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One of the leading companies racing to develop psychedelics as legal medicines was granted a patent last week for a formulation of psilocybin — the hallucinogenic compound found in magic mushrooms — a decision that highlights the increasingly intense battle around intellectual property for potential medicines in this rapidly growing sector.

This is Compass Pathways’ fourth U.S. patent, but its first for a form of psilocybin the company isn’t using in its clinical trials on treatment-resistant depression. The patent works to “expand their intellectual property kingdom,” said Mason Marks, senior fellow and project lead on the Project on Psychedelics Law and Regulation at Harvard Law School: “Like a landlord would want to expand and buy more properties, they’re trying to lock up as much IP as they can to solidify their position in the market.”

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