Psyched: Atai Launches 'Salvia Divinorum' Subsidiary, Mindset, Psilera and Wesana's Preclinical Trials, Origin Raises $5M

Atai Life Sciences Launches New Salvia Divinorum Subsidiary

Atai Life Sciences ATAI announced the launch of a new subsidiary that will research Salvinorin A, the active compound in salvia divinorum, a hallucinogenic herb native to Central America.

Revixia Life Sciences is the newest addition to Atai’s portfolio.

The companies expect to begin clinical trials on Salvinorin A in the second half of 2022.

Salvinorin A has been described as a dissociative psychedelic that differs from “classic psychedelics” such as LSD, psilocybin or DMT in its mechanism of action and pharmacology.

While classic psychedelics interact with serotonin receptors, Salvinorin A interacts with the body’s kappa-opioid receptors. For Atai and Revixia, this distinction opens the possibility of exploring the use of Salvinorin A in combination with traditional antidepressants, or SSRIs, which have been found to not mix well with classic psychedelics as they also interact with the serotonin system.

The compound’s short duration of effect can also open new possibilities for access to psychedelics treatment, making it “an attractive option for those who would like psychedelic treatment but are unwilling or unable to participate in longer sessions."

Origin Therapeutics Raises $5 Million To Invest In Psychedelics Startups

Origin Therapeutics, an investment issuer focused on making equity investments in the psychedelics sector, has completed a CA$6,550,000 private placement.

The firm intends to make investments in private, early-stage psychedelics industry companies. Management told Benzinga it plans to deploy capital across a diverse group of private companies to offer investors exposure to early-stage opportunities with high growth potential.

Origin Therapeutics will work closely with its portfolio to support the growth of the companies by leveraging its management expertise and professional network. 

“While there are a growing number of publicly traded companies doing great work, so much of the innovation is taking place in private companies – and we want to give investors the opportunity to participate in that growth and support it,” Alexander Somjen, CEO of Origin Therapeutics, told Benzinga.

Origin announced plans to go public in the CSE, eventually offering retail investors an opportunity to gain coverage of private companies in the psychedelics space.

Wesana Health And Psilera Launch Animal Studies

Two companies in the psychedelics space are launching new in vivo trials.

Wesana Health Holdings Inc. WESA WSNAF announced the start of functional animal studies to determine the effect of a psilocybin-based regimen on locomotor activity as well as anxiety and depression. 

The company is focused on applying psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI).

“Anxiety and depression are hallmark symptoms of TBI and employing real-world human and validated animal models allows us to better understand and investigate current and potential therapies and protocols to treat a wide range of conditions with roots in the brain,” said Daniel Carcillo, co-founder and CEO of Wesana.

Results from the studies are expected by October 2021.

Psilera Inc., a Florida-based biotechnology company, has initiated animal studies with new psychedelic derivatives aimed at reducing alcohol consumption, working in collaboration with the University of South Florida.

“We consider this an important step towards our understanding of psychedelic and psychedelic-inspired compounds, and their potential as future medicines in the field of addiction,Dr. Jackie von Salm, co-founder and CSO of Psilera Inc, told Benzinga. 

In addition to Psilera’s new chemical entities, the psilocybin analog psilacetin, patented in 1963, will be used as a psychoactivity reference to determine its effects on alcohol consumption. Previous preclinical results have shown that psilacetin, also known as 4-AcO-DMT, produces effects analogous to psychedelics in humans, while also reducing opioid and nicotine dependences.

MindSet Pharma Publishes Results From Preclinical Testing Of Proprietary Molecules

Mindset Pharma Inc. MSET MSSTF published results from research on its second-generation psychedelic compounds, composed of a family of psilocybin/psilocin analogs and a family of DMT/5-MeO-DMT analogs.

CEO James Lanthier said the compounds showed superior efficacy, safety and shorter duration of action in head-to-head preclinical comparisons with their reference drugs.

“These improvements could potentially offer a scalable approach for psychiatrists as they manage dosing and treatment strategies for patients suffering from mental illness,” he added.

Psilocybin/psilocin analog compounds demonstrated 5 to 10 times the effect size as psilocin on human 5-HT2A receptors in in vitro trials, which the company verified in in vivo mouse head twitch assays.

Animal trials also indicated that the compounds’ half-life was less than half from that of psilocybin.

Similar results were found in the DMT/5-MeO-DMT family of compounds. The company will move on to select specific candidates from these families to advance into clinical trials.

Milestones:

Awakn Life Sciences Corp. AWKN AWKNF has uplisted its OTCPink shares listing under the symbol AWKNF to the OTCQB market.

 

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