In the science-fiction film Lucy, the titular character takes a drug called CPH4 that increases her brain capacity.
The writer and director of the film, Luc Besson, claims in several interviews that this drug is based on a real chemical compound.
Q:Tell me about the drug that makes Lucy superhuman. Is that based on anything real or is that entirely a fiction?
A: It’s totally real. It’s not a real name. CPH4 is a name that I invented, but it’s a molecule that the pregnant woman is making it after six weeks of pregnancy in very, very tiny quantities. But it’s totally real, and it’s true that the power of this product for a baby is the power of an atomic bomb. It’s real. It’s totally real. So it’s not a drug in fact, it’s a natural molecule that pregnant women produce.
Q: Some people are complaining about the fact that the science behind your film — the whole idea that humans only use 10 percent of their brains — is not true. What’s your response to that?
A: It’s totally not true. Do they think that I don’t know this? I work on this thing for nine years and they think that I don’t know it’s not true? Of course I know it’s not true! But, you know, there are lots of facts in the film that are totally right. The CPH4, even if it’s not the real name — because I want to hide the real name — this molecule exists and is carried by the woman at six weeks of pregnancy. […]
So, does a similar chemical compound actually exist? What is it called? What does it do?