Over the past couple of years, psychedelics have come to the forefront of pharmaceuticals and biotech. Many biotech companies and pharmaceutical giants are researching the medical benefits of psychedelics like psilocybin, LSD, DMT and many others. It is believed that these compounds all have healing properties and many companies are conducting research to determine the benefits of psychedelics. This scramble for psychedelic therapies covers a wide range of ailments like food allergies, weight and hair loss and periodontal disease. The race is on and many applications for psychedelic patents have been filed in recent months by companies trying to secure their piece of the pie for when psychedelic therapies are legalized.
How do patents work?
A patent will give the owner (individual or company) exclusive ownership and rights over an invention or new methodology that the owner came up with. The patent also prohibits others from copying, imitating, or merely reproducing a similar innovation without the patent’s owner’s license.
When an application for a patent is filed, the patent office will carry out its due diligence on the patent application’s subject matter before a patent is granted. The patent officers typically examine existing scientific literature and prior patents to evaluate whether an invention is unique and seminal enough to warrant a patent.
Patents usually help offer innovators protection from imitation once their invention goes public. Easy imitation and reproduction of one’s invention could easily kill the spirit of innovation since the innovator would have no claim of ownership over their invention were it not for a patent.
However, in the case of psychedelics, the patent applications being filed are not as straightforward. It is widely believed that many of the companies filing for patents on psychedelics are doing so preemptively. They seek patents for fields they plan to research and make speculative claims about the properties and medical applications of the psychedelics they are working with. This is a common tactic in patent law as big corporations like some exclusive ownership guarantees before investing huge sums of money into research.
What are the downsides to the patent race?
The fear among many researching the field of psychedelics is that these preemptive patent applications will kill research and innovation in the field. These psychedelic biotech companies are more interested in building valuable patent libraries than fueling research and innovation of psychedelic therapies.
Tim Ferriss, a longtime advocate for and investor in research on the medical properties of psychedelics, recently tweeted, “I am very concerned by the patent land grab warming up in the for-profit psychedelic world,” and asked if any lawyers were willing to intervene “when companies attempt to secure broad patents that could hinder scientific research, reasonable competition…and so on?”
However, his efforts might be too little too late. There are many patent applications currently under review for therapies that include psychedelic compounds as part of the therapy. CaaMTech.Inc, a small biotech startup based in Seattle, recently got the patent to combine cannabis and psilocybin into a compound that could be used to treat a blanket of ailments and psychological disorders.
Unfortunately, that CaaMTech patent is just the beginning. There is a patent application currently under review claiming that psychedelics can be used to prevent anaphylaxis in people with food allergies once they have ingested the allergens. Recently NeonMind Biosciences announced that it had filed four provisional patent applications prescribing the use of psilocybin as a treatment for weight loss. Furthermore, tobacco company Philip Morris recently applied for a patent to manufacture DMT vape pens.
As you can see, the race for patents in the psychedelic space is well underway. And while some think that this is what psychedelics need to access the capital required to make them a legitimate industry, many are on the fence. If you are interested in following the progress of the patent applications mentioned above and others, check out Psilocybin Alpha’s patent trackers. They have a Psilocybin Patent Tracker, an MDMA Patent Tracker as well as a DMT Patent Tracker.
Two Psychedelic Stocks to Bet On
Compass Pathways (NASDAQ: CMPS) is one of the leading companies in the psychedelic industry which is currently working on phase 2b clinical trials for COMP360 – a breakthrough depression treatment. Data for the trial should be available later this year so it might make sense to take a position in this psychedelic stock investment now.
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Mind Medicine (OTC: MMEDF) is a unique phsychedilic drug developer which is currently developing various therapies to treat a variety of maladies including anxiety and ADHD. They’re currently undergoing phase 2b clinical trials for a unique therapy, utilizing LSD, to treat anxiety. This company has first mover advantage to a total addressable market of nearly 15 billion dollars annually. The play for MindMed will be slow but could pay huge dividends in a couple of years,
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Psychedelic Patents? The Race is On
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