DMT Patent Tracker

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We’ve pulled together all of the DMT-related patents and published patent applications that were filed in the U.S. or that later may be filed in the U.S. and become a U.S. patent (as discussed in further detail here). 

“DMT” generally refers to the compound N,N-dimethyltryptamine, but because of the interest in both (and because many applications cover both) we’ve collected those related to 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltraptamine (5-MeO-DMT) as well as N,N-DMT. We’ve also included a few applications to other DMT analogs, most notably U.S. Pat. No. 8,268,856, which discloses 5-Bromo- and 5,6-Dibromo-N,N-DMT. These halogenated DMT derivatives are found in certain marine sponges, and their psychedelic effects have been remarked on by Hamilton Morris in the Vice article here (“Sea DMT”). And we’ve included one application, by David Olson and the University of California, which doesn’t cover DMT itself, but rather its non-hallucinogenic analogs. Apart from these exceptions, we’ve left untouched the relatively crowded patent landscape of other substituted tryptamines, hallucinogenic and not.

The compound N,N-DMT was first synthesized by the Canadian chemist Richard Manske in 1931, although not at the time assessed for pharmacological effects in humans. Its hallucinogenic effects were not recognized until 1956, when the Hungarian chemist and psychiatrist Stephen Szara extracted DMT from Mimosa hostilis and administered the extract to himself intramuscularly. (For additional background, see here.) 5-MeO-DMT was first synthesized by the Japanese chemist Toshio Hoshino in 1936, and isolated as one of the psychoactive ingredients of Anadenanthera peregrina seeds in 1959. However (as with DMT), plant extracts and other botanical preparations of 5-MeO-DMT have long been used among indigenous cultures. (More background here.)

Numerous patents on N,N-DMT and 5-MeO-DMT have been filed, with many granted, on pharmaceutical compositions, administration and treatment methods, and chemical and biosynthetic processes of production. The claimed uses of DMT and 5-MeO-DMT—from recovering motor and sensory function after a spinal cord injury, to preventing tooth loss, and to treating food allergies—vary broadly, and beyond just for mental health disorders. For instance, Harvard College and the NIH filed an application on using 5-MeO-DMT as a “novel rodent control agent.”    

Of the applicants themselves, some may be expected, and include companies known to be operating in the DMT space. Some by contrast may be surprising—indeed, the largest holder of patents disclosing DMT is Philip Morris (not all listed below, but over 50 at the search here). No word yet on when Philip Morris will start selling DMT vape pens, but their patent lawyers certainly have been contemplating them.

It’s important to note that patent applications are kept secret for at least 18 months after filing. So if you came looking for one of the many applications recently announced by a company in the space, it won’t be reflected here. But keep checking back—we’ll update this table whenever new DMT-related applications become public, and we’ll continue to add new tables for other psychedelic compounds (along with our existing psilocybin and MDMA tables), and post new articles discussing IP in the psychedelics space in the months to come.

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Note: The applications and patents in the table include all U.S. and PCT filings with substantive claims to DMT compositions, formulations, and methods of use or production (where “DMT” means both N,N-DMT and 5-MeO-DMT). Applications or patents filed in other jurisdictions, or those where DMT is only referenced incidentally, are not included. Where a PCT application has already entered prosecution in the U.S., typically the U.S. application is included. Only one of a family of multiple applications is generally listed, unless the others have separate significance. “Priority date” refers to the earliest filing date on which an applicant can rely (typically, the filing date of a U.S. provisional); it is used to determine who filed first and what public information is “prior art.”