Coming up with new and innovative ways to treat illnesses is always welcome. Each way comes with its own pros and cons and new treatment methods help doctors choose the best one the would suit their patients. Every day various substances are tested for whether they help treat illnesses or not. But I would be skeptical if someone said that my illness (hypothetically) would be treated with magic mushrooms. You know, those mushrooms that can make you high. This start-up in Florida is researching ways to make them work for illnesses.
A biotech start-up in Tampa, Florida is studying magic mushrooms and trying to figure out if the high-inducing shrooms could be used to treat illnesses. If they can then which illness are they the most effective for. My money is on depression. The said start-up has now received a whopping $2,5 million in investment from investors that are being led by a Florida venture capital firm. The start-up’s name is Psilera Bioscience.
Psilera is researching if there are any healing properties in psychedelics, found in magic mushrooms, which are known to trigger hallucinations and intensified feelings. Some scientists believe its ingredients DMT, psilocybin, and psilocin may alleviate conditions that plague millions of Americans. These illnesses include mental illness, addiction, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Magic mushrooms are said to be the safest recreational drug you could take. According to the 2017 Global Drug Survey, out of almost 10,000 people who took them, only 0.2% needed emergency medical treatment.
Co-founder and CEO of Psilera Bioscience, Chris Witowski said that “Current treatments for those illnesses aren’t very effective. Psychedelics haven’t been explored as an option since the 1970s. We now have the tools to see how the drugs function in the brain and analyze if they’re actually working”. Their research eventually caught the eye of Iter Investments, the firm that is investing $2.5 million into the start-up.
The firm is 11 months old and is based in Fort Lauderdale. Managing partner Dustin Robinson said its portfolio boasts seven psychedelics-focused companies. Most operate outside U.S. borders, but Psilera is special, it’s near home. Robinson said that “I see them as a leading company in the psychedelics ecosystem, right in our neighborhood. It was an amazing opportunity to operate within Florida”. Other companies placing investments in Psilera are Baird Inc., JLS Fund, Receptor, and What If Ventures.
The company’s founders and board members are also investing in the company. Psilera started up back in 2019 and has been creating analogs, slightly altered psychoactive compounds to see if they can treat nervous system disorders.