Fred Ezeh, Abuja
An international pharmaceuticals company, Jaguar Health, has assembled world-class scientific strategy team that would support its newly launched mental health entheogen therapeutics initiative.
Prof. Maurice Iwu, former INEC Chairman, President of Bioresources Development Group and founder of International Center for Ethnomedicine and Drug Development (InterCEDD) in Nigeria, was among the renowned global pharmaceutical researchers appointed into the team of advisors.
They are expected help to discover and develop groundbreaking, novel, natural medicines derived from psychoactive plants for treatment of mood disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, addiction, and other mental health disorders.
Mood disorders and neurodegenerative diseases affect hundreds of millions of people around the globe and represent classic unmet medical needs.
Other appointees include; Michael J. Balick, Ph.D, one of the world’s leading ethnobotanists and economic botanists; Thomas Carlson, M.D., M.S, Ethnobotanist, botanist, physician, Professor of integrative biology at the University of California; Pravin Chaturvedi, Ph.D, a Pharmacologist with specialty in neuropharmacology, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Napo Pharmaceuticals (Napo).
Also appointed are; Stephen Dahmer, M.D. Ethnomedical researcher and practicing integrative physician, expert on endocannabinoids who has conducted ethnomedical field research in tropical regions; Wade Davis, Ph.D, Ethnobotanist, anthropologist, writer, and professor of anthropology at University of British Columbia; Elaine Elisabetsky, Ph.D, Professor in the pharmacology and biochemistry departments, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil.
Others are; Steven R. King, Ph.D, Ethnobotanist, Napo’s Chief Sustainable Supply and ethnobotanical research officer; Charles Limbach, M.D, Ethnomedical specialist and family medicine physician; David Sesin, Ph.D, Natural product chemist and Jaguar’s chief manufacturing officer.
Jaguar President/ Chief Executive Officer, Lisa Conte, in a statement, expressed confidence in the ability and capacity of the researchers to lead the research that is expected to herald unprecedented discoveries.
She said: “Jaguar is thrilled to be leading the effort to potentially uncover a pipeline of novel psychoactive plant-based compounds, engage with recognized leaders in this space, and share our findings with potential corporate partners with the goal of developing plant-based compounds into possible medical breakthroughs.
“While we remain steadfast and focused on the commercial success of Mytesi and on the development of crofelemer follow-on indications in the area of GI health, we believe the same competencies and multi-disciplinary scientific strategy that led to the development of crofelemer will support collaborative efforts to discover and develop novel first-in-class prescription medicines derived from psychoactive plants.
“I am particularly excited to bring back so many members of the original Scientific Strategic Team (SST) that led to the discovery and development of Mytesi, our plant-based, FDA-approved drug product.”
Jaguar’s Chief Sustainable Supply, Ethnobotanical Research and IP Officer, Steven King, Ph.D, said the newly appointed scientific strategy team consists of leading and globally renowned ethnobotanists, physicians, and pharmacologists, as well as experts in the fields of natural product chemistry and neuropharmacology.
He said: “We believe the wealth of expertise, experience, and commitment of our Entheogen Therapeutics Initiative (ETI), team that comprises of multiple members of the original SST that contributed to development of Jaguar’s proprietary library of approximately 2,300 plants.
“They would play instrumental role in advancing our shared initial goal of identifying plants in our library that may have the potential to treat mood disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic sclerosis.”