Doug Drysdale

Businessperson, Scientist

Doug Drysdale is the CEO of Cybin Corporation, a Canadian psychedelic pharmaceutical company. Drysdale was appointed to his position in September 2020. On its website, Cybin describes its 3 pillar strategy of discovering novel therapeutic compounds, developing efficient and effective drug delivery systems with minimized side effects, and integrating technology into innovative, data-informed treatment regimens. 

Drysdale received his B.S. in Microbial and Molecular Biology from the University of East Anglia in 1992. He also possesses an ONC (Ordinary National Certificate) in Medical Laboratory Sciences. Drysdale joined Cybin with more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry and a track record of success with startups and turnarounds. He has served in executive leadership positions at multiple pharmaceutical companies, including Tedor Pharma, Norwich Pharmaceuticals, Pernix Therapeutics, and Actavis Group. According to his profile on Cybin’s website, Drysdale “has formed cohesive management teams, recruited board members, completed 15 corporate acquisitions across three continents, and has raised $4 billion of both public and private capital.” 

Drysdale’s appointment as Cybin CEO represents his entry into the corporate psychedelic space. He told Forbes’ Vices columnist Javier Hasse, “Mental illness and addiction have profoundly personal meanings for me and affect millions of people across the globe.”

He elaborated in an interview with Psychedelic Finance: “I have a molecular biology background and have always been fascinated by the potential effects of psychedelics. Mental illness is also a personal issue for me, having seen several friends and family suffer from depression and addiction, with little help from existing medicines. So, with the recent scientific renaissance of psychedelics for the treatment of mental illness, I was excited to be a part of a team that has the opportunity to develop approved medications for patients in need.” He also stated his belief in “a focus on the science” as the key to psychedelic acceptance and accessibility in medical spaces. In an appearance on The Green Rush podcast in April 2021, Drysdale said, “I think the widespread legal commercial sale of psychedelics will only come as the result of running well-controlled clinical studies that demonstrate safety and efficacy of psychedelic molecules for use in a clinical setting.”

As Drysdale took the helm at Cybin, the company began dose-finding clinical trials of its chief product: sublingual psilocybin film strips to treat depression. A Psychedelic Science Review article discussed the trials’ aims. In May 2021, Cybin announced its Phase 2 studies will begin. 

Drysdale discussed with Forbes contributor Will Yakowicz Cybin’s intent to eventually test psilocybin-adjacent substances “optimized” for treatment. He explained, “we want to shorten the overall duration of these treatments. We have quite a lot of control over it.”

Drysdale’s distinction in his field has been honored with recognition as a 2011 Emerging Leader by Pharmaceutical Executive magazine, an International Business Award for Distinguished Honoree for 2011 Executive of the Year in pharmaceuticals. He also won Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2012.