The vision of PsyRx, founded by entrepreneurs Itai Hecht, Dr. Asher Holzer and Dr. Kobi Boxdorf, is to develop an innovative drug for the treatment of depression and addictions, consisting of a combination of an existing drug along with fungal extracts and the root of the ivy plant.
The idea is to combine a drug that has been FDA approved and the molecules psilocybin and ibogaine, which provide a groundbreaking solution for the treatment of diseases and mental problems that are in the process of spreading. The company explains that the significant benefits in relation to existing solutions are a positive effect within a few days compared to a few weeks and a significant reduction in side effects.
The company is working to develop intellectual property methods for growing and extracting ivy root and psilocybin, for use as biological raw materials for drugs using bio-reactors. It is an exclusive system designed for the growth and homogeneous production of psilocybin and ibogaine intended for use in the pharmaceutical industry and for clinical trials. “Production under these conditions gives rapid and consistent growth of active ingredients, low production cost, a completely sterile process, a precise process that uses a controlled environment, implementation of precise growth processes and practice based on years of development and academic research in collaboration with the best researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.” .
Initially the company will only manufacture the raw materials for other companies that will list the products as medicines. Psilocybin, the active ingredient in mushrooms, is said to be effective against depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Ibugain is used to treat addictions. This is a process that is in the most advanced stages and has even received a significant financial investment. The research is led by Prof. Maggie Levy, who heads a research laboratory in the Department of Phytopathology and Microbiology, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
“We have developed a smart and controlled system to grow botanical products so that the final product will be compatible with the pharmaceutical industry,” Hecht explained. “Most of the pharmaceutical industry prefers to synthesize the components, but a biological molecule is different from the synthesized one – it works better and more uniformly, and we have a lot more data on it.
“There are about 200 types of fungi, we took some strains, scanned them and found the right ones that can yield the most active ingredient, and developed protocols to develop a large mass from a piece of tissue and extract the active ingredients from there. It can be sold to pharma companies that want to produce a drug Eliminate the worst side effects of antidepressants and also improve the time it takes for them to take effect. ”