Sanjay Singhal, a successful Canadian entrepreneur, is on a mission to transform mental health care. Creating Canada’s first psychedelic psychotherapy research center for mental health, housed out of Toronto’s University Health Network. Snajay hopes that the research center can unlock the potential of these new therapeutic medicines and create a new way forward for mental health care.
- Singhal has suffered from bipolar disorder since his early 30’s. He is hoping that psilocybin and a so-called “God molecule” can help future sufferers.
- His daughter has also suffered from anorexia since childhood and has had several relapses over the course of her life. Singhal is also hoping to find a solution for people in the same situation as his daughter.
- A serendipitous meeting several years ago with a leading psychedelic researcher piqued Singhal’s interest after it was mentioned that psilocybin may be a cure for anorexia.
The research center will be focused solely on psychedelic medicine. To be used alongside therapy in a controlled setting. It is not intended to become a route for recreational play. The center is also looking at creating training programs for licensed therapists to become psychotherapy practitioners. Treatments will always involve therapeutic approaches, it is crucial for professionals to learn the new paradigm.
Singhal’s Psychedelic Journey
The intent of Singhal when he started his psychedelic journey was to try to discover why he drank too much. He wanted to get a handle on that aspect of his life. His exploration led to trying psilocybin, with fairly immediate and lasting positive results.
Compass Pathways was granted a patent last week for a formulation of psilocybin. And while this is good news, it does highlight the increasingly difficult and intense battle around IP for therapeutic medicines. This patent represents Compass’ 4th successful submission. However, this is a change in direction, this is the first form of psilocybin that is not being used to help treat treatment-resistant depression.
This new patent covers a form of synthetic psilocybin known as “Form A hydrate” as well as the methods for producing it. Seemingly, it is a way for Compass to restrict competitors who may be trying to produce different forms of psilocybin.
Lawyers say there is no doubt that the reason behind the patent is to protect a competitive position around psilocybin. A representative from Calyx Law believes that the patent is likely to be challenged, as Form a hydrate may not technically be new.
IP allows companies to protect innovation, which in turn allows them to finance research and bring drugs to patients and the market. If the patent stands up to the inevitable challenges, it will affect barriers to entry for scientific research and the cost of accessing therapies for patients. So, as psilocybin continues to creep towards approval as a medicine, IP fights are going to become more and more standard.
A Market Update
Research and investment in psychedelics has accelerated in recent years. The FDA has been granting breakthrough therapy designations like they are candy (no pun intended). The potential market is massive and has an extremely lucrative future. The market is expected to be worth approximately $7 billion by 2027, according to an analysis from Data Bridge Market Research.
It is no secret that music and psychedelics are like peanut butter and jelly, they just go together. It is something that RoP has discussed several times in the past. And whether you believe it or not, music has just as much potential as digital therapeutics when it comes to psychedelic ancillaries. Growing institutional support of ancillaries is clear proof that the psychedelics sector is pushing towards market maturity. Investors are looking for new and innovative opportunities that they can exploit.
A company benefiting from this investor trend is creating music to accompany psychedelic therapy. Wavepath closed 4.5M in seed investment funding on October 28th. The company is described as a digital platform that builds upon pioneering scientific research. Showing that music plays an essential role in creating positive outcomes for psychedelic therapies. The platform offers customizable music so practitioners can decide which will best benefit specific therapeutic outcomes. Different psychedelics/therapies require a different “vibe”, and Wavepath helps that process along.
Wavepaths has worked with a variety of artists to create an AI-powered auditory landscape designed to be responsive to every moment of a therapy session. They believe that therapists may still be in the dark around how to best work music into their practices. Allowing a fully person-centered experience.
Mycrodose Therapeutics and Nova Mentis Life Science Crop (CSE: NOVA) have joined forces to treat neuroinflammatory disorders. Their Joint Venture will be known as NewCo and will be focused mainly on accelerating the R & D of psilocybin-based therapeutics. Specifically by utilizing Mycrodose’s patented advanced drug delivery system in conjunction with Nova’s proprietary psilocybin drug. The plan is to work on everything from fragile X syndrome to autism spectrum disorder.
Nova has already successfully completed four preclinical studies around the efficacy of their psilocybin drug. It has shown that it can modulate levels of neuroinflammatory molecules in subjects. By hitching their proverbial wagon to Mycrodose’s technology, a world of opportunity has been opened up. This partnership opens new, previously unexplored doors, including pediatric applications.
Initial results have shown that cognitive deficits may be able to be corrected by psilocybin. The rat model that is being used has shown a correction of FXS and a mitigation of anxiety-like traits observed in the environmental model of autism.
- The Parties will both subscribe for shares to become equal 50% shareholders of NewCo. And will both have 50% of the say in who ends up on the Board of Advisors.
- NewCo will be the owner of and products, technologies, protocols, and data gathered.
- Mycrodose Therapeutics will give an exclusive license of its patented technologies to the collaboration for agreed upon use.
- Both parties will be responsible for creating the scientific advisory board.
The British Prime Minister recently stated that he will look into the legalization of psilocybin. This decision comes after parliament member Crispin Blunt urged him to review the law to allow for more research around the compound. Blunt and co-campaigners are interested in moving psilocybin to Schedule 2 with some restrictions. These include specific regulations preventing inappropriate prescribing from practitioners as well as streamlining the process of research and discovery.
Placing psilocybin in the Schedule 2 category would give it the same classification as cannabis, which was legalized for medicinal use in 2018. Boris Johnson has personally made claims that by May of 2022, psilocybin would be rescheduled for a clinical study. Crispin Blunt believes that psilocybin has exciting potential for treatment of mental health conditions, and obviously, we agree.
- UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez said he’s more interested now in the bigger fights of life than the ones in the cage. A recent journey with psychedelics has realigned his life priorities.
- Psychedelic researcher Rick Doblin speculates that psychedelics and psychedelic-assisted therapies will have penetrated mainstream culture enough to create a “spiritualized humanity” by 2070.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a clinical trial using a neuroimaging helmet made by Los Angeles-based Kernel to track what happens in the brain when a human takes a psychedelic dose of ketamine.
- In both 2018 and 2019, around $60 million was invested in psychedelics-focused companies. 2020 saw almost 10 times this level of investment as the number of psychedelics businesses and new clinical trials rapidly increased. 2020’s figure was overtaken in the first three months of 2021, and predicted investment this year is set to exceed $2 billion globally.