PharmaDrug is a Toronto-based pharmaceutical company focused on developing psychedelic-, cannabis-, and naturally-derived medicines. It was incorporated in 2011, and is now led by entrepreneur Daniel Cohen. Neuroscientists Dr. Steven Barker, a DMT expert, and Dr. Jimo Borjigin sit on PharmaDrug’s Advisory Board.
The company operates three divisions: controlled-substance distribution, medicinal supplements, and biotechnology.
PharmaDrug’s controlled-substance distribution division is supported by its majority ownership of German cannabis distributor Pharmadrug GmbH, which possesses a Class I Narcotics license. The license permits the import and distribution of medical cannabis from the Netherlands throughout Germany and eventually across the European Union as evolving regulations allow.
The company sells its nutritional supplements through wholly-owned Dutch psychedelic retailer Super Smart. Super Smart operates online stores in the European Union and the United States; in the Netherlands, it legally sells psilocybin truffles. The retailer promotes functional mushroom use through consumer education.
PharmaDrug’s wholly-owned medical biotechnology firm Sairiyo Therapeutics aims to repurpose and improve formulations of natural compounds to treat “serious, rare, and life-threatening diseases.” It is exploring the potential of DMT and derivative tryptamines to treat non-neuropsychiatric conditions. Sairiyo’s initial focus is on glaucoma, based on research showing that DMT’s specific serotonin receptor activation pathways reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) – a symptom of glaucoma that deteriorates vision. Cohen stated in a Psychedelic Finance interview that the choice to focus on DMT for glaucoma is “a product of [PharmaDrug’s] fundamental strategy…based on what we termed as the ‘holy trinity,’ of a successful psychedelic pharma program: “a unique indication, a unique formulation, and a unique delivery technology.” In December 2021, Canadian Glaucoma Society president and Ophthalmology professor Dr. Cindy Hutnik was appointed to the company’s Scientific Advisory Board.
Academic partnerships with the University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins, and the Terasaki Institute facilitate PharmaDrug’s research and development pursuits.
In 2021, PharmaDrug began advancing cepharanthine as a potential COVID-19 treatment.