European Firms May Dominate Psychedelics Market in Foreseeable Future

March 19, 2021 12:06:10

Most pioneering research on the potential of psychedelics to treat various mental health conditions has originated from the United States.

In the 1950s, Humphry Osmond, a psychiatrist from California, started experimenting with LSD, a psychedelic drug that he administered to patients. MAPS, a leading not-for-profit organization that conducts research on psychedelics, was established in the late 1980s in the United States.

However, with regard to commercializing psychedelics to help treat various disorders such as addiction and depression, it is not American but European companies that are at the forefront. The last year can attest to this.

Last year, a biotech firm based in the UK, Compass Pathways, which has a $1.6 billion valuation on a U.S. stock market, patented a synthetic psilocybin version. Psilocybin is the psychoactive ingredient that is found in magic mushrooms.

Another company, Atai Life Sciences, which is yet to go public, has been developing various treatments for mental health conditions using psychedelics such as ibogaine, arketamine and DMT.

This doesn’t mean that only European firms are involved in the sector. However, their relative dominance in the sector is an uncommon example of Europe being ahead of the United States on commercializing a groundbreaking area of research. This can be seen when other fields, such as robotics and quantum computing, are compared between the two regions, and Europe can be seen to trail far behind the United States before it catches up years later.

Over the last five years, psychedelics have gone mainstream, with research showing the various therapeutic benefits the drugs possess when used to manage conditions such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The amount of research being conducted has also accelerated amid emerging evidence showing that MDMA and psilocybin actually help.

Research on psychedelic compounds halted in the 1960s after moral panic on the use of LSD caused U.S. and UK governments to ban the drug and classify it as an illegal substance. Research began again in the early 2000s in the United States at several institutions, including Johns Hopkins University.

Despite this, however, Europe seems to have a much better foundation with regard to infrastructure, unlike the United States which lacks mental health-care infrastructure. Europe has in place mental health-care facilities that will make it easier to administer these drugs to patients.

Furthermore, while European firms may be capitalizing on this trend, there are still a lot of uncertainties in this burgeoning sector, including what regulations the drugs must meet in order to be commercialized. U.S. companies have time to catch up, although there are those who doubt that they will close in soon.

In neighboring Canada, Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) (OTC: PRXTF) is doing what it can to book a place among the leading pack in the emerging global psychedelics industry. The company is riding on its vast expertise in the cannabis extracts space to catapult itself into a leadership role on matters of rapidly developing and then commercializing medicines from psychedelic substances.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) (OTC: PRXTF) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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