Clinical Trial on Treating Cluster Headaches Using LSD Underway

July 7, 2020 09:05:25

A Phase 2 clinical trial on how LSD can be used to treat cluster headaches is underway in Switzerland. The trial is being conducted at Liechti Lab at University Hospital Basel. Patients willing to participate in this study were recruited in January this year and the trial is now underway.

Cluster headaches are also referred to as “suicide headaches” since the pain they cause is so severe that many patients with this condition develop suicidal tendencies during an episode. Cluster headaches have also been variously described as the most painful condition that anyone can ever suffer from.

The pain caused by cluster headaches usually manifests above an eye or on one side of a person’s head, and this pain can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. This makes cluster headaches one of the most significant causes of lost productivity since a person is unable to function normally when the condition strikes.

Anecdotal and non-clinical reports suggest that LSD can abort an attack of cluster headaches, or even decrease their intensity and frequency. This possibility is an exciting one for the medical community because the current medications available for managing cluster headaches don’t do a good job of giving sufferers relief. If LSD can help, the way cluster headaches are treated could be flipped on its head.

To this end, the Phase 2 clinical trial being conducted in Switzerland is aimed at evaluating how LSD can be administered orally in three doses given over a three-week period in order to manage cluster headaches. The study is randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled so that the findings can pass the scrutiny done by the scientific community and regulators in different jurisdictions.

Mind Medicine (NEO: MMED) (OTCQB: MMEDF) (“MindMed”), the company collaborating with the Swiss researchers, plans to use this trial to gather evidence about the possibility of conducting future FDA-approved drug trials. If the research provides results that encourage further study, the potential treatment could qualify for Orphan Drug classification by the FDA, and this would open the door to some drug development incentives from the FDA.

The Swiss lab and MindMed are therefore keen to learn what specific LSD administration modalities target cluster headaches and deliver lasting relief to patients. Needless to say, MindMed will have exclusive global rights to the data and any patents accruing from the findings of this ongoing study. But, the biggest winners will be the patients who, for the first time, will have a treatment option that addresses their condition in a meaningful way.

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