Thanks to increased scientific interest in psychedelics because of their purported mental health benefits, the substances have seen a significant resurgence in mainstream popularity. Reform activists across the country have spent the last couple of years trying to legalize psychedelics amid a slew of studies that have found the drugs to be quite effective at treating conditions such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and even eating disorders.
This hasn’t been limited to popular psychedelics such as MDMA, ketamine and psilocybin, the main psychoactive agent in magic mushrooms. Activists were recently able to get the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to back down from a proposal to ban five little-known psychedelics.
A psychedelic therapy company called Field Trip Health has now begun phase I clinical trials using a next-generation psychedelic called FT-104. Based on 4-HO-DiPT, FT-104 is one of the obscure psychedelics that would have been criminalized under the DEA’s proposed ban. 4-HO-DiPT is a synthetic psychedelic drug that has similar effects to psilocybin that lasts for two to three hours. Field Trip Health recently gave the first patient in its phase I clinical trial a dose of FT-104, kicking off one of the first trials involving next-generation psychedelics.
According to Field Trip Health’s chief scientific officer Nathan Bryson, the Canada-based company chose FT-104 as its relatively short-duration experience makes it suitable for medical applications, especially for patients who don’t have any experience with psychedelics.
He said that the company was also keen on patenting the therapies it develops to allow it to offset the “very high costs of development” through commercial sales. In an email interview with Psychedelic Spotlight, Bryson said that the phase I study involves five groups of eight healthy volunteers.
The first group of eight will receive an FT-104 dose, with each subject receiving their dose individually under the guidance of trained staff from Field Trip Health. He notes that since the company doesn’t know as much about FT-104 as it does psilocybin, the trained staff are taking extra care of the patients. Once they are dosed and the psychedelic trip is over, the patients will be held overnight and released in the morning with another follow-up visit on day 7.
An external safety review committee will have to deem the psychedelic drug tolerable and safe before Field Trip Health can advance to the next highest dose. The company’s testing protocol contains five dosing levels, with the doses involved in the phase I trial being the lowest.
Byron concluded that while FT-104 seemed to have medical potential based on anecdotal reporting, there was still much to learn.
Indeed there is still a lot to learn about psychedelics in general, and the R&D programs of entities such as Cybin Inc. (NYSE American: CYBN) (NEO: CYBN) could help to fill the gaps in our understanding of these substances that hold immense therapeutic potential.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (NYSE American: CYBN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CYBN
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