With the California Senate voting last week to approve a bill to legalize the possession of psychedelics, its impact was not immediately thought to extend to psychedelic drug development companies such as California-domiciled Tryp Therapeutics. However, that may not be the case. With attitudes towards the legality of psilocybin rapidly changing in the Golden State, Tryp may indeed derive direct benefits as the bill progresses ever closer to Governor Newsom’s desk.
On June 1, the legislation sponsored by Sen. Scott Wiener (D) passed 21-16 on the floor. If enacted into law, the bill would remove criminal penalties for possessing or distributing various psychedelics—including psilocybin mushrooms—for adults 21 and older.
As Tryp Therapeutics CEO Greg McKee explains, the potential benefits of such legislation could extend well beyond the consumer market and into structured state and federal regulatory frameworks:
Shadd Dales: The California Senate last week passed a bill to legalize the possession of psilocybin and certain psychedelics. Although it doesn’t have a direct impact on your company as a pharmaceutical-based research company, do you expect any indirect benefits such as relaxed marketing abilities should the bill pass in your home state?
Greg McKee: There’s actually something even more fundamental than that. So one of the things as you appropriately said, as a pharmaceutical-focused drug-development focused entity, we got to get state DEA approval to use this chemistry in humans, right. So, all the academic collaborators that we’re working with have to go through state approval. What I anticipate is that because the Senate—the state Senate in California moved recently—that could potentially make those approvals much easier. Right now, it takes about six months or so for that state approval to happen before we get federal approval by the DEA to use these chemistries, right. So I think that the obvious benefit is that we could potentially move into the clinic more rapidly with greater access—obviously under controlled settings. But I think this relaxation in the legislative regulations is a big step forward overall for the industry.
TRYP’s Psilocybin-for-Neuropsychiatric Disorders (PFN) Program is developing orally-delivered drug therapies for certain neuropsychiatric disorders that have distinct advantages over other drugs that are currently in development. Their lead PFN Program candidate, TRP-8802, is targeting fibromyalgia as its lead candidate.
Click on the embedded link for more of our newest interview with Tryp Therapeutics CEO Greg McKee, in his own words.