Eastra Health is the first female-focused psychedelic biotech company dedicated to developing psychedelic-derived medicines specifically for women. We look to provide solutions for the various health challenges women face throughout the stages of her life. I’m thrilled to be a part of this journey and call myself a Co-Founder in this business alongside an extraordinary team.
The “taboo” of menopause
The idea for starting a business at the cross-section of Femtech, psychedelics, and women’s health came to me last summer as I talked to a number of my friends battling with the symptoms of menopause. In our conversations, many of the women commented on the feeling of “taboo” around menopause. They also commented on the loss of a “sense of self” and general feelings of depression.
Many of the women I conversed with warned me to “brace myself” for what was to come and told me how few solutions were out there. Some had turned to SSRI’s with varying success, others were trying bio-identical hormones, and to my surprise, many were doing nothing.
Based on my experience in the cannabis industry as Co-Founder of HelloMD, I knew that alternative and complementary medicines, like cannabis or psychedelics, could offer powerful options instead of mainstream medical care. Over the years, I also saw the transition of “alternative” become mainstream with the adoption of medical cannabis for various conditions.
HelloMD has seen over 200k patients over the years, and many of those patients come to tell me their stories. As a patient advocate and active listener, I have understood that people want to find a solution to their health challenges, and ultimately, they want to feel good.
Women want to feel good. Women also want healthcare products and solutions made for them. Today’s medical solutions are not sufficient as they do not address women holistically, treating physical and mental health across various target indications. If you don’t believe me, ask 100 women and see what they tell you!
For these reasons, I turned to psychedelics, to science and research, trying to come up with an answer. I’m no scientist, but looking at how psychedelics positively affect PTSD, depression, and addiction – it did not seem like a stretch to think it may help women with female-specific issues.
A dream team is born
During this time, I became a strategic advisor to a top psychedelics company in addition to my work at HelloMD. I continued to research my idea, documenting as much as I could, and along the way, I spoke to researchers, doctors, and top-notch hyper-successful entrepreneurs.
Fast forward a year later, and I was introduced to Jeremy Weate, former CEO of Universal Ibogaine, and Mitchell Osak, a veteran in the cannabis and psychedelics industry. We quickly realized that we’d become a team based on their shared values and intention. I shared my idea of creating a psychedelics company focused on women’s health.
Mitchell was excited by the idea as it tapped into an area he knew well – he’s married to a well-known Toronto-based gynecologist. Based on his connections to some of the brightest physicians in Canada, he leveraged his pharmaceutical industry experience and medical network to sanity check the idea and do more in-depth research and discovery.
Jeremy used his extensive industry expertise and scientific background to dig deep into the potential molecule candidates. From a medical and scientific perspective, he deduced that the team could offer new healthcare psychedelic-derived solutions for women and biological perspectives.
Soon after, we met Dr. Erica Zelfand, a functional/integrative medicine specialist, who works specifically with women. A dream team.
Looking forward with Eastra
Although Eastra Health was born out of the idea of helping women transition through menopause, the company has taken on new life through its advances in research and science. We differ from other drug discovery companies in that we create solutions from a systems biology approach, looking at the person holistically, then the individual health indication. Through specific targets, we hope to create new solutions for health challenges women face. Through this approach we’re revolutionizing women’s health through science, innovation & psychedelics.