As Canada leads the world in granting patient access to psilocybin, Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (CSE: MYCO) is set to import the first legal shipment of magic mushrooms into the country.
This week, the Denver-based company said it completed its first harvest of 20 kilograms of psilocybin mushrooms at its research camp in Jamaica. The firm is now preparing to export the harvest to its CGMP-certified facility at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
Mydecine is able to make the shipment because it has access to a Health Canada dealer’s license for schedule 1 substances at its facility, allowing for legal import.
It gained access to the licence through its research partnership with Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation, a commercial drug development institute at U of A.
Once the shipment arrives to the firm’s Alberta facility, the psilocybin mushrooms will be extracted and turned into a final product for controlled therapeutic purposes. Mydecine says it will sell some of the extracts to other licensed institutions and companies conducting clinical research on the effectiveness of the compounds to treat various health conditions including anxiety, addiction, depression and PTSD.
This week, Canada’s Health Minister Patty Hajdu granted 17 healthcare professionals the right to possess and use psilocybin for professional training in psilocybin therapy.
Non-profit group TheraPsil, which is at the forefront of advocating for patients rights to access psilocybin therapy, says the Canadian government has recently become a world-leader in advancing access to psychedelic medicine.
While recent psilocybin studies have shown promise for treating conditions like depression, more in-depth research is needed on all compounds in mushrooms that contain the substance, Mydecine CEO Joshua Bartch said in a statement.
Even in the most potent psychoactive mushrooms, psilocybin is only 1–2 per cent of total mass. This means that as much as 99 per cent of the mushroom is composed of other molecules, according to the company.
Its research team is zeroing in on the so-called entourage effect experienced by patients consuming the entire psilocybin mushroom. Doing so has shown dramatically effective results compared to a taking single-molecule synthetic psilocybin in preliminary studies, Bartch says.
“As the industry grows, the need for naturally occurring psilocybin and access to large quantities of these molecules will be paramount and we are excited to be the first to advance this movement at scale,” he says.
Portions of the harvest will be used for Mydecine’s own clinical research. This clinical use will be for studies and developing protocols for psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy to treat PTSD in veterans and other frontline workers.
The company said this week that it’s expanding its Phase 2A clinical trials around the globe. The trials are focused on treating PTSD in veterans with psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. They will take place at Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, the University of Western Ontario, and U of A.
“Through these trials, our goal is to establish the safety and efficacy of psychedelic administered psychotherapy in a safe and supervised setting, utilizing strict protocols approved by research ethics boards and build upon the body of work that has led to psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy to receive ‘breakthrough’ status by the FDA,” CEO Bartch said.
Top image by Jared Gnam