Psilera Bioscience Launches State-of-the-Art Computational Research of Psychedelic-Inspired Compound Library

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Psilera is assessing serotonin receptor activation of psychedelic drugs and novel analogues to accelerate and further validate its drug pipeline

Serotonin receptor 5-HT2A (purple) crystal structure with example compound (blue ball and stick structure).

This translational research is one of many ways that we are raising the bar for the development of psychedelic-based medicines.

Psilera Bioscience (“Psilera”) has expanded its research efforts to harness the emerging field of computational chemistry. Psilera will assess binding of its novel psychedelic analogues within serotonin receptors using advanced computational methods that can be simulated in a fraction of the time, aiding chemical synthesis and biological analysis.

“This translational research is one of many ways that we are raising the bar for the development of psychedelic-based medicines,” said Dr. Chris Witowski, Co-Founder and CEO of Psilera. “Computational chemistry provides unparalleled insights at the molecular level, and data from these studies will add significant value to our proprietary drug pipeline.”

Dr. Jackie von Salm, Psilera Co-Founder and CSO, has pioneered research in data-driven drug discovery and prediction of therapeutic potential for natural products.

“With nearly a century of psychedelics data, cheminformatics and virtual screening can provide insight into how these compounds and new derivatives might act on various neuroreceptors,” said Dr. von Salm. “Our modernized research approach will include advanced statistical analysis and screening techniques to optimize our compound library for unique activity and drug-like properties.”

Computational chemistry is a next generation tool for drug discovery and is supported via high profile pharmaceutical research collaborations. By simulating small molecular changes and determining biological effects on target proteins, researchers are able to prioritize drug candidates with greater efficiency.
Several serotonin receptor targets such as 5-HT2A, responsible for psychedelic effects, and 5-HT2B, predictor of cardiotoxic side effects, will be included in Psilera’s screening. Additionally, chemical properties such as solubility and ADMET (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity) approximations will identify drug candidates with greater clinical success.

Since its founding in mid-2019, Psilera has chemically synthesized a number of compounds as a member of the USF Connect’s incubator program. These novel analogues will be evaluated for animal safety and efficacy in early 2021 before regulatory approval for first-in-human clinical trials through upcoming research collaborations.

About Psilera Bioscience - Psilera Bioscience is a psychedelic-based biotechnology company developing its proprietary neuromodulator pipeline to target cognitive, mood, and substance use disorders. Psilera leverages research strengths with executives from the pharmaceutical and cannabis industries to repurpose psychoactive natural products as building blocks for next generation therapies to improve mental health.

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Colin Trethewey
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