#6: Dr. Jeeshan Chowdhury – A Contrarian Approach to Psychedelic Drug Development
Welcome back to The Trip Report Podcast!
Today, I am speaking with Dr. Jeeshan Chowdhury, M.D., Ph.D., founder & CEO of Journey Colab, a psychedelic startup developing a synthetic form of mescaline and an innovative care model for addiction treatment.
I met up with Jeeshan at the recent MAPS Psychedelic Science conference in Denver for a conversation about the emerging field, his company, and how he sees the future unfolding.
Journey Colab is taking a contrarian approach to the psychedelic drug development process. While many companies are seeking to engineer shorter trips or non-hallucinogenic compounds, Journey Colab is developing a synthetic form of mescaline, one of the longer-acting psychedelic compounds with trips lasting 12-14 hours.
While the common approach is to identify how to limit or reduce the amount of psychotherapy or psychological support to increase efficiencies, Journey Colab is working with rehab centers to incorporate psychological and community support.
On the one hand, they are taking mescaline through the standard drug approval process; on the other, they have formed a unique partnership with All Points North, a treatment and rehab center in Colorado.
The Journey Colab–All Points North Center of Excellence will conduct research on the potential of psychedelic-assisted therapies for alcohol use disorder in a community healthcare setting.
As we discuss, this contrarian approach has had its fair share of challenges. However, Journey Colab has the unique distinction of having Sam Altman, the former president of Y Combinator and CEO of Open AI, as an early-stage investor and advisor.
In this conversation, we discuss:
How Sam Altman told Jeeshan that he should start a psychedelic company back in 2018;
What happens when we take very powerful psychoactive compounds and apply traditional capitalist structures;
The challenge of delivering psychedelic care safely, effectively and at scale; and
The stigma of using medication in alcohol rehabilitation.
And now, I bring you my conversation with Jeeshan Chowdhury.