ATAI To Take On Opioid Crisis With Acquisition
- Atai Life Sciences, a “platform” for psychedelic research and development, has acquired a majority stake in Kures a New York based pharmaceutical company targeting the intersection of pain and opioid addiction.
- Per the release, the undisclosed infusion of cash and other resources from ATAI will support Kures in developing KUR-101, a derivative of mitragynine, the major active alkaloid of the kratom plant.
- Kratom is a natural plant with historical usage in southeast Asia, and a recent growth in popularity in North America where it is either unregulated or loosely controlled.
Why It Matters:
- Kratom is not considered a psychedelic drug, but fits within the broad theme of ATAI’s approach of developing new, novel and sometimes natural, treatments for some of the world’s most serious problems of mental health and addiction.
- Dr. Srinivas Rao will act as CEO for Kures, he is the Chief Scientific Officer of ATAI and the CEO of Entheogenix Biosciences, although he may be stretched thin, he is a highly credible scientist and executive.
- ATAI now boasts a portfolio of 9 companies, with a $24 million financing in April, this growth may continue.
Magic Med and Next Leaf Build Patent Portfolios
- Magic Med Industries announced the filing of a provisional patent application with the USPTO “covering composition of matter, drug formulation and process of preparation claims for novel psilocybin derivatives.”
- Magic Med intends to build a portfolio of IP to support the development of psychedelic drugs.
- Next Leaf Solutions (CSE:OILS) announced the Canadian Intellectual Property Office has granted the company a patent pertaining to the refinement of THC-O-Acetate, a drug described as having “psychedelic medicinal potential.”
Why It Matters:
- Magic Med is taking a differentiated approach in comparison to their do it all rivals in the psychedelic space. Understanding their position in the value chain and sticking to what they’re best at limits both risk and opporutnity.
- Per the firm’s investment presentation they are targeting a public listing in 2021, it will be interesting to see how the market reacts to the specialized story.
- Next Leaf appears to be taking a measured approach to psychedelics. The research on what they propose is limited, but the idea of using a cannabis derivative as “psychedelic medicine” is quite interesting as it’s much less regulated and more broadly accepted than true psychedelics.
Core One Labs (CSE: COOL) Take Stakes In Two Vancouver Clinics
- Core One describes itself as the owner of technology to produce oral strips for the delivery of cannabinoids, the technology is licensed to a California manufacturing facility.
- They announced this week the acquisition of Rejuva Alternative Medicine Research Centre, and a quarter ownership of Shahcor Health Services. The Rejuva deal will be an all stock exchange, and the Shahcor deal will be a mix of stock and a $400,000 cash payment.
- The company intends to conduct R&D through these clinics and “establish a portfolio of intellectual property, through human clinical trials, to build a robust drug development platform in the psychedelic medicine space.”
Why It Matters:
- Per the press release the acquisitions will net Core One a database of 200,000 patients. One problem, that works out to roughly 12.5% of the Greater Vancouver Area’s population visiting one of these two alternative medicine clinics.
- Another issue is what do you do with these patients? The only viable option for a psychedelic clinic right now is to offer ketamine assisted therapy, there’s no indication that will be on offer.
- Finally, conducting R&D to develop IP is a reasonable strategy, but it’s unclear how the acquisition of these clinics feeds that. If there were rich data on these patients’ use of psychedelics that would be one thing. Otherwise, there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of patients interested in enrolling in clinical trials.
Congressman Withdraws Attempt to Block DC Decriminalization
- Organizers in DC submitted more than enough signatures to qualify to put the question of decriminalizing natural psychedelics to the district’s voters in November.
- Republican Congressman Andy Harris of an adjacent district filed an amendment to a bill which would undermine DC decriminalizing if the vote passed.
- Rep. Harris withdrew his amendment before the House Appropriations committee could vote on it, but he said he didn’t want DC to be known as “the drug capital of the world.”
Why It Matters:
- The removal of this amendment is just one of many hurdles, while the odds are favourable to the ballot initiative passing, it’s still early, the signatures have yet to be certified.
- The amendment could be reintroduced later in the process, or he could have a Senator attach the amendment to their version of the bill.
- Rep. Harris has also been an opponent and a thorn in the side to cannabis decriminalization and legalization in the district.
What Else We’re Watching
Psychedelics And Canada’s Regulatory Landscape: The law firm McMillan has put together a short briefing on Canada’s regulatory landscape when it comes to psychedelics.
Psychedelics For Seniors: A New Sublingual Option: Forbers writes, what honestly feels like an advertorial but interesting regardless, about sublingual delivery of psychedelics.
They worked for my depression. Could they be the future of psychiatry?: Writer Erica Rex writes about her experience using psychedelics to treat her cancer related depression. Can her experience be replicated on scale?
The Uptight Girl’s Guide To Psychedelics: Bustle put together a guide to trying psychedelics for, well, uptight girls.
Psychedelic journeys brought peace to this Holocaust survivor: A holocaust survivor who turned to psychedelics is helping others do the same.