New paper reveals Thermodynamic Control Key to Achieving Crystallisation Goal for Psilocybin

February 22, 2022

Almac Sciences, a member of the Almac Group, is proud to publish a peer-reviewed article in collaboration with Usona Institute. The article, published by American Chemical Society publication ACS Omega, investigates the improvement of the crystallisation process for synthetically produced Psilocybin— a naturally occurring hallucinogenic chemical found in some species of mushrooms.

Psilocybin is a serotonergic agonist given “breakthrough therapy” status by the United States Food and Drug Administration for clinical trials involving major depressive disorder and treatment-resistant depression. The article published by Almac and Usona Institute investigated the applicability of a crystal engineering technique to improve the physicochemical properties of Psilocybin as a pharmaceutical ingredient in the scale up of the compound.

Dr Jonathan Loughrey, Physical Sciences Manager, Almac Sciences, commented: “The collaborative efforts between Usona Institute and Almac Sciences’ Physical Science team highlighted the challenge associated with the kinetic crystallisation of psilocybin, therefore, developed a thermodynamically controlled crystallisation process from water. This process afforded the correct anhydrous polymorphic form with the desired particle size distribution and improved impurity profile. What made this study all the more impressive was that an anhydrous form of psilocybin, Polymorph A, was prepared while two other forms (a metastable anhydrate, Polymorph H, and trihydrate, Polymorph B) were avoided by carefully tuning the crystallization and drying processes.”

Professor Tom Moody, VP Technology Development and Commercialisation, Almac Sciences and Arran Chemical Company said:  “Almac Sciences is committed to developing the medicines of tomorrow. Using our combination of advanced analytical techniques and detailed technical knowledge of crystallisation and polymorphism, Almac Sciences’ Technology Group again show our ability to evaluate and mitigate the risks associated with the isolation of the targeted form of psilocybin. We are delighted to showcase collaborations with our customers and continue to produce publication quality results even when faced with the added handling constraints of schedule 1 controlled drugs.”

The article, “Psilocybin: Characterization of the Metastable Zone Width (MSZW), Control of Anhydrous Polymorphs, and Particle Size Distribution (PSD),” can be read here:



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