If you read my articles often, you would know that I can become quite laudatory when discussing small cap companies excelling in recreational drug regulation and using once illegal drugs to treat various mental health conditions and illnesses. Ranging from cannabis to psychedelics, and now, MDMA.
Most of my articles surrounding this area follow the premise that there is a burgeoning future brewing for this industry, and it is worth keeping an eye on it now while it is still in its infancy, but with major health benefits to the general public once they shed their ‘illicit’ tag.
Long before my time, in 1971, some readers may remember when then President Richard Nixon formally declared a “war on drugs” that was to be centred around eradication, interdiction, and incarceration of anything that was identified to be a scheduled drug. This meant that any form of use is banned, but also meant that research into drug compounds is brought to a halt, leaving a treasure trove of information and discoveries for future generations to explore.
Boy-o-boy would I be in trouble had I existed back then…
So for nearly 40 years until 2010, public information was frugal and bleak, but with the recent easing of restrictions from countries in the U.S. to Australia, Companies and scientists can finally take a deep dive and start deducing discoveries that have the potential to decode some of the world’s worst health conditions.
The so-called “war on drugs” has been officially won by drugs itself, and I would personally like to send out my congratulations.
Falling onto my radar today, Emyria Limited (ASX: EMD),a biotech Company based out of Western Australia, has announced that they have discovered and added 19 new MDMA-like compounds to its proprietary MDMA library.
Working in partnership with the University of Western Australia and Professor Matt Piggott, Emyria has leveraged real-world patient data to drive treatments for unmet illnesses and mental health conditions by discovering and cataloguing slightly altered forms of the MDMA molecule.
Essentially, the Company is taking the MDMA molecular structure and configuring its chemical bonds, altering its interactions through the blood-brain barrier to eliminate the enzymes and receptors associated with the common severe side effects when consuming the drug.
So far, the Company has cultivated more than 125 novel MDMA-like compounds that are all included as part of their intellectual property (IP) portfolio. With a total of 45 compounds being discovered as part of the current partnership. Each molecule registered has a slightly different chemical bond structure but closely resembles the original MDMA compound.
The drug discovery is part of the Company’s preclinical program, which focuses on registering proprietary formulations of cannabinoid-based medications (CBMTs) and novel MDMA synthesis where they hope to meet unmet needs surrounding mental health disorders and chronic pain.
“Emyria’s preclinical drug discovery program, inspired by MDMA, is making great progress. We are strengthening Emyria’s IP portfolio and potential slate of proprietary drug candidates targeting major unmet needs,” said MD of Emyria, Dr Michael Winlo.
Now, if I have to be completely honest, I believe buying the IP rights to specific compounds is counterproductive, and hinders the progress within the drug discovery community.
Keeping information open-source is imperative in such early stages of research and allows development from outsourced parties to discover things that would have otherwise never been known. I don’t believe I can entirely rely on one Company to discover, learn and find everything there is to know about MDMA, but by one entity hoarding all the information there is to know, then I have no choice.
Yes, I do give Emyria praise for taking steps in a field that is riddled with regulation and setbacks, but this approach to research can be cancerous and has the potential to inspire other companies to trove their discoveries and impede on an otherwise bright future.