in magic mushrooms. Accordingly, although Compass Pathways is at the forefront of developing psilocybin pharmaceuticals, they may be wedded to yesterday’s technology.

Compass’s approach is reminiscent of early work in the cannabis industry, i.e., focussing only on THC. Over the past several years, the cannabis industry has learned that pure THC is not the only important molecule in the cannabis plant.  To the contrary, that industry has recognized that (a) formulations of multiple active ingredients are better than (b) one single isolated ingredient.  See Entourage Effect.

By analogy, very few coffee or tea drinkers consider switching over to pure caffeine.  Beer and wine drinkers seldom switch over to grain alcohol.  What will happen when Compass Pathways faces competition from companies offering products that retain the advantages of naturally occurring magic mushrooms?  Compass has a clear advantage as the first mover.  But others seeking to enter the space with a pure psilocybin product may find it hard to compete with entities offering products formulated with synergistic combinations.

Investing in R&D and intellectual property could provide an alternative to investing in early stage psychedelic businesses.  Arguably, entrepreneurs looking to invest in psychedelics could generate the greatest returns by investing in research and development relevant to the future of the psychedelic industry.  Instead of “touching the mushrooms,” entrepreneurs could develop technology that will become valuable when mushrooms are eventually decriminalized and/or legalized.  Those entrepreneurs could pursue patent protection for that technology and then leverage that advantage when the legal barriers change.  Following this logic, several entities, including Compass Pathways, Paul Stamets, CaaMTech, and Tassili Life Sciences have invested in intellectual property related to psychedelics.

The launch of the Imperial Center for Psychedelic Research follows a trend in renewed interest in psychedelics’ potential to treat some of the most intractable medical problems confronting society today. (For example, depression, anxiety, PTSD, compulsion, and other conditions “characterized by a kind of rigidity,” leaving the subject stuck in an unproductive pattern of thinking).  In addition to Tim Ferriss, the center’s other funders include Sanjay Singhal, Shamil Chandaria, Anton Bilton, and Bohdana Tamas. While these investors are clearly committed to furthering psychedelic research, it is presently unclear whether the Imperial Center for Psychedelic Research plans to capture the intellectual property generated through their efforts.

** Please share your thoughts on this topic by using the comments section below

The post Investing in Psychedelics, Psilocybin, or Magic Mushrooms appeared first on Psilocybin Technology.

]]>
https://psilocybintechnology.com/investing-in-psychedelics-psilocybin-or-magic-mushrooms/feed/ 4 1507