The Scoop on Mydecine’s Novel Drug Compounds
Earlier this week, The Dales Report caught up with Damon Michaels and Rob Roscow, two co-founders and the COO and CSO of Mydecine (NEO: MYCO) (OTCMKTS: MYCOF) to learn more about its novel drug candidates and its approach to the field of psychedelics.
Mydecine announced the company’s four leading drug candidates late last week. The company will present these compounds to regulators like the FDA and Health Canada in pre-IND meetings in the near future.
The first is MYCO-001, a form of pure psilocybin derived and purified from natural fungal sources. The second, MYCO-002, is an entactogenic compound similar to MDMA, created to reduce the harm and improve the safety profile of the traditional compound.
MYCO-003 is a psilocybin-based formula, but has the same goal as MYCO-002: to increase the drug’s safety profile and remove the possibility of “bad trips.” Finally, MYCO-004 is a tryptamine compound that is delivered via a transdermal patch.
The development of the novel compounds, believed to be patentable, was led by Roscow and done in collaboration with Mydecine’s scientific advisory board member, Dr. Denton Hoyer.
MYCO-001: Naturally derived psilocybin
In a release detailing the news, co-founder and CEO Josh Bartch described these novel drugs as “more complex” than traditional compounds. Roscow broke down exactly what that meant for readers and investors:
“Psilocybin is the template that we’ve done all of our drug development off of,” he said.
“We know that that molecule as a product of nature has really good potential. The idea of making that template more complex revolves around applying known pharmaceutical chemistry to it, in ways that we feel will be beneficial.”
Roscow noted that recent trials, as well as the pharmaceutical development of psilocybin, primarily utilize synthetic psilocybin. Mydecine, on the other hand, sees value in using a natural source.
“Nature’s already figured out how to do this efficiently,” he said. “We feel strongly that as this moves forward, if we leverage that and then purify the same molecule out of a more naturalistic production source, it is going to be a better business proposition in the long run.”
Michaels, who in addition to COO also functions as the company’s director, said Mydecine’s process around extraction, purification, and stabilization is what makes its MYCO-001 compound unique. It is currently in the process of filing IP around those methods.
While purifying psilocybin is one thing, he said purifying and stabilizing psilocin, another active compound in magic mushrooms, “is a whole different ball game,” but something Mydecine is actively working at.
MYCO-002 and MYCO-003: MDMA and Psilocybin, But Safer
Mydecine’s second novel compound was formulated to minimize the risks associated with taking MDMA.
“As a street drug, MDMA definitely has a number of known risk factors. If you look at the use of it in a recreational setting, it’s commonly linked to hyperthermia, elevated heart rate, cardiovascular issues, and so on,” said Roscow, explaining the thought process behind it.
“If we take that as the base molecule, what are known properties that we can make small changes to, while retaining the original benefit of the molecule in a therapeutic setting?”
MYCO-002 plays off of MDMA, while MYCO-003 is psilocybin-based. Roscow said Mydecine’s goal with both compounds is to remove well-known side effects and well-known possible adverse reactions, including anxiety and other feelings that may lead to a bad psychedelic experience.
MYCO-004: A Patch Delivery System
Rounding out the company’s list of offerings is MYCO-004, a patch-delivered tryptamine compound modelled after psilocybin, with properties that more traditional delivery systems don’t offer: a short duration (around two hours), precise dosing, and long-term compound stability.
Roscow explained the motivation for developing an alternative delivery method:
“The majority of the studies done so far have used an oral delivery method, but there is a small subset that has been done with IV delivery,” he said.
“If you look at the difference between them, there are real benefits to not having an oral delivery method because you don’t have to deal with digestion and time associated with metabolism in the GI tract. It’s a much more direct delivery into the bloodstream.”
At the same time, the Mydecine team recognized that administering a needle ahead of a psychedelic therapy session might not make for the most pleasant experience.
“Patches are kind of the best solution, because a correctly designed patch can give you almost all of the same benefits that you can get with the tunability of an IV drip, but in a patch form,” Roscow said. “It’s the balance of those different factors that make us really excited about this delivery system.”
Michaels added that the patch system also allows the company’s team to experiment with what makes an effective dose. MYCO-004 is intended to be used in all clinical trials, while MYCO-001 and MYCO-002 are targeted at the mid-to-late stages.
The Future: Personalized Medicine
The COO said these four novel drug compounds are just the beginning of Mydecine’s unique and distributive approach to psychedelic medicine: beyond simply treating a set of symptoms or conditions, he sees the company’s future in personalized medicine.
“Instead of one pill that’s universal for all, we want to one day have the ability to create personalized medicine that is specific to the individual, for their own use and disorder, that’s unique to them,” Michaels said. “That’s part of the vision of what Mydecine is eventually leading up to.”