Wondermed CEO & Founder Ryan Magnussen

Wondermed

In this Q&A, you’ll hear from Ryan Magnussen, CEO & founder of Wonder Sciences, creator of Wondermed, a telehealth platform leveraging the neurological benefits of low-dose, at-home ketamine therapy. Ryan shares the effect of legal psychedelic treatments anxiety and depression and discusses the beginning of the end for daily pharmaceuticals.

Can you tell us about what you’re working on at Wondermed?

Ryan Magnussen: Wondermed is a telehealth platform and mental health treatment protocol that leverages the neurological benefits of low-dose, at-home ketamine therapy to treat chronic anxiety and depression.

Ultimately, our goal is to raise the frequency of the collective consciousness by revolutionizing the mental health industry through a combination of psychedelic medicine, innovative therapeutic modalities, scientific research, and cutting-edge neuroscience.

Traditional pharmaceuticals, such as SSRIs, work by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain and blocking the reabsorption of serotonin into neurons. Ketamine, however, increases neuroplasticity in the brain, helping to create new neural pathways which facilitate long-term, lasting change.

Our aim is to help our patients upgrade their mindset and life by guiding them to an understanding of the root cause of their mental health struggles, while also teaching them how to take advantage of ketamine’s ability to form new neural pathways.

All in, the Wondermed protocol costs $399/month and includes: telemedicine care with a Wondermed clinician to craft a customized program, optional check-in calls and direct support with the Wondermed team, lozenges for four self-led ketamine healing sessions, musicologist-produced soundscapes to enhance healing sessions, and a personalized dashboard with preparation & integration resources.

Additionally, Wondermed provides a free Breathwrk subscription and a 28-day integration program that incorporates cognitive behavior therapy, stress reduction techniques, and internal family systems. This program teaches how combining journal prompts, meditation, and breathwork leverages the effects of ketamine and helps patients develop healthier thought patterns.

Wondermed patients are also encouraged to practice allyship by inviting a loved one or trusted member of their existing mental health team into their healing journey. This practice helps to ensure a positive, safe experience and has been shown to further inspire integration after a session.

To further encourage healing and foster togetherness, we’ve also begun hosting regular group “keditations” for current Wondermed patients. These ketamine-enhanced meditations bring the Wondermed protocol to a safe, curated environment for amplifying our patients’ healing through the support of a like-minded community.

How did you come up with the idea? What key insight led you to pursue this opportunity?

RM: I truly feel that my whole life has been building to this moment — and that each step of my journey has led me toward the opportunity to improve our collective mental health through the use of psychedelic medicine.

After studying Buddhist traditions and the immense work of the Dalai Lama, as well as having profound psychedelic experiences of my own, I saw an opportunity to empower individuals through self-healing while simultaneously pioneering the mainstream use of psychedelic medicine.

At this time, our nation’s pharmaceutical industry is disproportionately focused on profits. Therefore, current treatments rely on daily, addictive medications that simply dull symptoms rather than providing long-term healing. Alternatively, treatments with psychedelics such as ketamine have been proven as effective long-term solutions for chronic symptoms of anxiety and depression.

And with the almost daily stories I hear from and about those struggling with the side effects of traditional pharmaceuticals—emotional numbing, addiction, lack of long-term healing—I am confident we’re on the right path.

Thankfully, society is beginning to embrace the healing potential of psychedelic-assisted mental health treatments.

How did you turn your idea into a company?

RM: To date, our seed round has raised over $5.3M, which has helped us  scale our at-home ketamine solutions, empowering our patients to take control of their healing journey.

As such, we’re thankful for our early-stage investors such as Aubrey Marcus (a close friend, fellow champion for psychedelics, and expert in self-optimization), James Foster (CEO and chairman of Charles River Laboratories International, Inc.), Aaron Stone and Randall Mays (SDG Impact Fund), Phyto Partners, Tejo Ventures, and Ambria Capita.

How big can this get? What’s the addressable market and how do you go about capturing it?

RM: Today, the ketamine market sits at roughly $490M — while the market for pharmaceutical antidepressants is nearly $15B annually. This makes the potential market for Wondermed enormous.

However, the main barrier that Wondermed faces is a lack of awareness and understanding surrounding the efficacy of legal psychedelics as treatments for mental health disorders. So, we’re working to rewrite that narrative.

On that front, there is great progress being made with both the legalization and research of psychedelics in the United States.

For example:

  • Esketamine, the S-enantiomer of racemic ketamine, was approved in 2019 to treat depression.
  • Low-dose ketamine treatments for anxiety and depression, while considered “off-label,” are completely legal.
  • The FDA recently fast-tracked ketamine therapy and designated it a Breakthrough Therapy.
  • The White House has recently pledged to support legal, psychedelic mental health treatments.
  • New studies continually showcase the success of at-home treatments.
  • This year, five additional states are working to legalize various forms of psychedelics.

Who is the core customer?

RM: Our core customers are dealing with low- to high-level anxiety and depression and seek sustainable, long-lasting healing that lets them enjoy life again without the use of daily pharmaceuticals.

Looking at your road map, what are some of the milestones you’re targeting over the next 3-6 months?

RM: Currently, our services are available in 11 states, and we’d like to expand that to 19 by the end of 2022. We’re also on track to close out our seed round at $7M before the end of the year, which will allow us to deepen our resources and better serve Wondermed patients for long-term healing.

Similarly, we’re developing a network of mental health professionals experienced with ketamine, so our patients can assemble healing teams that best serve their individual needs.

Finally, we’re also pioneering new research while exploring the potential for AI in helping our patients heal on their terms.

Anything else you’d like to share with readers?

RM: With mental illness on the rise and traditional medications failing, we’re in need of a paradigm shift — starting with healing the root cause of our challenges versus simply numbing the symptoms. And the introduction of psychedelics as a healing tool is a great place to start.

Ketamine is a safe and effective medicine with minimal side effects for good candidates. If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety or depression, take our eligibility survey and set up an initial consultation to see if Wondermed’s at-home ketamine solution is right for you.

You can also learn more about Wondermed by watching our testimonials, following our Instagram, and visiting us at wondermed.com.

If you’re interested in having your company featured in our Startup Q&A series, send an email to team@fitt.co.

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