Interview: Derrick Welsh

October 20, 2020
Spotlight
Derrick Welsh is the Founder of Psilocin Pharma Corp, a division of Revive Therapeutics. He brings 14 years of Healthcare experience and has developed several patent pending formulations for water Soluble THC and CBD products such as beverages, water enhancers and effervescent tablets. Leveraging his previous experience with cannabinoids Derrick founded Psilocin Pharma Corp, and has since developed a catalog of formulations and purification technologies for Psilocybin.

Can you tell us about your experience in healthcare and what you were previously working on in medical cannabis?

In healthcare I was part of a team of allied health care professionals with a primary focus on the treatment of acquired brain injury and rehabilitation. This led me to the cannabis industry where we found a number of patients seeking the use of cannabis. At this time, cannabis only came in the form of dried flower and basic cannabis oils, and being a cannabis patient myself, I thought there must be a better way and started developing IP in the cannabis space. Most notably, I developed a formulation that turns basic cannabis oil into a powdered form that could be dissolved into water like a sports beverage.  

What got you personally excited about the potential of psychedelics?

I personally get excited about psychedelics because of how beautifully simple it is. The idea that a simple mushroom that grows naturally in its own environment may well hold so much promise. The Hopkins study really demonstrates the potential for psychedelic compounds in the treatment of mental health. Albert Hoffman a famous scientist in the field of psychedelics has a great quote “Evolution of mankind is paralleled by the increase and expansion of consciousness”

You have developed multiple formulations around psilocybin. Can you talk about what those are and what unique characteristics they have?

The formulations that we have developed have been focused on contemporary methods of consumption that are familiar to the consumer. In our pipeline, Revive’s portfolio will include capsules, edible gummy products, beverages, sublingual breath sprays and oral thin films. Our products equally lend themselves to both the medical and recreational market opportunities. Today, Revive Therapeutics is focused clinically on the development of our oral thin film technology specifically with the  “breath strip” as it is our front runner in psychedelics.

How far along the path to clinical approval are you currently and what are some of the obstacles you need to overcome?

Today we are moving down the clinical path, as we have accomplished the creation of our prototype.  This is a big milestone for Revive. Our oral thin films are currently being tested and researched at the University of Wisconsin. Today Revive’s research is focused on the fundamentals, as this includes the testing and safety data, dissolution testing as well as ensuring that our breath strip is able to carry dosages that offer different concentrations of psilocybin from 1mg up to 25mg. We don't see a lot of obstacles but , moreover, checkpoints as our goal is very clinically focused.    

What scientific validation of your formulations have occurred so far?

Currently all of the research Revive is doing is scientific and clinical, as we have a tremendous team of experts at the University of Wisconsin that work tirelessly to ensure that our formulations are subject to the scientific rigors and methods that are expected of us. The validation that we are seeking comes at the end of this path with the pre IND meeting.  As we hit milestones we will announce to the market what we have achieved.    

How do you and your team plan to be able to make these formulations medically accessible?

At Revive to be accessible and affordable have been key conversations. Our therapeutic targets for psilocybin have been focused on mental health and addiction. As previously announced,  Revive is sponsoring a study on Meth-Addiction and the use of psilocybin.  These fundamentals are important for insight into how compounds like psilocybin interact with the brain while potentially addressing addiction. Accessibility is important to us and ensuring the products that we create will be  affordable to the consumer.

Your formulations have multiple different delivery methods. Why is that important and what differences do they allow for patients?

The importance of having different delivery methods is comparable to a drug like Penicillin. Penicillin comes as an oral dose, tablet, and injectable. We need to be able to offer the prescribing physicians a drug that fits the symptom picture for the patient. This includes different dosages as well formulations that are fast acting and slow release. Our oral thin films once research has concluded will be able to address the needs of patents and doctors.    

What is the roadmap from here to being able to commercialize the intellectual property you have generated?

Our upcoming path and road map have many opportunities from both the pharmaceutical as well the recreational perspective. It will take time and research to complete the commercialization of this type of IP. The important takeaway today, is that Revive is further down the path than most.  We have a working prototype that has been developed clinically.  Most steps from here revolve around ensuring commercialization and sustainability.  


Can you share a bit about what the plans are moving forward for Psilocin Pharma?

We are excited about the future of Psychedelics as many companies are coming into the space by researching different compounds and their therapeutic potential. Psilocin Pharma,  a subsidiary of Revive is primarily focused on psilocybin as our main API.  Our Oral Thin Film’s delivery technology provides the market with  a great platform that we are hopeful will allow other emerging companies to partner with us on other compounds like DMT, LSD, MDMA.    


Who is someone doing important work in the world of psychedelics you think more people should know about?

The Individual that I feel has done important work in the world of psychedelics, would be Alexander Shulgin although he has since passed away, his work lives on today. We owe a lot to Alexander his work on Psychedelic compounds regardingsynthesis and production and testing methodology have been Invaluable. The biggest gift Alexander provided for all of us in psychedelics was the book Pihkal whereby he lists methods and his experiences with many psychedelic compounds. What I Admire most about him Was his commitment to openness andhow he made the information available to anyone who was willing to read and learn.

“Our entire universe is contained in the mind and the spirit. We may choose not to find access to it, we may even deny its existence, but it is indeed there inside us...”

Dr. Alexander Shulgin

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