COVID-19 Update #2: DecrimCA Update; Cyclica chips in; Convincing the Ayahuasca community; Cancellations
Welcome to The Trip Report, a newsletter for the builders of the emerging psychedelic ecosystem on the business, policy, and impact of psychedelics.
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In Friday’s Trip Report Pro dispatch, we looked at some of the pain points that the Coronavirus is inflicting on the psychedelic movement.
I have since made that content available to all, and you can find it here.
This Trip Report Pro dispatch is also available to all since it pertains to the public health crisis that is going to have far-reaching consequences.
In this edition, we’ll look at further event cancellations, voices from the community, and the status of one policy initiative impacted by COVID-19.
Some questions I have about how this future world looks concerning the psychedelic space:
How does this affect active clinical trials and presupposed approval timelines? Do studies have trouble screening candidates, reporting adverse events? Amending protocols?
Does the FDA/EMA make any meaningful changes to processes and approval guidelines?
Right now, the agencies are being forced to make quick decisions with limited information about potential treatments and testing—will they learn from this experience, so we see shorter development cycles, less capital intensive processes, faster responses to other catastrophic unmet needs?
How many offshore retreats and clinics will have to close from short term (hopefully) lack of revenue?
How does the stress of a global pandemic affect those in our community with PTSD, anxiety, addiction? How does a global pandemic affect the rates of PTSD, anxiety, addiction?
Please stay safe and take care of each other.
As always, thanks for reading, sharing, and supporting The Trip Report. If you are interested in supporting independent psychedelic news and analysis, please consider becoming a subscriber of The Trip Report Pro.
An announcement from Decriminalize Nature DC last week made me realize that signature gathering for psychedelic related ballot measures will go off the rails in the coming days and last weeks and possibly months.
I reached out to Oregon’s PSI2020 campaign, DecrimCA, and DecrimDC by Twitter. I was curious to know where they stood in signatures collected and what contingency plans they had.
DecrimCA folks responded to say they have only gathered 1/4 of the required signatures that they'll need by April 21st.
I appreciated the response and transparency. It was very easy for them to come back with a more self-congratulatory and obfuscating answer like the kind we’ve gotten used to coming from the White House lately (always).
However, at that rate, it would seem unlikely they were going to reach their goal by the April 21st deadline.
Failure this time around would be a silver lining as organizers can go back to the drawing board with less urgency. This initiative felt rushed and less thought out as others.
Oregon’s Psilocybin Services Initiative is thoughtful and outlines a framework that makes it possible for therapists/guides to administer natural medicine and prevents a race to the bottom branding/marketing competition, as we’ve seen in cannabis markets.
The PSI bill has also collected 100k of the required 112k signatures. They have a July 2nd deadline. I’ve reached out to lead organizer, Sheri Bessi-Eckert, for ways to support their efforts. I will get back you when she gets back to me, though I am sure a donation to the cause can’t hurt.
The official Bill can be found here.
ATAI Partner, Cyclica Collaborates with Chinese Institute on COVID-19
Cyclica is a Toronto based drug discovery company that partnered with Psychedelic giant ATAI Life Sciences to create Entheogenix, a venture that will use Cyclica’s AI-based drug discovery platform to discover psychedelic-based drug candidates.
This week Cyclica partnered with the Chinese Institute of Materia Medica (IMM) to work towards treatment, possibly a vaccine for the Coronavirus.
From a press release:
“Leveraging PolypharmDB and MatchMaker, Cyclica's scientists investigated both human targets as well as viral proteins with potential therapeutic relevance for COVID-19 in rapid fashion. The result is a set of molecules that are predicted to interact with the putative therapeutic targets for COVID-19.
In this collaboration, China’s Institute of Materia Medica will conduct in vitro and in vivo antiviral assessment for molecules proposed by Cyclica. In addition, the two parties will cooperate in a longer-term effort to design multi-target antiviral compounds with the goal of reducing drug resistance.”
There haven’t been any announcements from Entheogenix that I have seen, and I have been looking.
However, the process that Cyclica and IMM are going through is likely a good model of how Entheogenix will operate. Namely, take a database of known molecules, possibly even PiHKAL and TiHKAL and similar repositories, and run them through Cyclica’s AI to see how they compare based on the receptor, binding site, affinity, etc. to glean insight into which would be best candidates for development.
ATAI’s Chief Scientific Officer Srinivas Rao and Cyclia CEO Naheed Kurji spoke about the partnership at Startup Health back in January.
An Open Letter to the Ayahuasca Community on Harm Reduction During the Coronavirus Global Pandemic
Required reading for the “Ayahuasca sector.”
The world is responding to the crisis of COVID-19, yet the tone of this piece is pleading with Ayahuasca leaders to cancel ceremonies and retreats and to take it seriously.
Here are some highlights:
Therapist Training Goes Online
Fluence, the psychedelic therapy training program delivered by the established and well respected Ingmar Goldman and Elizabeth Nielson, has moved it’s April training from in-person to online.
More Conferences and Event Cancellations
😎Safety is cool!
✏️Hello Delic Community. How are we feeling? A bit unsure, I bet. I feel it too.
👉Here’s something I am sure of, my momma always told me that it’s better to be safe than sorry. ⚠️ Due to the current public unrest and confusion about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are moving Meet Delic 2020 to August 8 & 9.
🤩Same visionary lineup. Same location. Same fun.
🌵Whether it’s civil unrest, climate change, or an epidemic, we’ll get through this together. 🧼Just make sure to wash your hands first.
😄Thank you for coming on this journey with us. - Jackee Stang, Delic Founder
The Philosophy of Psychedelics Conference
OPEN Foundation’s ICPR 2020
As always, thank you for reading, sharing, and supporting The Trip Report.
Wash your hands, stay home, and take care of each other.
My thoughts Spring Equinox 2020.....
This is a time of choices
This is the time of remembering
Civilizations rise and fall, this we know.
It’s quite likely the world as we have known it will never be the same.
The Crown virus will humble us and we will take a knee, again and again.
The best laid plans will become dust in the winds of time.
This is the Great Leveling.
A wake up call is sounding around the planet.
Untold opportunities are sprouting around this Equinox .
That which has become corrupt can be corrected.
Inequities and absurdities of lives out of balance can come back into harmony.
The establishment is no longer stable, the center is not holding.
The wisdom of youth demands a new green deal.
The impulse towards life and future generations is strong in their bodies.
Greta Thunberg, like a young Jean de Arc is a torch bearer, Speaking Truth to power.
She will not be burned at the stake.
This is a time of wonder and resilience.
In a matter of weeks we have seen the air around our planet clearing.
The undaunted human spirit of creativity is alive and making us laugh online.
Italians sing on their balconies together.
Spaniards clap city wide in gratitude for nurses and doctors.
The planet catches it breath.
We seek one another out in virtual space for connection, for comfort, for laughter, for solace and love.
The petty tyrants and dictators masks fall away and the face of madness is there for all to see.
We avert our eyes in embarrassment from the greedy, from the predators, the psychic vampires and zombies.
Suddenly trillions of dollars available for who ? Bailouts to corporations, CEOs exit packages?
Who will be accountable, and how will it help those most in need?
Brilliant minds can restructure economic systems and shift from transactional corrupt systems to transformational equality.
The world can no longer afford to worship at the altar of economic pragmatism.
This is a time of opportunity and revisioning.
The massive suffering and fear in the world over there, is over here now.
We will be challenged to lift one another up.
We will be challenged by the nonviolent teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King.
The signs and omens have been leading us to this actuality
Fires, floods, earthquakes, climate change, mass extinctions.....
This is not a biblical moment.
This is not the wrath of some off the planet god.
This is what we have created to wake ourselves up from a four thousand year old sleep.
This is us living and dying, laughing and crying.
This is us with our children, smelling the flowers, hearing a song bird, breathing fresh air.
This is us with our hearts cracked open, our minds expanded, the doors of perception cleansed.
This is us alert and aware, dreaming ourselves awake.
This is a tipping point beyond our wildest dreams.
We were made for this moment, our ancestors survived more than this and they prepared us well.
It’s lives in our DNA. It’s been handed down through the generations.
This is the Spring of Our Remembering.
Adele Getty Spring Equinox 2020