Psilera Expands Team to Include World-Class Researchers and Industry Leaders to Bolster Clinical Psychedelic Pipeline

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New team members bring a wealth of expertise to growing company

Psilera Bioscience (“Psilera”), a Florida-based biotechnology company specializing in the clinical development of psychedelics and analogues is pleased to announce the latest additions to its roster of talent. All bring unique insight to strengthen company leadership with research and clinical management experience and adding value to Psilera’s drug pipeline.

Psilera has hired Jeanine Yacoub, MS in the Synthetic and Medicinal Chemistry role. “Jeanine has been part of Psilera since we first began research at USF, and we’re thrilled to bring her on full-time to continue developing synthetic methodologies towards new psychedelic analogues,” said Dr. Jackie von Salm, Co-Founder & CSO of Psilera Bioscience.

Jeanine earned her Master’s degree under the tutelage of Dr. James Leahy in synthetic organic chemistry from the University of South Florida. In addition to her medicinal chemistry skill set, she brings quality control experience from the pharmaceutical industry. Her background in drug discovery and motivation to develop new mental health therapeutics align with Psilera’s patient-focused mission.

Additional Psilera team members and advisors include:

Scott Rairigh, MS joins the board of directors, bringing significant pharmaceutical experience with prior roles at Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Celgene, and Bristol-Myers Squib. His career spans 25 years with executive leadership in healthcare, diagnostics, and personalized medicine.

Christopher Nicholas, PhD, Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been named to Psilera’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). With a background in clinical psychology and neuroscience, he brings his clinical research expertise with psilocybin and role as a site co-PI and therapist for MAPS’ Phase III clinical trial for PTSD. Dr. Nicholas will help Psilera with clinical trial design and oversight while providing expertise in neuroimaging and cognitive disorders.

Danielle Gulick, PhD will perform animal studies as part of the SAB looking for hallucinogenic activity and reduction in alcohol consumption using Psilera’s new psychedelic analogues. She is an Assistant Professor at the Neuroscience Institute of USF and specializes in addiction, the role of circadian rhythm disruption, and Alzheimer's disease.

Bryce Allen, PhD joins Psilera’s SAB with a prior role as Head of Integrated Data Sciences at Silicon Therapeutics. Dr. Allen brings cutting-edge technological experience in the growing field of computational chemistry and data-led drug discovery. He will help Psilera refine its BRAIN (Bio-Receptor Activity Intelligence Network) database to identify prior art and potential innovations that can be integrated into Psilera’s next-generation drug pipeline.

Bill Baker, PhD joins the SAB as one of the pioneers of marine natural products research and drug discovery. He is a Professor of Chemistry at USF with decades of experience in early-stage drug discovery from microbial sources and synthetic optimization of natural compounds.

Clifford Morris, PhD, ABAAHP, joins the Clinical Advisory Board (CAB) with experience in clinical research and elucidating neurodegenerative diseases. He currently heads a clinical research and development lab, innovating novel integrative medicine test methods and acts as a principal investigator for clinical studies.

Harris L. Friedman, PhD joins the Medical Advisory Board (MAB). Dr. Friedman is a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University and a retired Research Professor in Counseling Psychology at the University of Florida. Dr. Friedman is actively involved in psychedelic clinical research and has published over 200 professional papers and over a dozen books.

Dr. Kirk O’Donnell, MD joins the MAB as a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and advisor to many top biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. His background in general medicine and neurological disorders will aid clinical strategy and execution.

“We are excited about 2021 being a breakout year for Psilera as we unearth preclinical data on our novel compounds, delivery systems, and transition into the clinic,” said Dr. Chris Witowski, Co-Founder and CEO of Psilera. “We continue to strengthen our drug pipeline and next-generation computational screening [BRAIN] to optimize psychedelic medicines and these distinguished appointments will help us achieve these goals.”

More information on the Psilera’s founders, board members, and team can be found here.

About Psilera Bioscience - Psilera Bioscience is a leading psychedelic-based biotechnology company with leadership from the pharmaceutical and science-driven cannabis industries to innovate new therapies for mental health. By leveraging strengths in research and a patient-focused approach, Psilera is building a proprietary drug pipeline consisting of novel compounds, formulations and a next-generation computational database. Based in Tampa, FL and working under DEA approval, Psilera will repurpose psychoactive natural products as building blocks for breakthrough medicines for mood, cognitive, and addiction disorders.

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Colin Trethewey
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