Two New Startups from the Department of Chemistry

David Olson and student in laboratory

Technologies developed at UC Davis enabled the foundation of 14 startup companies during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. Two of the startups were founded by faculty in the College of Letters and Science.


Delix Therapeutics, founded by David Olson, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, is investigating new treatments for depression, anxiety and related disorders. Earlier this year, Olson’s group demonstrated in animals that psychedelic microdosing might have beneficial effects, particularly for depression or anxiety. 

Syncanica Bio, a startup founded by Mark Mascal, professor in the Department of Chemistry, is developing a synthetic, inexpensive, nonscheduled cannabinoid (CBD) for reducing the frequency and severity of seizures. The synthetic CBD alternative is easier to purify than a plant extract, eliminates the need to use agricultural land for hemp cultivation, and could avoid legal complications with cannabis-related products. 

— Adapted from a press release by Lisa Howard, UC Davis Office of Research