Filament Health (FH.NE) is looking at mushroom compounds far beyond just psilocybin as the company is run by actual mushroom enthusiasts with access to a lot of tools.
Filament has the capabilities to experiment and come up with interesting new compounds, extraction methods, and potential future products that probably go far beyond whatever is being discussed in mainstream psychedelics today. We are only scraping the surface with fungi research. With only around 100,000 species described, out of an estimated 5.1 million, fungi make ideal candidates for bioprospecting or extracting useful compounds for pharmaceuticals and other things from nature. And there are over 200 species of mushrooms that produce psilocybin. The possibilities are endless.
The company operates a 3,500 sq/ft lab just outside of Vancouver, BC that has the capacity to produce 25,000 therapeutic doses of psilocybin per year. Their in-house operations include propagation, extraction, research, and manufacturing using patent-pending technologies.
Filament received its Dealer’s License from Health Canada in February which allows them to propagate, study, extract, produce, and distribute psychoactive plant and fungi species. An amendment to Filament’s Health Canada Dealer’s License also allows the possession, production, research supply, export, import, and delivery for all remaining controlled natural psychedelic substances, including DMT, mescaline, and others.
Ryan Moss the company’s Head of R&D did an AMA on Reddit last month where he explained this idea a bit further.
The entourage effect
Moss also said, ‘out of any of the 200+ natural products I’ve worked with in my career, I can’t think of a better case to be made for a naturally extracted drug than there is for psilocybin:
The mushrooms can be cultivated with ease (the impact to the natural population of these organisms is zero).
The cultivation can be performed in a controlled manner, with GMP protocols and consistency as the top priority.
The extract can be produced in a responsible manner (free of synthesis by-products and waste).
The patient dosage can be controlled just as easily as with any other drug preparation.’
To date, Filament has grown and analyzed 20 varieties of psychoactive mushrooms with 75 further cultivars undergoing screening.
Filament is interested in creating the entourage effect with its combinations of compounds. We saw this term a lot in the cannabis space, it means compounds that compliment each other to create heightened effects. In cannabis, we saw this with THC, THC-A, CBN & CBG combinations for example. CBD on its own has been shown to be less effective than when used in conjunction with THC. We know so much more about cannabis now than we did even 5-10 years ago, it’s likely the same could happen with psychedelic mushrooms.
Company CEO Ben Lighburn said in a recent interview:
The entourage effect describes the complementary effects of multiple compounds outside of the primary API. Because human receptor sites are not universally standardized and identical, it’s possible that a combination of natural compounds could have greater efficacy, fewer side effects, and potentially, a shorter onset period compared to a synthetic isolate preparation.
Filament will be entering a psychoactive, non-psilocybin mushroom formulation into a clinical trial later this year. We can’t wait to see what we uncover and to share our findings with the world.
Unlike synthetically derived compounds, which have an almost unlimited number of ways to derive with each in itself being patentable, there are only a limited number of desirable methods to extract and purify naturally occurring psychedelic compounds.
Filament’s intellectual property portfolio includes five separate families of pending filings making up a robust filing strategy covering methods of extraction, standardization, purification, delivery methods, and compositions.
Through experimentation, Filament has come to believe that there are few viable methods to extract the psychoactive alkaloids from natural sources on a commercial scale and has applied for patent protection on these methods. Filament believes this protection may provide an advantage over others wishing to commercialize similar extracts.
In March, Filament acquired Psilo Health for a total consideration of $11.3 million CAD, with $200,000 CAD in cash and the rest in Filament shares.
Psilo’s core tech is focused on methods and systems for extracting psychoactive components from fungi; stabilization and formulation of psychoactive alkaloid compounds (both fungal and non-fungal derived); and the delivery of alkaloid compounds (both fungal and non-fungal derived). While advancing its natural drug candidates, Filament will continue to advance its discovery pipeline, leaning on its natural extraction expertise to access the vast potential of psychoactive plant compounds, many of which have been previously unstudied.
Psilo also came with a stack of pending patents that now belong to Filament.
Natural mushrooms contain different levels of psychoactive compounds like psilocybin and psilocin, making dosing non-exact. In clinical trials, dry mushrooms aren’t used as all doses need to have the exact same levels of psychoactive compounds.
This is a problem that Filament can hopefully tackle through its extraction processes. Moss explains,
Through reading interviews Moss and Lightburn seem to have this company in a place where it’s going to test and experiment as much as possible to find the winners. I’m a big basketball guy so this almost feels like having a ton of draft picks and a good development system to run those picks through.
Filament has the infrastructure to test a million different things, which is valuable in an emerging industry. The arcane laws around many of these substances have stalled research for decades, and companies like Filament are hoping to unlock some of those secrets that have been hidden away in nature. This modern era is the first time any substantial amount of capital has gone toward studying psychoactive compounds, meaning there are still so many unknowns – and I think Filament is capitalizing on that.
Full Disclosure: Filament is an Equity Guru marketing client