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Inside Wesana Health: The Company That Wants To Treat Traumatic Brain Injury With Psilocybin

In a follow up conversation with The Dales Report last week, Wesana Health CEO Daniel Carcillo provided some detailed information about the company’s ongoing work and it’s goal to bring psilocybin to the market as a treatment for traumatic brain injury, or TBI.

“We’re looking at loading and maintenance or microdoses of psilocybin to treat TBI and TBI-related symptomology, as well as post-concussion syndrome,” says the former hockey player.

Understanding the Brain

TBI can come with dozens of symptoms including light sensitivity, slurred speech, headache, head pressure, insomnia, memory loss, impulse control issues, anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.

The company is going through the respective processes with Health Canada and the FDA as it investigates psilocybin as a potential new drug for indications for TBI related symptomatology.

 “From that standpoint, I think that we’re very differentiated with the indications that we’re looking at,” he says. 

Another thing that Carcillo says separates Wesana from the pack is it’s CEO’s personal experience (and success) with psilocybin.

“You’re talking to a CEO that’s experienced the healing power of this medicine for the last 20 months, and I’ve collected extensive data on myself that we’ll be taking into trial to help better inform us,” he says. “There is no CEO in this space that knows the brain health world like I do.”

Plans to Work With Pro Sports Leagues

Carcillo has spent the last six and a half years working in concussion advocacy. While the NHL has shown no interest in reassessing its concussion protocols, the CEO says there are other leagues that are paying attention, and are eager to implement changes to protect their athletes. 

Wesana is in talks with several of them.

“You don’t necessarily go to a pro sports league to try to implement a better baseline diagnostic program,” he says. Instead, the approach could go further by working in conjunction with youth and other leagues.

Carcillo says he anticipates a big announcement from the company on this front in the coming weeks.

The Importance Of The Team

When Carcillo first began working with psychedelics and became interested in their potential, he reached out to big organizations including MAPS and its executive director Rick Doblin to learn more about the industry. 

This is where he connected with Dawn McCullough, the board chair of MAPS’ Public Benefit Corporation. Today, McCullough is also the COO of Wesana. McCullough has also spent almost 30 decades working in global clinical development with companies including Novartis and Biogen.

Carcillo emphasizes that as much as his own personal work has led to this opportunity, the team he’s surrounded himself with is just as important.

“One of the biggest things about me and my company and me personally is I know how to play within a championship team,” he said. “I’m not Jonathan Toews, though. I know exactly what my shortcomings are, and I just surround myself with the best people who are the most ethical.”

Not Just For Athletes

Carcillo says that there might be a bit of a misunderstanding about his intention in the space, and exactly who he wants to help.

“There’s this misnomer that I only want to help athletes, and that couldn’t be further from the truth: we’re going to help veteran communities, we’re going to help victims of domestic violence,” he says, noting that for every concussion that occurs in the NFL, as many as 7,000 occur among the population of women who are physically abused. 

“We’re going to use and leverage the athlete stories and retreats… to subsidize treatments for these other communities and work with healthcare systems and insurance companies to implement different tiers of our diagnostic program.”

The CEO says Wesana will soon announce the launch of a retrospective study that will require participation from TBI survivors who have used psiloycbin, CBD, or other function mushrooms to help ease their symptoms.

Watch the rest of the interview below

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