Psychedelics: From the Summer of Love to the Summer of IP and Stocks

summer of love

We are 54 years from the Summer of Love when in 1967 San Francisco became the focal point for young people to flap their wings against conservative social values and spread their wings in experimentation of sexual expression and drug experimentation. It has been 54 years since young people began to ask questions. The most popular drugs of the summer of love are no less popular today: weed and acid. And we still question. The culture and mindset that gave rise to that moment in time – a revolutionary moment: the seed for our current renaissance, still lives on. 

Now 54 years later. LSD and other psychedelic drugs and cannabis are having a moment that no one, except for the most forward thinking scientist or lawyer of the day, could have envisioned. And these molecules have become patentable in ways helpful to the mental health community and as all things progress an industry was born.  

“Psychedelics have become the “new cannabis” in capturing investors’ imagination, especially that of retail investors, says Eric Foster, a partner with Dentons Canada LLP.”

“From my perspective, psychedelics are very much a type of biotechnology play,” he says.

“We’ve seen an absolute explosion of capital markets work focussed on the psychedelic sector,” he says. Research indicates the psychedelic industry will grow to US$6.85 billion by 2027. That growth is more than 16 per cent compounded annually from its current size. The potential is significant considering the globally rising numbers of depression and mental disorder cases.”

How has it burgeoned into an industry? LSD and now psilocybin are naturally occurring molecules that during the summer of love the “love generation” ingested the shroom or put the acid on blotter paper and floated off into a world apart from the norm. These drugs are not new and so to create a market of what’s been around means drug developers need to “tweak the molecular make-up” or patent a delivery system.  

“The trouble is the most commonly known psychedelic drugs — LSD, magic mushrooms, ecstasy, ayahuasca — aren’t exactly new. The longer a drug is around and the more it settles into the realm of public knowledge, the more difficult it is to claim ownership via a patent.”

“Nobody owns those psychedelic drugs. To land patent protection and prevent copycatting, psychedelic drug developers will likely need to tweak the molecular makeup of existing drugs. Or, they’ll need to find new modes of delivering the drug into the human body.”

“The rule is if something already belongs to the public, you can’t take it away from them,” Gretchen Temeles, special counsel at the Philadelphia law firm Duane Morris, said in an interview.”

With that said every week this emerging industry never ceases to amaze with new developments and as has been our custom here at Dark Matters Mag we report on the developments of the previous week or two. And this past week IP is in the air. IP – intellectual property –  translates into investment potential and treatment both. 

“But from an investment perspective, Foster says psychedelics do share a lot in common with cannabis, especially in the fast upwards trajectory of psychedelic stocks, as was the case with pot stocks.”

Without further ado the psychedelic developments as we enter the summer of 2021 will start with Cybin and the “scaling up” of their European operations.

Cybin Inc. (NEO:CYBN) (OTCMKTS:CLXPF) announced the scaling up of its European operations and research activities with various academic and clinical research organizations, including the transfer of its intellectual property assets to its recently formed wholly-owned Ireland subsidiary. Cybin continues its progression of scaling and building upon its IP portfolio of novel psychedelic compounds, delivery platforms and methods of use in psychiatric indications.

Since inception, the Company has been able to progress the following initiatives all of which are accelerated from its growing portfolio of intellectual property:

  • expanded IP portfolio to 12 patent filings;
  • filed an international patent application
  • grown discovery pipeline of psychedelic molecules to 50+;
  • progressed with 4 active drug programs utilizing its Novel Psychedelic Compounds of which 3 mental health indications have been selected: Major Depressive Disorder, Alcohol Use Disorder and Anxiety Disorders
  • completed 51 pre-clinical studies to support progression of novel molecules into clinical studies in early 2022

Exciting news for Numinus Wellness on their acquisition of the “Neurology Centre of Toronto (NCT) pursuant to a purchase agreement dated July 2, 2021”. 

“VANCOUVER, BC, July 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ – Numinus Wellness Inc. (“Numinus” or the “Company”) (TSXV: NUMI), a mental health care company advancing innovative treatments and safe, evidence-based psychedelic-assisted therapies, is pleased to announce that the Company has agreed to acquire the Neurology Centre of Toronto (“NCT”) pursuant to a purchase agreement dated July 2, 2021. Numinus and NCT founder Dr. Evan Lewis plan to expand NCT into a comprehensive clinical neurology treatment centre with a unique specialization in the application of psychedelics in the field of neurology.”

“Currently, therapies for common neurological disorders such as concussion, migraine and cluster headache, neuropathic pain syndromes and chronic epilepsy have limitations, especially when these disorders are associated with chronic psychological challenges. The need to develop novel therapies that address both medical and psychological components of neurological diseases may be substantial and the potential impact could be significant.”

“Numinus and NCT are coming together to explore and develop applications of psychedelic-assisted therapies to reduce patient suffering and enable greater opportunities for healing. Current research shows that psychedelic medications such as psilocybin and MDMA open new pathways in the brain that, in conjunction with professional therapy, can treat a host of mental health disorders.”

“This acquisition represents an exciting opportunity for NCT and Numinus to combine medical, clinical and academic expertise to help create a new discipline and ultimately a centre for excellence in psychedelic neurology,” said Dr. Evan Wood, Chief Medical Officer, Numinus. “In doing so, this collaborative discipline could potentially make a transformative difference for many patients.”

“In addition, NCT has developed a virtual rapid access model for patient intake and evaluation that is efficient, team-based and readily modifiable to support specialized programs across various disciplines. The rapid access model is cost-effective, supports and streamlines patient care, reduces wait lists, addresses some barriers to care, and has scale potential. NCT and Numinus will explore how this innovative model can support the development and delivery of efficient, patient-centered psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.”

Next we look to TRYP no pun intended, maybe. The University of Michigan and  Tryp Therapeutics (CSE:TRYP; OTCQB:TRYPF) (“Tryp”) announced an agreement to collaborate on Tryp’s intellectual property portfolio for the company’s novel 8803 drug formulation. 

“Tryp’s collaboration with the University of Michigan is part of a series of upcoming bridging studies designed to expand Tryp’s intellectual property portfolio for the company’s novel TRP-8803 drug formulation compared with conventional oral formulations of synthetic psilocybin.  This series of studies will also facilitate the advancement of TRP-8803 into Phase 2b clinical trials.”

“The studies performed with the Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center and the Center for Consciousness Science in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan are designed to explore 1) the relationship between a psilocybin-induced increase in neurophysiological complexity and indices of pain in a preclinical model for chronic central pain, 2) the effect of alternative delivery methods of psilocybin on indices of pain and insular glutamate/GABA, and 3) PK analysis for blood samples from both oral and novel methods of delivery of psilocybin.”

“We are excited to initiate our collaboration with the University of Michigan with critical research supporting the unique properties of our proprietary psilocybin formulation and method of delivery,” said Jim Gilligan, Ph.D., President and Chief Science Officer of Tryp Therapeutics.  “The University of Michigan has extensive expertise in the dosing and delivery of active pharmaceutical ingredients and world-class expertise in several pain related indications that are aligned with our interests.  We expect this to be the first of many opportunities for collaboration with this prestigious academic institution.”

All in all the summer of psychedelic stocks seem to be holding their own and outperforming their non-psychedelic peers.  

“The biggest psychedelic stocks were mixed this week, although a late week surge pushed the Horizon Psychedelic Stock Index ETF (PSYK) into the green for the week (↑0.71%, +6.14% on Friday). Volume and overall industry news flow continued on the light side, however. Still, PSYK managed to outperform its more traditional biotech peers, besting the Nasdaq Junior Biotechnology Index (↓2.22%) and Nasdaq Biotechnology Ishares ETF (↓0.96%).”

Lastly regarding cannabis and IP the landscape will surely change when cannabis is decriminalized or legalized on a federal level. As of now here is a summary: 

Trademark protection is available for cannabis companies (canna-brands) through a combination of federal, state, and common law sources. Federal trademark registration is the strongest form of protection, as it is nationwide in scope and gives potential infringers constructive notice by virtue of being published in the Trademark Register. State-level trademark registrations confer many of the same advantages as federal registration, but are limited to the state in which the mark is registered. Common law trademark rights are automatically created upon the use of a trademark in commercial activities, but are the narrowest in scope, and are limited only to the geographic area of commercial use.”

“While federal trademark registration is the strongest form of protection, it also presents the greatest challenges for canna-brands, as most forms of cannabis are considered illegal substances under federal law. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) typically rejects cannabis trademark applications on one or more of the following legal grounds:

  • The Controlled Substances Act, which prohibits the manufacture and distribution of cannabis products containing more than 0.3% THC – even if such products are legal under state law.
  • The “use in commerce” requirement, which requires the applicant to provide evidence that it has placed the mark on the goods and sold them to an actual, bona fide consumer in a manner that is lawful under federal law.
  • The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which requires premarket approval from the FDA for food and dietary supplements that contain substances undergoing clinical investigations for the treatment of medical issues. Because CBD is an active ingredient in the FDA-approved drug Epidiolex, the USPTO will commonly reject trademark applications even for cannabis products that are legal under the Controlled Substances Act. Products containing hemp seed, hemp seed protein powder, and hemp seed oil are exempt from the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and are not subject to related trademark rejections.”

“With large segments of the cannabis industry excluded from the benefits of federal trademark registration, canna-brands must seek trademark protection through a patchwork of federal, state, and common law strategies. For canna-brands whose products are legal under state law but illegal under federal law, state-level trademark registrations provide the strongest protection for core products, while common law rights and unfair competition claims can fill gaps where needed. Federal trademark registration may still be available to canna-brands for federally legal goods or services – usually products that are ancillary to the core product, such as websites, clothing items, and mobile apps.”

Patent Prosecution

“Patent protection is generally available for cannabis and cannabis-related innovations on the same basis as any other innovation, presenting relatively few obstacles for applicants. In the past 10 years, the USPTO has issued hundreds of cannabis-related patents (see Figure 1). While most claim secondary technologies (e.g., cultivation methods, processing and extraction techniques, cannabis-derived products, consumption devices, and medical treatments), some claim new strains of the cannabis plant itself.”

When it comes to weed stocks versus psychedelics stocks how does one navigate that terrain? It’s pretty much the same – research and development on the medicinal side of things with the inclusion of the adult and recreational market. 

“The marijuana industry is made up of companies that either support or are engaged in the research, development, distribution, and sale of medical and recreational marijuana. Cannabis has begun to gain wider acceptance and has been legalized in a growing number of nations, states, and other jurisdictions for recreational, medicinal, and other uses. Some of the biggest companies in the marijuana industry include Canopy Growth Corp. (CGC), Cronos Group Inc. (CRON), and Tilray Inc. (TLRY). Many big marijuana companies have continued to post sizable net losses as they focus on investing in equipment to speed up revenue growth, which remained strong despite the economic disruption caused by the pandemic.” 

For a deeper dive into cannabis stocks click the link here: https://www.investopedia.com/investing/top-marijuana-stocks/

As the summer heats up so too will this emerging market and so too as this market expands it is surely becoming a close knit group of  psychonauts dedicated to the expansion of mental wellness and a better way to treat life’s maladies.

Disclaimer: Absolutely nothing you read in here should be taken as investment advice. The discussion of securities and ideas is never to be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any.  Always do your own due diligence.

Author: Sherri Margolin (Dark Matters)

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Dark Matters is a digital magazine covering the underbelly of what makes our world go round. From the crust of the earth to the cosmos of the universe, from Big Foot to Big Pharma, psychedelics to the supernatural, we’re diving deep into the black hole of all that is subversive—sex, drugs, and aliens.

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