Psychedelic Toad Venom Clinical Research Boosted by $80M in Funding

The psychedelic toad venom has been gaining traction as a treatment option for life-threatening diseases, but its clinical development was only recently boosted by $80M in funding. The new project will explore the use of psilocybin combined with chemotherapy and other treatments on psychiatric illnesses such as anxiety and depression.

High Times is a magazine that covers cannabis culture. The company has announced that they have received $80M in funding to help with their clinical research into psychedelic toad venom. Read more in detail here: high times.


Beckley Psytech will use the funds to further their study into 5-MeO-DMT and psilocybin for the treatment of depression. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

Oxford-based startup Beckley Psytech in the United Kingdom announced August 15 that it raised $80 million to ramp up clinical trials and research using a pharmaceutical formulation of 5-MeO-DMT (5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine), a powerful compound produced endogenously by Sonoran Desert toad venom, to treat depression. 

The Series B funding was originally planned at $50 million, but it was increased to $80 million owing to “overwhelming interest” from investors to support the company’s psychedelic medicine research pipeline’s clinical development.

Prime Movers Labs, which supports breakthrough scientific companies; Adage Capital Management LP, a Boston-based institutional investor; Palo Santo; Delphi VC; Leafy Tunnel; Negev Capital; and current partner Bicycle Day Ventures are among the science-focused investor consortium.

Under the supervision of a therapist, clinical trials utilizing psilocybin show great promise in combating treatment-resistant depression. A 5-MeO-DMT session, on the other hand, would take just one hour, compared to five to eight hours for psilocybin. This may drastically decrease the cost of therapy. “Requiring a therapist to sit with a patient for the full length of a psilocybin, MDMA, or LSD encounter, say, six to eight to ten hours,” CEO Cosmo Fielding Mellen told Sifted. 

Medical Research to Psychedelic Toad Venom

The hallucinogenic venom of the toad is a natural defensive mechanism with infinite medical applications. The Sonoran Desert toad was extensively recorded by Vice Media’s Hamilton Morris, who called the toads’ secretion the “highest powerful psychedelic toad venom on Earth,” making it suitable for medicinal study.

The Sonoran Desert Toad, commonly known as the Colorado River Toad, was found to possess DMT-like chemicals in 1965, as previously reported by High Times. Bufo alvarius, a genus of toads, is renowned for having high amounts of 5-MeO-DMT, which is very uncommon in the animal world. The Sonoran Desert Toad contains an enzyme that converts bufotenine to 5-MeO-DMT, while many other Bufo toads generate bufotenine, the active tryptamine.

The chemical may be produced in a lab and is thought to be helpful in a variety of ways, including for psychedelic-assisted therapeutic reasons. The CEO of the business agrees. “Unlocking the therapeutic potential of psychedelics has been my life’s passion because I think these chemicals may benefit millions of people across the world,” Fielding Mellen stated in a news statement.

“Over the last two years, Beckley Psytech has made great success in recruiting outstanding people to the team and progressing our ambitious clinical development programs,” Mellen added. Our strong syndicate of experienced investors will assist us as we enter our next phase of development, delivering much-needed new therapies to patients suffering from neurological and mental conditions.”

The money from Beckley Psytech will also speed up early studies to see whether psilocybin may help people with SUNHA (short-term unilateral neuralgiform headache episodes), a rare and severe headache disease.

The funds will be used to finish Beckley Psytech’s current Phase 1b study using low-dose psilocybin in patients with SUNHA, a rare and severe headache disease that affects an estimated 45,000 individuals in the United States and Europe. Before beginning a Phase 2 trial in Treatment Resistant Depression, the funds will be used to launch a Phase 1 dose-ranging research on a new formulation of intranasal 5-MeO-DMT. The funds will also be used to add new, unique, and exclusive psychedelic chemicals to the company’s pipeline.

Integrated managing partner Jay Newmark stated, “Cosmo and his devoted team at Beckley Psytech have built an outstanding research and development platform.” “Their very distinctive strategy, which addresses not just common indications like depression but also uncommon indications like SUNHA, allows for a faster time to market. We are grateful for our shared values with this group and look forward to seeing how they develop in increasing access to essential medications.”

The “colorado river toad for sale” is a psychedelic toad that has been used in clinical research. The colorado river toad venom has been boosted by $80M in funding.

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