Pending Patents: Can Any Firm Personal Psilocybin?


On December 20, 2021, breakthrough analysis on the Usona Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit medical analysis group based mostly in Madison, Wisconsin, revealed the true crystal types of pharmaceutical psilocybin. It’s a brand new discovery of traits of the polymorphs of the plant which have at all times existed however weren’t detected till now.

However that discovery has ignited controversy inside the psychedelics trade about artificial psilocybin patents being sought by Compass Pathways (NASDAQ: CMPS), one of many main psychedelics product growth corporations, utilizing what they mentioned is their unique discovery of primarily the identical polymorph that the Usona analysis reported already existed.

The brand new Usona Institute research laid out the experimental challenges to resolve the crystallographic puzzle of artificial psilocybin, bringing readability to the polymorphs (distinctive crystalline preparations) that naturally happen from the manufacturing of artificial psilocybin. 

Usona claims that the research conclusively exhibits that three psilocybin polymorphs repeatedly happen from the well-known crystallization course of, and that they’ve appeared in quite a few locations all through the historical past of synthesizing psilocybin since 1959. 

Briefly, the research finds that there’s nothing new to see right here.

However Compass Pathways sees it otherwise. The corporate mentioned they invented the crystalline type of psilocybin used of their synthesized psilocybin formulations, polymorph A, and need to patent it. Not so quick, the consultants says.

The rise of the patent conundrum

The group of Usona chemists and collaborating crystallographers say that they already solved key psilocybin crystal buildings utilizing powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) knowledge collected on psilocybin on the Superior Photon Supply synchrotron at Argonne Nationwide Laboratory. 

Within the Usona process-scale crystallographic analysis investigation, three crystalline types of psilocybin have been repeatedly noticed: hydrate A, polymorph A, and polymorph B. The crystal construction for hydrate A had already been solved utilizing X-ray diffraction. 

Usona’s research presents key new crystal construction options for the 2 anhydrates, polymorphs A and B, beforehand unidentified however a part of the crystal construction courting again to when the crystalline construction was first reported within the 1970’s. 

Dr. Alexander Sherwood, lead writer of the research and medicinal chemist at Usona, mentioned they have been simply following clues out there to any researcher to place collectively a full, clear image of the three psilocybin polymorphs. “The method for isolating and crystallizing pure psilocybin has been persistently reproduced since first reported in 1959, and many various clues all through historical past pointed to a few psilocybin polymorphs ensuing from that course of,” he mentioned. “The crystal construction options unified all of the outdated proof and knowledge with precision and class. As soon as we put all of it into one place, the total image got here collectively to inform a whole and compelling story about psilocybin crystallization.”

Then.. the twist

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That knowledge, that new discovery data from a non-profit firm simply eager to advance the science of psilocybin, is creating conflicts between purists who say psilocybin shouldn’t be topic to patents and corporations seeking to construct capitalist enterprises based mostly on patenting such new product discoveries.

That’s the place Compass Pathways is available in. Compass Pathways has developed a synthesized formulation of psilocybin, COMP 360, which makes use of crystalline psilocybin, and, in November, 2021, was granted its fifth U.S. patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace (USPTO)—U.S. Patent No. 11,180,517—which covers strategies of treating treatment-resistant melancholy (TRD) with crystalline psilocybin. 

A petition filed December 15 will problem the patent granted on March 16, 2021. Further petitions difficult Compass’ patents from the Freedom to Function (FTO), a non-profit in search of to advance science and schooling by preventing dangerous and mistakenly issued patents, are anticipated.

The December 15 FTO petition quoted professional declarations filed with it from Dr. Sven Lidin (dean on the Lund College in Sweden) and Dr. James Kaduk (professor of chemistry at Illinois Tech and contributor to the Usona research) who defined that “’Polymorph A’ is a mix of recognized psilocybin polymorphs, not a brand new polymorph as claimed. Compass’s patent is subsequently invalid as claiming a nonexistent polymorph..”

So can Compass nonetheless declare to have recognized a brand new crystalline construction—a so-called novel variant as talked about of their patent utility—for his or her artificial psilocybin? Or does this discovering by Usona and statements within the submitting difficult Compass now negate the Compass Pathway’s artificial psilocybin patents?

 Usona reseachers additionally addressed this of their research: “Revision is advisable on characterizations in not too long ago granted patents that embody descriptions of crystalline psilocybin inappropriately reported as a single-phase ‘isostructural variant.’”

In different phrases, the Compass patents utilizing crystalline psilocybin are at greatest controversial—and at worst, null and void. 

However the Usona Institute v. Compass Pathways disagreement serves as an instance a deeper and rising difficulty between non-profit psychedelics corporations like Usona who simply need to create and advance higher therapies to deal with human situations, and for-profit corporations like Compass who need to construct an enterprise attempting to regulate entry and use of a pure product. 

The questions for the psychedelics neighborhood are: Who can commercialize, and management, psilocybin? Or.. ought to that ever occur?

“Nobody objects to Compass manufacturing and distributing psilocybin for medical makes use of, and positively not me,” Carey Turnbull, founder and director of FTO, in a letter from the founder. “However, Compass has used their sources to attempt to forestall anybody however themselves from manufacturing and distributing psilocybin. That’s the rub.”

He continues: “(Compass) is making an attempt to patent issues they need to know they didn’t invent. Patents will not be a systemic fault of the system; dangerous patents that try and applicable pre-existing data from the general public commons after which ransom it again to the human race are a misuse of that system.”

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