Aya Biosciences is a venture-backed biotechnology and pharmaceutical startup that is developing “differentiated psychedelic and plant-based based therapeutics to treat unmet needs.”
The San Diego-based startup was founded in 2020 and incorporated in 2021. It is the pharmaceutical division of vertically integrated cannabis company Leef Holdings, which is also helmed by Aya CEO Micah Anderson.
Aya applies the latest science to create novel psychedelic and cannabinoid medicines that provide faster-acting, more effective, and more sustainable treatments for a variety of conditions. Its initial formulations target insomnia and pain, while those under development target mental disorders such as PTSD and substance abuse. Chief Science Officer Dr. Del Potter’s LinkedIn page states that one of Aya’s research aims is to develop “biochemical strategies to alter the contour and duration of the psychedelic experience.”
As a “Green Renaissance” panelist at Seattle Hempfest 2020, Dr. Potter emphasized the potential of cannabis to “address [a variety of] symptoms in a really harm-reduced way…that conventional pharmaceuticals don’t really address.” He also shared that Aya’s “general approach is to…use psychedelics to address underlying cause[s] and cannabis to address symptoms.”