‘We inspire curiosity’: How the psychedelic industry is responding to Davos | Davos 2022

The World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland – where financial and political elites come together to more or less determine the fate of the world – looks a little different this year.

For the first time since the Cold War, Russia has been blacklisted for the event, with its usually lavish party houses replaced by a macabre multimedia exhibit on the promenade titled “Russian War Crimes.” Due to Covid concerns – which have made the event impossible for the past two years – the forum was held in the spring instead of the usual January, so world leaders were duped out of their ski breaks in the Swiss Alps.

To the surprise of many, psychedelics are one of the hottest topics discussed on the streets of Davos.

Like the Russian War Crimes exhibit, the Davos Psychedelic House is one of several satellite events held in conjunction with the World Economic Forum (though not directly related to it). As in previous years, each building along the promenade in downtown Davos has hosted a different country — including India, Poland and Ukraine — businesses such as the Wall Street Journal, as well as industries such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies, which hosted the event. A week-long party with speakers, panelists and network mixers, all designed to entice world leaders to back their agendas.

“We stimulated curiosity with the neon sign on the front,” said Maria Velcova, one of the organizers of the Psychedelic House in Davos. “Once people are curious and brave enough to come here, they will Realize that this is not some underground electronic dance party. They find themselves meeting world-renowned scientists, clinicians, policymakers, people in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, and experts from leading academic institutions.”

While psychedelic treatments for mental health problems have sparked a frenzy in the media and parts of the scientific community, news of the burgeoning new industry emerging at Davos this year was a little too surreal for some.

after the previous title Bloomberg Late night comedian Stephen Colbert announces news ‘Forget Burning Man, psychedelic shaman heads to Davos’ joking In his opening monologue, “Oh, great, that’s exactly what a billionaire needs: looser grip on reality.”

Colbert singled out event speaker and “shaman investing” expert Sylvia Benito, who Bloomberg says has “deep expertise in ayahuasca and experience managing family investments.”

“Hopefully at the same time,” Colbert said. “‘We divided your investments into high-yield stocks, mid-yield bonds and the feeling memories of your aggrieved ancestors who, in your opinion, will appear to you in your father’s voice. Now walk into the fire with me heap, where we’ll itemize your deductions.

While the week-long event did provide a lot of “woohoo” material for late-night comedians, such as sound-healing rituals, psychedelic breathing, and immersive art installations designed to “stimulate immersive liver reprogramming,” the psychedelic The Davos House was cataloged by sober lectures and groups.

Science, investing and ethics make up the bulk of the discussion, while the audience includes an eclectic mix of burner psychologists, big pharma investors and humanitarians from around the globe concerned with the escalating mental health crisis.

“I am a firm believer in the power of psychedelics to unlock new approaches to notoriously difficult-to-treat diseases such as PTSD, alcoholism, opioid addiction and pain,” said Kevin McKenzie, co-founder of Swiss pharmaceutical company Carvin Medicines. McKenzie) said. Psychedelic Drugs Market. “Having this event in Davos co-located with the World Economic Forum is a genius strategy – it brings fresh eyes and bright minds to the development of psychedelic drugs and thus builds credibility for these drugs .”

Psychedelic House in Davos is dominated by sober lectures and group catalogues.
Psychedelic House in Davos is dominated by sober lectures and group catalogues. Photo: Fabrice Coffini/AFP/Getty Images

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment that sparked the recent surge in psychedelic drug therapy—after all, it seemed poised for a breakthrough in the 1950s. But many point to how author Michael Pollan’s wildly popular 2019 book can change your mind: What the new science of psychedelics teaches us about consciousness, death, addiction, depression, and transcendence.

That same year, Denver Decriminalization of psilocybin Created a domino effect of legislative reform across the United States, Oregon Legalize all drugs by 2020.Just last week, Senators Cory Booker and Brian Schatz sent a letter The NIH and FDA asked them to identify regulatory hurdles preventing psychedelic research moving forward.

Earlier this year, the Australian Minister of Health $15 million approved Funding research into whether MDMA can be an effective tool in the treatment of PTSD and alcoholism.

The psychedelic science community often finds itself in a Section 22 triangle that needs more research, where politicians change drug laws but need more money to do necessary research, and investors need laws changing to risk funding research . Still, some recent developments have kept the momentum going.

Last year, British psychedelic company Compass Pathways fully The first randomized, double-blind trial of psilocybin for the treatment of depression in 233 patients in Europe and North America.These treatments are performed by trained therapists and MindBio Therapeutics has just completed Phase 1 their research Around LSD microdosing, which for the first time allows participants to self-administer at home.

“When it came to the commercial interest in psychedelics, everything changed very quickly and dramatically,” said chemist and documentary filmmaker Hamilton Morris after speaking at the Psychedelic House in Davos. “This has resulted in increased public and academic interest and increased pressure on government to fund psychedelic research. Until recently, there has been little funding for this type of research, either government or commercial.”

Funding is still relatively scarce – the cost is approximately $2.6 billion Bringing a drug to market – but the combination of high finance and high science seems inevitable.

Peter Thiel (PayPal), Bob Parsons (GoDaddy) and dozens of other billionaires have invested heavily in psychedelic companies.In 2021 alone, 45 different investments have generated a windfall of $595 million for the psychedelic industry, leaving Elon Musk in tweet Last month: “I’ve helped a lot more people with psychedelics and ketamine than with SSRIs and amphetamines.”

Deputy Journalist Shayla Love is a bit like a wet blanket at Davos Psychedelic House – which at times feels like an inspirational rally for the industry – by drawing attention to the issues surrounding it unethical business practicesthe efficacy and examples of over-promising psychedelic therapy BDSM Patients affected by a drug in a clinical trial.

“In the past two or three years, especially since Michael Pollan’s book was published, the coverage of psychedelics has been very positive,” she said during the panel discussion. “Unfortunately, a lot of people who write about psychedelic research probably have no scientific background and draw conclusions about this research too simplistically. I have nothing against anyone, but I will report these questions as they arise and as I see them. I Think the coverage is very positive and there is room for a more nuanced approach.”

By the end of the week, Hamilton Morris said, the psychedelic home in Davos was more or less like any of the dozens of other psychedelic business and science conferences emerging around the world today.

While he’s a little tired of them and wants to go back to his chemistry lab, he admits coming here because of “some sort of morbid curiosity, because I never thought I’d see something like this in Davos. It’s known as an international epicentre of greed and commerce, things that seem ostensibly antithetical to the world of psychedelics.”