This Psilocybin Patent Could Be a Really Big Deal

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psilocybin patent

Last
week,
COMPASS
Pathways

announced

its
acquisition
of
US
Patent
No
10,591,175.
What
does
that
patent
cover?
Psilocybin!
More
specifically,
COMPASS
has
locked
down
“methods
of
treating
drug-resistant
depression
with
a
psilocybin
formulation.”
The
company
is
also
running
a

phase
IIb
clinical
trial

of
its
patented
formulation,
COMP360,
which
we
covered
in

a
blog
post

back
in
2018.
In
that
post,
I
explained
how
the
Food
and
Drug
Administration
(FDA)
approval
process
works
and
why
this
trial
is
so
interesting
and
important.

COMP360
is

not
the
only

patent
application
related
to
psilocybin,
but
it
has
generated
a
lot
of
press.
Some
of
that
press
includes

scare
articles

related
to
a
“millionaire
couple
threatening
to
create
a
magic
mushroom
monopoly.”
Other
observers
take
a
more

measured
position
,
examining
the
COMP360
application
in
detail,
and
concluding
that
“the
only
monopoly
sought
by
Compass
Pathways
is
for
the
right
to
make,
use
or
sell
their
extremely
narrow
and
specific
forms
of
psilocybin.”
These
analysts
posit
that
psilocybin
research
and
commerce
will
not
be
affected
in
any
meaningful
way
by
COMP360,
including
for
sale
of
“any
varieties
of
magic
mushrooms.”

Patents
with
narrow
claims
are
easier
to
obtain
and
enforce.
Assuming
that
is
the
case
with
psilocybin,
the
COMPASS
effort
should
have
no
direct
impact
on
decriminalized
psilocybin
in
places
like

Oakland
and
Denver
,
or
broader
legalization
efforts
here
in

Oregon
.
Still,
the
fallout
from
patents—and
especially
drug
approvals—for
controlled
substances
can
be
hard
to
predict.
When
clinical
trials
began
for
cannabidiol
(CBD),
for
example,
no
one
could
have
foreseen
the
impact
that
FDA’s
eventual
approval
of
Epidiolex
would
have
on
the

legality
of
CBD

as
a
food
or
dietary
supplement.
Back
then,
no
one
knew
CBD
consumer
products
would
be
a
thing.

Will
the
country
be
overrun
by
a
wave
of
food,
beverage
and
other
products
containing
psilocybin
sometime
in
the
next
decade?
It
seems
unlikely,
even
if

microdosing

continues
to
trend.
Psilocybin
is
a
very
different
chemical
than
CBD,
primarily
for
its
psychoactive
properties.
In
addition,
psilocybin
(along
with
psilocin)
is
included
in
Schedule
I
of
the
federal
Controlled
Substances
Act
and
in
Schedule
I
of
the
United
Nations
Convention
on
Psychotropic
Substances.
For
psilocybin
to
have
a
broad
path
forward,
it
would
have
to
be
descheduled
and
decriminalized,
just
as
hemp
was
here
in
the
United
States.

Ultimately,
it
is
important
not
to
lose
sight
of
what
COMP360
is
actually
for:
treating
drug-resistant
depression.
As
I
wrote
previously,
around
100
million
individuals
suffer
from
treatment-resistant
depression
worldwide.
This
means
that
nothing
works–
not
antidepressants,
not
psychological
counseling,
not
even
grisly
procedures
like
electroconvulsive
therapy.
Almost
everyone
knows
someone
who
has
suffered
from
this
disorder.

If
COMP360
performs
well
in
current
trials,
a
lot
of
people
stand
to
benefit.
COMPASS
will
benefit
as
well
by
raking
in
the
profits,
just
as
GW
Pharma
is
doing
today
with
Epidiolex.
That
seizure
drug

returned
$296
million

in
revenues
in
a
stellar
launch
year. Remember
too
that
COMP360
is
a
depression
drug:
its
ceiling
is
probably

much
higher
.

Hopefully
COMP360
expands
rather
than
limits
the
seemingly
vast
potential
of
magic
mushrooms.
If
it
does
not,
the
fallout
will
be
deeply
felt.
Even
compared
to
the
cannabis
community,
the
magic
mushrooms
crowd
is
decidedly
anti-corporate
and
impassioned
with
respect
to

ownership
claims
on
the
compound
.
Psilocybin
advocates
will
be
watching
COMPASS
closely.

We
will
continue
to
track
COMP360
and
psilocybin
in
general.
For
more
on
psilocybin,
check
out
the
following
posts:

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