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Overview

A co-founder and co-leader of the firm’s Psychedelics and Emerging Therapies Practice Group, Natasha advises clients on the regulatory matters inherent in new drug development. She also advises behavioral health clients on compliance matters.

Natasha approaches her practice with great passion for the promise of psychedelics and other new drugs. She is well-versed in historical and current psychedelic research, including recent FDA-approved studies on MDMA and psilocybin use for mental health and end-of-life issues, the legalization and decriminalization of psylocibin in numerous cities and states, and biotech and pharmaceutical research. She’s enthusiastic about the potential of these drugs to treat and potentially cure a variety of mental health needs, and she’s fascinated by the drug development process. Natasha is motivated to help clients help the world, and she’s equally dedicated to ensuring that underrepresented communities have access to new treatments.

Natasha supports clients throughout the entire process of drug development, from early research to clinical trial permission to final approval for supplying a drug to the public. She has assisted clients in securing the necessary approvals to research controlled Schedule 1 substances, advised on the establishment and launch of studies and formal clinical trials, and assisted with new drug applications to the FDA. Natasha has a particular interest in the research and clinical trial processes—she was first bitten by the psychological research bug as an undergraduate psychology major, and she enjoys nothing more than diving deep into a client’s project and considering confounding factors and the challenge of adequate placebos. Her experience includes work with the country’s leading researchers on MDMA.

After witnessing individuals close to her struggle with mental health issues for which no effective treatments exist, Natasha has come to care deeply about behavioral and mental health and is personally invested in helping developers get new drugs to the public. She also has experience working with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), 42 CFR Part 2, and other federal privacy requirements as well as state laws pertaining to behavioral health and the practice of medicine. Her dedication to and passion for the behavioral health world set her apart, and she is highly knowledgeable about current research and the science behind it. Clients value her great desire to learn and her eagerness to understand as much as possible about their drug developments and the research that drives them.

Industries

Services

Education

  • J.D., Santa Clara University School of Law
    • Santa Clara Law Review, editor
    • Moot Court Best Oral Advocate
    • Best Brief Awards
  • B.S., University of California, Davis
    • Psychology major, Biology minor

Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • California Lawyers Association
  • Psychedelic Bar Association


*Contact Natasha to set up an in-person consultation by appointment in the Oakland office.
Experience
  • Researched and drafted briefing on federal preemption issues on behalf of leading global medical device manufacturer surrounding pharmaceutical and healthcare products.
  • Represented injured plaintiff in claim involving natural product misbranded in violation of Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act resulting in a successful settlement.
  • Counseled product manufacturer client in all stages of litigation including utilizing a novel medical defense whether a newly discovered genetic mutation (BAP1) was the sole cause of decedent's cancer.
  • Advised entities on federal regulations and California law governing who is able to prescribe, administer and dispense controlled substances under California law, information needed for DEA licensing requirements, and clinic licensing requirements for human studies involving psychedelic substances.
  • Advised business on current state and federal drug paraphernalia laws and liability issues related to psychedelic substances.
News Releases | March 15, 2022
Husch Blackwell Launches Psychedelics and Emerging Therapies Practice Group

Husch Blackwell is pleased to announce the formalization of its Psychedelics and Emerging Therapies practice group, making it the first Am Law 100 firm to establish such a practice.

News Releases | April 01, 2021
Husch Blackwell Expands California Footprint
Outside the Office

An avid amateur photographer, Natasha enjoys getting outdoors whenever she can, and often has a camera in hand. She’s a continual student indoors as well, currently learning the piano and the long-established art of hand sewing. Cats Lightening and Priya (“dear, beloved” in Sanskrit) are close companions.

Community Leadership

Natasha regularly donates her legal talents to pro bono casework that promotes equity.

On a pro bono basis, Natasha first chaired a trial representing a plaintiff prisoner in a Section 1983 case, resulting in a $30,000 verdict. Natasha has also represented pro bono clients in matters regarding developmental disability educational rights in the state of Texas; immigration and asylum based on sexual orientation; and work with the Promise of Justice Initiative (PJI), a project dedicated to helping heal injustices and injuries caused by non-unanimous jury convictions in Louisiana.

Psychedelic Therapeutics

Natasha Sumner follows the research and development of these medicines for psychiatric conditions such as PTSD and treatment-resistant depression.

While psychedelic drugs such as MDMA, psilocybin, LSD and DMT are currently federally illegal Schedule 1 substances, the FDA is currently overseeing Phase I, II and III studies exploring the potential therapeutic benefit of these drugs. Members of the Husch Blackwell psychedelic law team are closely following this progress and concurrent proposed state legislation in multiple jurisdictions, and are positioned to help clients navigate what will no doubt be highly complex and novel legal issues.