Algernon Pharmaceuticals is a drug development company based in Vancouver, Canada with a unique drug-repurposing approach that seeks new therapeutic uses for already-approved medicines. Their business model involves screening existing drug candidates for new diseases using animal models, filing new use patents, and efficiently progressing them into clinical trials. Algernon’s current disease targets of focus are stroke, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), chronic cough, and COVID-19.
The company is pursuing FDA Breakthrough Therapy designation for a sub-hallucinogenic, intravenous dose of DMT to “help promote healing and recovery in the brain from a stroke, one of the most devastating injuries a human being can experience,” in the words of Algernon’s mission statement.
Algernon launched its DMT stroke research program in February 2021. According to a Biospace article by Mark Zipkin, the initiative is based on a 2020 preclinical study published in Experimental Neurology that demonstrated DMT’s ability to “promote neurogenesis and neuroplasticity in a rat model of brain ischemia.”1 The first preclinical trial using DMT via Charles River Laboratories is underway as of summer 2021. Algernon intends to conduct a Phase 1 human study in the fourth quarter of 2021 at Hammersmith Medicines Research in the UK.
DMT research pioneer Rick Strassman is a consultant for Algernon.