Camile Bahi is a Research and Knowledge Exchange Associate at MIND and a Section Advisor for the Neuroscience Section of the Mind Members' Association.View full profile ››
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After half a century, psychedelic drugs are inching in from the cold.
Magic mushrooms [psilocybin] are in the vanguard…
— The Economist, June 2019
This article provides an interactive and regularly updated overview of companies that are entering the psychedelic market: The Berlin Registry of the Psychedelic Industry.
Go straight to the Berlin Registry’s Map below, or scroll down to read more about the Registry, why we made it, and how to use it. We hope you can learn something about the growing psychedelic industry.
About the Berlin Registry
Psychedelic research has the attention of the scientific community once more. Treatments with psychedelic substances like psilocybin have shown promising results in high-quality studies aiming to assess their efficacy in treating mental health disorders, such as depression or cancer-related distress. Psilocybin for depression has even received the “breakthrough therapy” status from the American FDA(1,2). This builds on the finding that those psychedelics used in clinical studies have a favorable safety profile: they are some of the safest known drugs to target the central nervous system(3).
Over the last few years, a number of companies and organizations have been founded to develop or build on different aspects of the psychedelic field. The so-called psychedelic industry is still in its infancy. Yet there has been an increasing number of spectacular capitalization events, with companies raising $80 million and more in their first or second financing rounds. This page provides people looking for information or investment and donation opportunities with a basic overview about the emerging psychedelic economy – both for-profit and non-profit.
The Roots of Psychedelic Industry
Psychedelics stricto sensu, characterized by their 5-HT2AR agonist properties, have been present in naturally occurring plants since prehistoric times. They have been used by various cultures around the world.
Following the discovery of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) by Albert Hofmann in 1943, psychedelic compounds began to receive growing interest from the scientific community. Hoffman’s employer, Sandoz Laboratories – manufacturing psilocybin and LSD from 1960 onwards – decided to submit these substances to clinical research for diverse applications. The lack of a rigorous scientific framework in many of these trials, as well as misuse of these substances by parts of the “beat generation” and some youth cultures in the 1960ties, eventually caused an almost complete cessation of psychedelic research and therapy between 1971 and the late 90s (4,5). In 1971, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances categorized psychedelics as Schedule I drugs (4,5). Current research challenges this historical assessment to its core, and it will likely result in re-scheduling some psychedelics for medical treatment in the coming years. Many of the companies in the Berlin Registry are banking on this outlook.
How to Use the Berlin Registry
Since 2016, the number of psychedelics-related companies has exponentially increased. It has become arduous to get an accurate view of which companies are currently involved in the psychedelic industry and what has been undertaken to develop this field. In order to provide an overview, the MIND Foundation has taken the initiative to present regularly updated details about each company that is currently active in the psychedelic field. This is not an in-depth analysis of these companies’ work or economic value, but a starting point for those who want to perform such analysis.
The Berlin Registry takes the form of an interactive map, which makes it possible to access basic information about a particular company by either clicking its name in the directory or using the search field. It will then display the company’s location on the map, as well as a list of details when you scroll down. These details are structured into subcategories that are relevant to our original endeavor.
Firstly, the companies are divided into two categories: for-profit and non-profit, important information about the legal status of a given company. Then, to connect a company with its actors and framework, the names of its founders are provided when available, as well as the date of founding, the country of establishment, and location of its main headquarters. All of these fields are searchable. Whether the company owns any subsidiary company is also specified, providing a general idea of the connections that exist between companies. However, since this information may evolve regularly – and is also subject to intentional concealment – the database does not guarantee an exhaustive answer.
To provide a clearer overview of the ongoing activities each company undertakes, we use the following categories:
R&D: Specifies if the company has undertaken research and development in order to put a substance on the market. This includes drug discovery, formulation development, and any industrial activity.
Substance(s): Lists the compounds a company is working on or planning to work on, according to its website.
Academic Research: Specifies whether a company is involved in ongoing academic research. This means that the company or a partner institution has published at least one peer reviewed
Partnership: Details the partnerships a company claims to have developed with other institutions, according to its website.
Ongoing clinical trials: Specifies whether the company is conducting any clinical trials on psychedelic substances.
Establishing or operating treatment systems: Specifies whether the company intends to build treatment structures such as clinics, treatment centers, or hospitals.
Retreats or human development: Provides information about services a company could provide that would be related to human development.
Investment Company: Specifies whether the company is investing in the psychedelic industry by acquiring or founding new companies related to the field.
Projects: Provides details about a company’s ongoing or planned projects, according to its website. This includes the status of the project, the type of project, and the starting year, if applicable.
If your company is involved in the psychedelic field and you feel that you should appear in this registry, or if you want to provide further information about your company, please fill out this form or send us an e-mail at [email protected].
Last updated: November 13th, 2020
- Bahi C. Psilocybin based therapy for cancer related distress, a systematic review and meta analysis. ArXiv191005176 Q-Bio [Internet]. 2019 Oct 10 [cited 2019 Oct 14]; Available from: http://arxiv.org/abs/1910.05176
- Muttoni S, Ardissino M, John C. Classical psychedelics for the treatment of depression and anxiety: A systematic review. J Affect Disord. 2019 Nov;258:11–24.
- Nichols DE. Psychedelics. Pharmacol Rev. 2016 Apr;68(2):264–355.
- Rucker JJH, Iliff J, Nutt DJ. Psychiatry & the psychedelic drugs. Past, present & future. Neuropharmacology. 2018 Nov;142:200–18.
- erowid. Erowid Psilocybin Mushrooms Vault: Timeline [Internet]. [cited 2019 Oct 14]. Available from: https://www.erowid.org/plants/mushrooms/mushrooms_timeline.php#ref_6