If you’ve ever popped a minty thin strip onto your tongue to freshen your breath, two Toronto-based companies hope to use a similar approach to freshen your mind instead. They are developing dissolvable thin film strips to deliver psilocybin, the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms.
Revive is working with the Reed Research Group at the University of Wisconsin on prototypes using both synthetic and natural psilocybin, said Derrick Welsh, a strategic adviser for Revive. Welsh was chief operating officer of Psilocin Pharma Corp., an intellectual property platform specializing in delivery of psilocybin, until Revive acquired Psilocin earlier this year.
Welsh came out of the cannabis industry, and said everyone did the same product offerings of lollipops, gummy bears and chocolates for weed, but dissolvable strips are a more modern delivery method.
“It really focuses on a contemporary consumer’s needs,” he said. “If you have to teach a consumer a new behavior, it doesn’t go well.” Everyone who sees a dissolvable strip knows exactly what to do with it, Welsh said.
Welsh estimates Revive is about 12 months from beginning clinical trials in the U.S. and Canada, with remaining steps including ideal dose levels. Researchers need to study if using a strip that dissolves in your mouth, rather than swallowing into the digestive tract, changes the amount of psilocybin needed to get the desired effect.
Welsh enthusiastically describes psychedelics as “the next big thing,” and is eagerly awaiting the next round of prototypes from Wisconsin shortly. “There is nobody in the industry doing what we are doing today.”
Meanwhile, Cybin’s chief medical officer, Jukka Karjalainen, said via email that Cybin aims to supply the Caribbean market including Jamaica with its own psilocybin strips within two years. Cybin is preparing for Phase 2 clinical trials in Jamaica, and pursuing approvals in the U.S. and/or Canada will follow.
In the meantime, Cybin has nonpsychedelic natural health mushroom products coming to market very soon, he said.
Cybin is working with manufacturer IntelGenx to develop the biosynthetic psilocybin strips, which Karjalainen said have many advantages over traditional ingestion, including faster onset at a lower dose, convenience and no concerns with pill phobia or difficulty swallowing.
Cybin is developing its sublingual strips as a prescription delivery method, Karjalainen said, while Welsh said Revive is preparing for both the pharmaceutical and recreational markets, as the legal status of psychedelic mushrooms is quickly changing and the company wants to be ready for whatever is possible.
Cybin raised over $10 million Canadian, about $7.6 million U.S., through a seed round and Series-A round of investment in early 2020, Karjalainen said. Welsh said Revive has not pursued venture capital, only institutional funding, demurring on details as he said, “We’ve got quite a lot of money in the bank.” Revive’s CEO Michael Frank pointed us toward Canada’s System for Electronic Disclosure by Insiders (SEDI) for details on the publicly traded company’s investors, as well as stock options and other financial transactions.
· Read more on about Cybin’s sublingual strips on Forbes.
· Read more about both Cybin and IntelGenx on Leafly.
· Read more about Revive on GreenMarketReport.com.
Image: The photo illustrating this story was provided by Cybin, which is currently working to bring sublingual strips to market.