8th September 2021
By Roland Sebestyén
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A partnership between two innovative start-ups leads the way for advancing patient access to psychedelic medicines in Europe.

According to a statement released today, Copenhagen-based Octarine Bio, has partnered with clinical research organisation Clerkenwell Health to deliver clinical trials. Octarine Bio is a synthetic biology drug development company that produces psilocybin from sugar using fermentation.

Patients in clinical trials will soon be able to receive psilocybin that has been produced in European labs for various mental health conditions.

Tom McDonald, the CEO of the UK-based Clerkenwell Health, said: “It’s a real pleasure to be working with Octarine, who are at the forefront of biosynthesis of a range of compounds which should enable reduced costs for patients.

“They have a strong pedigree in drug development which fits perfectly with the commercial and clinical expertise we have built within the Clerkenwell Health team”.

Through the partnership, Octarine now has access to services from Clerkenwell Health to expedite its clinical development with biosynthetic psilocybin and expects to be able to fast-track steps leading to human clinical trials.

Octarine harnesses biology to deliver innovative cannabinoid and psychedelic therapeutics to improve the health and wellbeing of people worldwide.

A key barrier to improving the accessibility of psychedelic treatments is related to limitations associated with the production of psychedelic compounds at the high quality required for clinical development.

Octarine solves this problem by turning to yeast, a microorganism widely known for its use in producing beer by turning sugar into ethanol.

Octarine hijacks this fermentation machinery to turn sugar into psilocybin.

Yeast is a very close relative of Psilocybin mushrooms from an evolutionary point of view, and that enables yeast as the front runner of biosynthetic production hosts.

“Our core ambition at Octarine is to advance psychedelic therapy across Europe and the world in a way that is consistent with sustainability principles while ensuring patient accessibility.

“We’re thrilled to be working with a company that shares our vision and is committed to making Europe a leader in the field by providing world-class clinical expertise tailored to the nuances of psychedelic therapy.

We look forward to working closely with the Clerkenwell Health team to advance our psychedelic drug programs through clinical trials.”

The partnership between the two companies demonstrates that a mainstream backed ecosystem is beginning to form in the sector.

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