Technology for Psychedelic Therapy

While I typically focus on XR as the medium of transformation, I wanted to expand the conversation to complimentary emerging fields. While XR excites me most out of all “wellness technologies,” it is important to contextualize where related industries are heading.  I like to imagine how these differences support one another in our growth towards “re-coding” the matrix from the inside out.

It is clear that we are moving towards the next great awakening. Industries like biotech, education, decentralized finance, and AI are rewriting the future of our species. While this is exciting it is also important to consider where society is, as a whole. Depression, obesity, addiction, anxiety: these things are becoming more prevalent in our lives, showing that we - humanity - are sick. With a sick society creating other-worldly, highly-advanced technologies, it is safe to assume that the tech will reflect our collective experience.

What would happen if Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson stopped trying to explore the outer reaches of space, and reversed that idea to explore the inner space of our minds? What if, instead of looking outside ourselves for adventure and answers to save the world, they focused their attention on looking inside, and conquering the mental health crisis that is at the root of all the problems we face today? I believe that we are at a nexus - where division is at an all time high, while decentralization and access to positive modalities are also peaking. Let’s take a closer look at one of my favorite emerging fields.

Question I Have Been Pondering

How is the psychedelic industry

growing and where do digital therapeutics fit in?

In order to better answer this question it made sense to dive into the world of Psychedelic Industry, where it is currently, and where it is going.

We recently partnered with Microdose.buzz which reports 74 companies with active clinics in the US and Canada. Some, like Field Trip, have multiple facilities (5 and counting). These clinics are primarily focused on Ketamine treatment, with most of them already laying the groundwork in anticipation of MDMA and Psilocybin becoming legal for therapeutic use in the near future.

In the US and Canada, decriminalization is under way. Oakland, Santa Cruz, Denver, Ann Arbor, and all of Washington DC - the list continues to grow, including full legalization of therapeutic psilocybin in Oregon.

Most people are unaware that Ketamine is already legal for therapeutic use in all US states and Canadian provinces!

This of course does not include individual therapists providing a service underground (of which there are many). These are typically licensed doctors and psychologists that have had their own psychedelic break throughs in the past and have created their own protocols to serve this medicine in a desirable set and setting for patients. California, Denver, Austin, Miami, New York and other major cities are availed with this style of “underground” practitioners. They are usually highly qualified and offer psychedelic therapy as a full time service or a part time weekend offering for their communities.

So, what does the pricing look like for the above board clinics?

Alchemy Wellness, for example, charges $125 for a consultation, $495 for a mood disorder session (including 50 minute treatment with a pre-assessment and post recovery period) or $1350 for a chronic pain syndrome (which includes a 4 hour treatment).

While other companies like Field Trip Health, go for a more high-end approach. Their starting package of $2400 including two ketamine treatments. Average price service is $5900 for a package that includes 4 Ketamine treatments plus a variety of consultations, exploratory and integrative.

One of the top clinics in San Fransisco, Polaris Insight, has their pricing structure clearly laid out here.

Most of the industry is still focused on research, signing people up for early access, preparing for the next wave of psychedelic medicines, legalization, and all-encompassing facilities. Some of these facilities are evolving into community hubs and biohacking labs to complement the treatment and integration rooms they have for their patients.

Going Remote

Individual Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy is on the rise as Covid stopped most therapists from bringing patients into their clinics.

What does this mean? Patients now have the option to get a prescription written for Ketamine, pick it up at a pharmacy, drive home and jump on a call with your therapist. After the discovery and intake process patients are directed to create their own therapeutic space. They then self-administer the dose (typically as a sublingual lozenge), put on a blindfold, turn on some recommended music, and settle in.  The Polaris website also has a great page explaining this process.

In some cases, patients can even have the psychedelic delivered to their door so they don’t need to leave their house. In other cases, a licensed physician can actually administer intravenously, supported by their  “Ketamine truck” parked right outside of the patient’s house!

The Rise of Publicly Traded Psychedelic Companies

Could this be the next big “Cannabis-type” boom?

As of March 30th, 2021 here are the most valuable publicly traded psychedelic companies and their current valuations:

Compass Pathways - 1.29 B Mind Medicine - 984.9 M Seelos Therapeutics - 332.6 Field Trip - 236.1 Numinus -198.7 Revive -149.6 Empower Clinics -145.2 Cybin - 141.6 Neomind Biosciences  - 108.1

A few interesting points on market size:

Last year (March 30, 2020) the total market cap for psychedelic companies was only $757,778,577 This year (March 30, 2021) it is up to $4,385,595,347 The Total market cap of new psychedelic companies that have IPO’d in the last year is up to

3.1 Billion.

If you’d like to read a heartfelt short-story about the rise of the psychedelic industry from the perspective of a mission-focused entrepreneur, click here.

How do digital therapeutics fit in?

These companies are developing entire ecosystems. There are now psychedelic therapy training programs, media hubs, in-person clinics, tracking software, unique pre/during/post session protocols, chemistry labs for formulating new psychedelics (targeting a shorter duration, for example) and the development and acquisition of Digital Therapeutics.

Adam Gazzaley recently gave his second interview on Tim Ferriss’ podcast

which really gives a well-rounded perspective of where the industry is at. Adam is a pioneer in the field and is moving the industry forward, not only through his own research and products, but also through his venture firm Jazz Ventures. They have supported dozens of mission-aligned tech companies working to optimize mental health and human performance. The best part is, Tim is actually helping with funding for Adam’s new research that is focused solely on… you guessed it… digital therapeutics within psychedelic therapy!

In my next newsletter, I plan to cover the variety of digital therapeutics and their growth as the world of mental health continues to expand. Are psychedelics, digital medicine, bio-monitors, and neuro-feedback becoming an unstoppable force to combat both the pharmaceutical industry and the rampant mental health crisis? More and more, our people are diagnosed with “treatment resistant psychiatric disorders,” I don’t believe they are treatment resistant, I believe they are not receiving the right treatment and articles like this recently published in The New York Times, show exactly what I mean.

Projects I Have My Eyes On

Applied VR: The Newest Spotlighted Digital Therapeutic

Read: AppliedVR Secures $29M Funding to Pursue FDA Approval for VR Pain Management Tech

Following Jazz Ventures’ historic support of Akili Interactive, EndevourRX - First Prescription Video Game Receives FDA Approval--A Post-COVID Treatment for Persons with ADHD  Jazz ventures has led the round in a new pain-management digital therapeutic “AppliedVR.” Not much has been shown regarding game play our how this experience will function for the end user but it is clear this is just the first stop for the AppliedVR team. Dedicated to “safe and effective therapeutic VR,” they have a full pipeline of new FDA regulated projects featured on their website that covers everything from generalized anxiety to acute postoperative pain.

Roblox is a $30 Billion Indie Game Company!

Roblox IPO: How game developers built a $30 billion platform

It is fascinating to watch the explosion of these new virtual economies and the acceleration that has occurred during COVID.  Roblox went public in March at a 30 Billion valuation - reflecting the growing desire for community-based, family-friendly games. A shocking 150 million people are playing monthly, and 33.4 million daily! In addition, Roblox paid $250 million to developers in 2020 as part of its Developer Exchange Program, that’s some serious support to their in platform creators!

VRMMO ‘Zenith: The Last City’ Pre-orders Start March 10th, Alpha Dates Announced

Wisdom VR

'Wisdom VR' Shows The Positive Effects Psychedelics Have On The Brain

Using VR for interactive education with a focus on the medicinal benefits of psychedelics?! I am in. “ Wisdom is an educational VR experience designed to explain the effects of magic mushrooms by allowing users to step into a 3D model of the human brain to see exactly how psilocybin changes the way your brain operates.” Narrated by a comedian and topped off by interactive musical instruments and creating your own “trip” while learning about these mysterious compounds sounds like a great way for the general public to become more informed and less intimidated by these natural medicines.

Victory VR + Morehouse College

Morehouse College Opens VR Campus Powered By The Oculus Quest 2

The historical Morehouse College is launching their first “VR campus” in Biology and World History. This exemplifies the expansion of Ed-Tech into the next frontier. This is all provided by VictoryXR and powered by EngageVR  which I have mentioned in previous newsletters. According to Auganix, “VictoryXR’s VR classrooms offer students the ability to step inside the human heart, explore historical battlefields, immerse themselves in a life-size model of the solar system, and surround themselves with microscopic atoms.”

Want To Take A Psychedelic Trip Without Drugs?

There's Now An App For That

Light therapy can now be unlocked simply through using the flashlight on the back of your phone! Companies like Pandora Star or Lucia Light charge between $10K to $25K for their high-end light therapy devices while companies like Brain Tap offer something at a much more widely affordable rate of around $600 to $800. Now, by simply downloading an app, even if you could only get 1/4 of the effect without any extra hardware, it seems worth it!

“People typically report the visual experience, perceived with eyes closed, as flying effortlessly through a multi-dimensional kaleidoscope of colors,” he says. “Alongside this, almost all report some reduction in sense of body, ego and time.”

Andromeda Updates

We are officially making the steps towards starting a new company spin-off from Andromeda Entertainment!

Code-name Andromeda Health is a digital therapeutics (DTx) company, specializing in developing and distributing tools for Psychedelic Therapy, and FDA clearance for mental health treatment. Andromeda Entertainment and the New Company will work in tandem for games that we see value to pursuing both consumer and healthcare markets.

Which brings me to … We are HIRING for 3 new positions! Please see below.

We are looking for a developer or team to join our ambitious and energetic team.

Your responsibilities include:

Developing in the Unity environment. Managing deliverables from contractors.

We are looking for someone who:

Can produce and develop at the same time. Has shipped engaging and fun games. Can grow and direct a development team. Is a creative problem solver. Values elegant, clean code. Is personally devoted to their own wellness practices (meditation, exercise, yoga, etc.)

Please fill out this form to apply for Developer Role!

We are also looking for a skilled and empathic Financials and Operations Officer.

Your responsibilities include:

Head-hunting and vetting new positions. Setting up resources and policies that care for our humans. Stewarding company finances. Developing financial strategies and projections. Working to ensure team cohesion and shared vision. Negotiating new employment agreements.

We are looking for someone who:

Is personable and not only low-drama, but is an expert at preventing drama. Has a productive and detail-oriented, and has at least a little Type-A to their personality. Is interested in decentralized practices and structures, and can lead in a way that embraces practices of decentralization. Doesn't mind the minutiae of navigating bureaucracies. Has run businesses and been through the start-up cycle at least once. Is personally devoted to their own wellness practices (meditation, exercise, yoga, etc.

Please fill out this form to apply for Financials / Operations Role

We are looking for a Science/Medical Officer to join our team. Your responsibilities include:

Helping us formulate a research strategy for our digital therapeutics Liaising with our scientific and medical advisors, as well as research partners, to inform and execute those research strategies. Setting up necessary processes for compliance with relevant ISO standards. Leading our patent strategy. Applying for grants to fund future research and development.

We are looking for someone who:

Has experience winning grants. Has experience designing and running studies. Understands the medical device marketplace Understands the process for pursuing FDA clearance for a medical device. Is interested in VR and other gaming technologies. Is personally devoted to their own wellness practices (meditation, exercise, yoga, etc.)

Please fill out this form to apply for Science / Medical Officer Role!

*We are a decentralized management structure (we run Holacracy), so the right candidate will have a self-managing and enterprising spirit.

*There are no geographic requirements, but you must be able to co-ordinate your time effectively with a U.S. based team.

As always, stay blessed! (and check out the PS for further reading!)

~ Lyle

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