New UCSF Research Program to Focus on Psychedelics Research and Treatments’ Advancement

April 12, 2021 14:05:50

The formation of the University of California Neuroscape Psychedelics Division will help advance psychedelic research on brain health through $6.4 million in private financing.

The new division at UCSF will employ a translational research approach that will integrate psychedelic treatment with groundbreaking neuroscience technology. The first project to be undertaken will be a MAPS phase 3 trial for the evaluation of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, as a new PTSD treatment.

Neuroscape executive director Adam Gazzaley stated that the financiers of the center are helping facilitate a great leap forward in producing evidence of the clinical safety and effectiveness of psychedelics for individuals who use psychedelics to treat various mental health conditions, which include addiction, PTSD, anxiety and depression. Neuroscape is a UCSF multidisciplinary research center that bridges the gap between technology and neuroscience.

Gazzaley stated that the center employed a closed-loop, neuroscience-based approach to developing experiential medicine. A good example of this would be a video game that has been cleared by the FDA as a medical therapeutic. He noted that they were excited to use their approach in understanding how they could deliver psychedelic treatments in a precise and more personalized manner.

The new division in Neuroscape will have Robin Carhart-Harris as its founding director. Carhart-Harris is the founder of the first psychedelic research center at Imperial College London and among the most cited researchers in the field of psychedelic science.

Carhart-Harris, who is also the current UCSF Ralph Metzner Distinguished Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, revealed that the establishment of this new division was an exciting development in the psychedelics field. He added that he was delighted to be joining the Neuroscape team and he hoped to guide the new division to huge successes.

More than half a billion individuals across the globe suffer from debilitating mental health issues, which creates a need for new clinical tools. In the recent past, a lot of progress has been made, especially in terms of mechanisms of action of some psychedelic treatments such as psilocybin and MDMA being granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation by the FDA for the treatment of depression and PTSD, respectively.

Despite this, however, not much research has been done on approaches that could optimize the delivery of these treatments. Research that explores how to enhance the impact of these treatments while recording physiological, psychological and neural data is also lacking.

This is where the new psychedelics division at Neuroscape comes in, as it will place focus on the various elements that shape the experience of patients. UCSF associate professor of neurology and psychiatry Jennifer Mitchell, who will lead the MDMA clinical trials, noted that their objective was to dynamically alter primary contextual elements in a way that helped guide patients toward an optimum experience.

Psychedelics are attracting a lot of interest in the research community; for example, the pipeline of about 50 psychedelic molecules being studied by Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (OTCQB: CLXPF) is aimed at shortlisting those that warrant detailed study for commercialization purposes.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (OTCQB: CLXPF) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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