Various companies and experts are hailing psychedelics such as MDMA, LSD and psilocybin, as well as mind-altering substances such as ketamine, as the next revolutionary treatment for a number of mental health conditions.
The surge in the popularity of psychedelic substances started almost a decade ago, with different research groups at the University of Zurich, Imperial College London, New York University, Johns Hopkins University and the University of California discovering the rapid and lasting effects of using psychedelics, including psilocybin, to treat small groups of individuals with existential distress and treatment-resistant depression. The results from these studies broke the model for traditional drug therapies for these conditions, especially since they were different from what present treatments can achieve.
Since then, different studies have shown that individuals with difficult-to-treat illnesses such as PTSD, substance use disorder and treatment-resistant depression may benefit from these drugs, especially if other treatments haven’t been effective.
Psychiatrists aren’t the only ones recognizing the potential of these drugs either. The pharmaceutical industry’s interest in psychedelics has grown tremendously these past few years, with more than 80 companies now working toward developing psychedelic compounds. Investors expect the demand for psychedelic therapies to increase significantly in the near future.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals was the first U.S. company to receive FDA approval in 2019 for its ketamine nasal spray known as Spravato, which was developed as a therapy for treatment-resistant depression. Ketamine is a dissociative compound and commonly used as an anesthetic.
Last year, MAPS researchers along with a number of other institutions published findings from a phase 3 clinical trial, which involved individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder receiving doses of MDMA that were administered with psychotherapy. In their report, the researchers noted that the participants recorded improvements months after the treatment has been administered.
Additionally, Compass Pathways also released results from its phase IIb trial for its psilocybin formulation, COMP360. This formulation, which recently received breakthrough therapy designation from the FDA, was developed for the treatment of individuals suffering from treatment-resistant depression. The researchers involved reported sustained improvements in some of the participants, with the company announcing that it planned to carry out a phase III study this year.
Some companies are also focused on developing molecules that don’t contain the hallucinogenic effects induced by psychedelics but still retain their therapeutic benefits, while others, such as Delix Therapeutics, are focused on the development of new compounds that promote neuroplasticity. Additionally, other companies, including Viridia Life Sciences, are working on developing new DMT formulations, while Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (NEO: MYCO) (OTC: MYCOF) (FSE: ONFA) is conducting research aimed at using psilocybin as a smoking cessation aid, among other clinical research interests.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (NEO: MYCO) (OTC: MYCOF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/MYCOF
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