Majority of Canadians Support Some Access to Psilocybin

The Details:

  • 41% of respondents to a new poll say they support legal access to psilocybin for terminally ill patients. 
  • After being given information on the clinical data surrounding the efficacy of psilocybin for this treatment support rose to 59%
  • The poll was conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights and commissioned by Therapsil, a non-profit asking the Minister of Health to grant exemptions to terminally ill patients in order to access psilocybin assisted therapy.

Why it Matters:

  • The majority support for psilocybin assisted therapy is a good sign for the psychedelic access movement, however it may not be enough for the Minister of Health to act.  There does not appear to be an organized constituency of support and the support does not appear to be particularly intense. 
  • Poll respondents needed to be educated on the clinical results in order to achieve majority support, much work needs to be done to educate the public and build coalitions for meaningful broad based support of psychedelics. 
  • Despite the challenges ahead the poll results are indicative of openness to psychedelics, as Canada’s cannabis rollout continues without major incidents, support to regulate a new set of drugs may continue to grow. 

Additional Resources

A Saskatoon dad in palliative care is still waiting to find out if he can legally use psilocybin for mental health

Psyc Firms Embrace Tech For Personalized Treatment

The Details

  • Two major psychedelic companies announced this week that they are pursuing strategies to use technology to create personalized dosing treatments for patients.
  • MindMed (NEO: MMED) announced the filing of two patent applications to “screen and optimize the dosing of MDMA and LSD.”
  • Atai Life announced the creation of IntroSpect Digital Therapeutics, which will be tasked with creating “digital tools and devices that will magnify the effects of drugs in development at ATAI’s companies.”  
  • Potential applications of IntroSpect’s tools including using digital biomarkers to tailor dosing and to better provide remote treatment to patients. 

Why it Matters

  • Psychedelics remain far from a precise medicine, and by the nature of psychedelic assisted therapy it will likely remain an imprecise science, by introducing tools to tailor a dose to an individual patient, outcomes are likely to improve.
  • Tailored dosing solutions require datasets from a patient population to accurately predict the right dose for an individual. As most psychedelics are very limited in their availability, the data to train these models is limited. 

Additional Resources

RoP spoke with Will Krawszik of Opportune Therapeutics about using machine learning to advance psychedelics, listen to the podcast. 

US Military Invests in Psychedelic Research

The Details:

  • The U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has allocated $26.9 million to research “new medications to effectively and rapidly treat depression, anxiety, and substance abuse without major side effects,” as reported by Marijuana Moment. 
  • The project will be led by Brian L. Roth, a professor of pharmacology at UNC School of Medicine.
  • The UNC press release specifically mentions  Ketamine and Psilocybin as potential targets. 

Why it Matters:

  • Government involvement in researching drugs which are illegal or highly regulated is a sign of confidence in their efficacy, and will certainly serve as an indicator to investors. 
  • It appears DARPA considers hallucinations as a negative side effect, therefore some of the research will be dedicated to developing psychedelic treatments without the hallucinogenic effects, a controversial and somewhat unproven approach. 
  • DARPA’s stated interest is to treat the high number of veterans and military members with mental health conditions. Of course, the US government has a sorted history with psychedelics in the past. 

What Else We’re Watching:

Rritual Announces Dr. Mike Hart as President: Rritual a functional mushrooms company has appointed plant based medicine expert Dr. Mike Hart as president. 

Tony Clement joins psychedelic drug company as advisor: The former provincial (Ontario) and federal (Canada) minister has joined the advisory board of Red Light Holland (CSE:TRIP), he is taking criticism for past anti-drug positions.

Mindbloom Launches Remote-Enabled Psychedelic Therapy In California To Meet Growing Demand: Mindbloom has added California to the list of states where they can offer remote ketamine assisted psychotherapy. 

MindMed (NEO:MMED) Building Diverse Pipeline and Leadership Position in Psychedelic Inspired Medicines Industry: MindMed to provide corporate update and investor Q&A on July 2nd at 1pm ET. 

Flow State Worldwide Partners with Dutch Psychedelic Pioneers: Flow State, a California company founded by a cannabis entrepreneur, which sells functional mushrooms, announced a partnership with three Netherlands based companies to combine their functional product with “magic truffles” and distribute these products in the Netherlands. 

Seelos Announces Final Data From Phase I Pk/Pd Study Of Intranasal Racemic Ketamine: The study found that the substance tested was “safe and well tolerated across all doses.”

Psychedelic Medical Start-Up AWAKN Life Sciences Enters the UK Market with Dr. Ben Sessa: Awakn Life Sciences, a Toronto based psychedelics firm with sights on the UK market is acquiring a controlling interest in Mandala Therapy Ltd. as part of the market entry. 

People are paying $10,000 to trip on magic mushrooms at a retreat in Jamaica: Insider takes a look at the controversial practice of psychedelic retreats.