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Psychedelic Bulletin: Big Pharma’s Foray Into Psychedelics; Psilocybin Trial Makes Headlines; Bill to Legalize Psilocybin in Washington State Filed

Psychedelic Sector News

Mindset Pharma Strikes Deal with U.S. Arm of Otsuka

One of Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s U.S. arms has struck a deal with Mindset Pharma, constituting what Bloomberg describes as “a rare endorsement by big pharma of the new and mostly illegal field of drugs.”

The collaboration was further explained in a press release, which explained that the McQuade Center for Strategic Research and Development (MSRD) has made an upfront cash payment of $5m to Mindset to support the development of two families of psychedelic new chemical entities.

Phase I Trial Establishes Safety of Psilocybin in 10mg and 25mg doses

COMPASS Pathways this week announced the publication of a Phase I study it sponsored, which established the short- and long-term safety of psilocybin in 10mg or 25mg doses administered to up to 6 patients simultaneously (Rucker et al., 2022).

The trial, conducted at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), was the first of its kind in investigating the simultaneous administration of psilocybin. All participants (n=89) received one-to-one support from a psychotherapist. Read a write-up of the study on King’s College London’s News Centre.

The study was covered broadly by mainstream media, predominantly in the UK, including:

  • Daily Mail: A trip to the doctors? Active ingredient in magic mushrooms could help treat mental health disorders including PTSD, research suggests
    • Note: check the comment section for some interesting, and perhaps surprising, takes – and remember that the Daily Mail is the UK’s most popular centre-right news publication.
  • Independent: Magic Mushrooms Could Treat PTSD and Depression with No Side Effects
  • Sky News: Psilocybin: British study finds ‘magic mushroom’ drug can be safely used to treat depression
  • Metro: Magic mushrooms safe to use for treating mental health conditions, study finds
  • The Telegraph: Magic mushrooms are safe to treat mental health conditions, first human trial finds

PsyMed Ventures Announces $25m Fund to Invest in Psychedelic Medicine and Beyond

PsyMed, which began as a syndicate investing in psychedelics companies, has announced the launch of a $25m fund to support companies operating in psychedelic medicine, precision psychiatry and neurotechnology.

The fund, which is founded by Matias Serebrinsky, Greg Kubin, and Dina Burkitbayeva, will donate 4.19% of profits to indigenous communities. No prizes for guessing the date that percentage refers to.

Other Company News

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Weekend Reading

New Bill Would Legalize Psilocybin in Washington State

The Washington Psilocybin Wellness and Opportunity Act (SB 5660) would legalize the supported adult use of psilocybin in the state, and includes a number of progressive features such as, “a Social Opportunity Program to help address harms caused by the war on drugs, a provision to support small businesses, and accommodations for people with certain medical conditions to receive the psychedelic substance at home.”

Ending Today: Ask Us Anything Over on Reddit

Psilocybin Alpha’s Josh Hardman is finishing up a four-day Ask Me Anything over on Reddit, covering topics such a recent amendments to Canada’s Special Access Program, the sector’s poor performance in 2021 (at least according to public markets), and more.

Take a look at the Q&As here.

Psilocybin Alpha Mentioned in the Guardian

An Opinion piece published in the Guardian takes aim at “profit-hungry corporations” in the psychedelics space, with the headline exclaiming: “That’s a recipe for a bad trip.”

Psilocybin Alpha was cited in the piece: “There is a newsletter (Psilocybin Alpha) […] aimed at investors in the burgeoning psychedelic industry.”

While the authors presumably identify our publication as part of the problem, in their opinion, it’s worth pointing out that we share many of the concerns they raise and seek to avoid ‘hype’in our reporting.

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