The resurgence of psychedelic research is ushering in a new era of medicine poised to revolutionize healthcare as we currently know it. While psychedelic drugs have been a part of human history since time immemorial, their intersection with clinical care in the 1950’s was short-lived due to prohibition. The revival of research and drug development surrounding these compounds is a hallmark of the modern psychedelic renaissance. This new generation of psychedelic drugs will likely involve a novel transition from plant-based medicine to patentable pills. One organization taking an innovative approach at optimizing the psychedelic drug development process is MagicMed Industries Inc. By combining novel tools in synthetic biology and medicinal chemistry, the team at MagicMed aims to accelerate drug development in this space by rapidly producing a vast library of new psychedelic derivatives known as the Psybrary. This evidence-based review will explore the unique transition from “plant to pill” psychedelic drugs are currently making and how MagicMed’s novel approach is poised to revolutionize this process.

 

Integrating Psychedelic Drugs into the Current Framework for Drug Research and Discovery

 

The pathway of medicalization and to market for psychedelic drugs through the current paradigm for drug development requires novel compounds that are prescriptible. In their natural form, plant medicines are highly variable and not generally optimized for side effect profile and toxicity. As such, the future of psychedelic medicine within the current allopathic framework most likely lies within single-molecule derivatives of traditional psychedelic compounds. Maneuvering the next generation of psychedelic drugs through this complex regulatory framework established by the FDA and similar regulatory agencies calls for bold innovation.

 

While the rigorous structure of the regulatory process is incredibly time consuming, it is to ensure patient safety and establish sound reasoning for treatment costs. The average cost to see a drug all the way through these trials and onto pharmacy shelves is approximately $1 billion USD. Given the fact 9 in 10 drugs fail to successfully meet the necessary standards to complete this process, it is clear both a demonstrable track record of success in drug development and a flair for innovation are necessary to succeed. Since the high cost of drug development fosters partnerships between Big Pharma and biotech to help share funds for later stage clinical trials, it’s worth exploring the dynamic players in this space and the game changing IP they are helping bring to the table.

 

Combining Synthetic Biology & Medicinal Chemistry to Optimize the “Plant to Pill” Approach

 

Identifying and isolating specific molecules from medicinal plants for pharmaceutical use is par for the course in the pharmaceutical industry. Many psychedelic drugs are sourced from entheogenic plants like Peyote, which contains mescaline, and Ayahuasca, which contains DMT. Since there is limited market opportunity for these original psychedelic compounds, constructing small molecule derivative drugs from traditional psychedelics, that are deliverable in a pill format, is crucial to advancing the medicalization of these compounds. The innovative company MagicMed is taking a radically novel approach combining advanced concepts of synthetic biology with medicinal chemistry to radically enhance drug development. The incorporation of synthetic biology allows for a significantly expanded diversity of new molecules. The medicinal chemistry side of the equation can then be utilized to maximize yield. While scaling up this approach requires significant investments of time and money, the payoffs are projected to be even greater. Exploring how innovative organizations are facilitating the production of patent-protected psychedelic derivatives at a reasonable cost will help further elucidate the nuances of this manufacturing process.

 

The Psybrary Explained: Harnessing the Power of Science to Produce Psilocybin Derivatives

 

As psychedelics quickly shift from alternative therapies into mainstream pharmaceutical drugs that doctors can prescribe, one novel approach worth exploring is MagicMed’s diverse psychedelic derivative library cleverly termed the “Psybrary”. This complex process is being optimized by organizations like MagicMed who are using a combinatorial approach to new derivative creation that leverages shorter, more cost-effective processes and maximizes diversity and yield. MagicMed’s patent around psilocybin-based derivatives is one of their foundational pieces of intellectual property and an ideal example to illustrate the value of tools like the psybrary. Through this unique approach, a number of “handles” on the exterior of the psilocybin molecule can be harnessed to make modifications to the original structure and action of the compound. Complex human neurophysiology allows for various targets to be modulated for the development of new compounds. For instance, receptors, such as the serotonin receptor, come in groups of subtypes called “families”.1 Through the advanced techniques being utilized by MagicMed, they are able to specifically modify factors such as binding affinity, receptor conformation and other pharmacokinetic properties of these compounds. This process allows for both the creation of an optimal substance with a smaller side effect and toxicity profile, as well as the production of unique, patentable compounds that can be prescribed.

 

By using MagicMed’s novel combinatorial approach, they are able to theoretically produce many hundreds of thousands of new molecules that are all patentable. This is a very important composition of matter path for MagicMed and the greater movement to medicalize psychedelic drugs overall. The powerful capabilities of drug discovery offered by MagicMed’s novel combinatorial approach allows for targeted partnerships and the potential to help enrich the expanding psychedelic medicine space for everybody.

 

Looking Ahead to the Future of Novel Psychedelic Derivatives & the Industry at Large

 

Since the classic psychedelic molecules, such as MDMA, LSD and psilocybin, are projected to have a limited role in the emerging psychedelic market, much attention and focus has shifted to exploring psychedelic derivatives instead. Since the standard pharmaceutical approach calls for new and improved molecules, companies like MagicMed and their technologically advanced drug-development system is poised to revolutionize this industry in big ways. With the need for more efficacious treatments that have fewer side effects and are fully patentable growing in the psychedelic space, bold ideas like MagicMed’s Psybrary are certainly worth watching as they are poised to dramatically influence the industry.