Psilocybin has been fast-tracked by the FDA to become a prescription medication in psychedelic-assisted therapy for depression, but now we’re seeing investors line up to support a new indication for the synthetic compound that’s been made famous—in its organic form—by magic mushrooms. Indeed, there is now a patent pending for psilocybin to be used as a weight loss supplement.
“I think, ultimately, we all believe that patents and science and clinical results will drive the value of companies and efforts to bring this [kind of therapy] forward,” says Jeff Smith, chairman of the board at NeonMind Biosciences, the company looking to develop psilocybin microdoses for weight loss.
Patents are often used by companies to show investors they have the exclusive rights to the product they’re investing in—at least until the patent runs out. When it comes to naturally occurring plants or fungi, however, the patent process becomes a lot more complicated and patent approval is increasingly up to the interpretation of the United States Patent and TradeMark Office.