Core One Labs

Core One Labs is a life science and biotechnology company working toward the commercialization of psychedelic medicine. It is chaired by microbiologist and University of British Columbia professor Dr. Robert Hancock and helmed by CEO Joel Shacker, a cannabis and finance entrepreneur. 

Core One’s business is multipronged, with initiatives in pharmaceutical research and development, drug delivery technology, and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy services. 

Two subsidiaries are responsible for Core One’s R&D work: Vocan Biotechnologies Inc. and Akome Biotech Ltd. Vocan created a biosynthesis platform for API-grade psilocybin, which is produced by E. coli bacteria via fermentation. The company engineered the genes involved in natural psilocybin production into E.coli such that the bacteria became a “factory” for the psychedelic substance. Core One describes this biosynthesis process as more cost-effective and easily scalable than an extraction or chemical synthesis and filed a patent for it in January 2022. The company intends to translate its production method toward the manufacture of DMT, as well. 

In a promotional video, Dr. Hancock stated, “We believe that psilocybin use will follow more or less along the pathway that cannabis use has achieved over the last few years. One of the big barriers right now is access to psilocybin at a reasonable consumer-acceptable price…” 

Core One has developed proprietary sublingual strips that administer microdoses of Vocan’s biosynthetic psilocybin. 

Akome Biotech Ltd. is analyzing the efficacy of several of its psychedelic drug candidates as treatments for neurological conditions, such as DMT for stroke and Parkinson’s, psilocybin for Alzheimer’s, and ketamine for depression. Core One is receiving technical guidance for its in vitro development of these bioactive compounds from its partners at the University of Barcelona’s Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences. 

Core One currently oversees four medical clinics – three in British Columbia and one in Texas – that serve more than 275,000 patients. As they become legally available, the company’s pharmaceutical products will be used as adjunct treatments for the clinics’ psychotherapy patients.