Psilocybin Could Help Treat Millions Dealing with Severe Depression
Mental health is on the decline all over the world. At the moment, nearly 264 million people are struggling with depression, for example. To help alleviate the symptoms of depression, many turn to anti-depressants such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Problem is -- SSRIs aren't always useful, focusing more on symptom suppression than root cause. Of course, that needs to change. That being said, the pharmaceutical industry is overdue for a massive, game-changing revolution when it comes to mental health care. Fortunately, the revolution has already begun with the study of psilocybin. This could be significant news for companies such as Lexston Life Sciences Corp. (CSE:LEXT)(OTCQB:LEXTF), Mind Medicine (NASDAQ:MNMD)(NEO:MMED), COMPASS Pathways (NASDAQ:CMPS), Field Trip Health Ltd. (TSX:FTRP)(NASDAQ:FTRP), and Cybin Inc. (NEO:CYBN)(NYSE:CYBN).
Even better, as noted by NPR, a study from JAMA Psychiatry recently found that psilocybin“worked better than the usual antidepressant medications.” Even a study in the journal, Nature —“psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression: fMRI-measure brain mechanisms” – showed that around 47% of patients with treatment-resistant-depression showed positive responses approximately five weeks after psilocybin treatments.”
Look at Lexston Life Sciences Corp. (CSE:LEXT)(OTCQB:LEXTF), For Example
Lexston Life Sciences Corp. just announced that the company's wholly owned subsidiary, Egret Bioscience Ltd. has developed and validated a targeted genetic barcode consisting of eight Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) for psychedelic mushroom genetic. Egret has previously developed and published similar genetic identification tests for the Cannabis Industry and have been offering this service to licensed producers through its affiliated licensed lab, Zenalytic Laboratories Ltd.
In early January, the Controlled Substances Directorate of Health Canada amended their regulations to allow practitioners to prescribe restricted drugs, such as psilocybin and psilocin through the Special Access Program for patient with treatment resistant depression and other debilitating illnesses that have failed to respond to conventional treatments. As with other restricted drugs, Health Canada has mandated a stringent quality control and compliance routine testing for every batch destined for the SAP. One of the key requirements put in place by the regulator is the requirement for a genetic identity test.
“Our team has been steadfast at work to develop and implement validated state-of-the-art methods for genetic identification of psychedelic mushrooms. Our assay provides the first of its kind Psilocybe genetic barcode, a rapid and efficient diagnostic test able to provide individual genetic strain identification and differentiate strains from the main groups of Psilocybe mushrooms, in particular P. cubensis, P. tampanensis and P. mexicana (P. galindoi). This traceability and authentication tool will be paramount in establishing best practice for the psychedelic industry.” Stated Jag Bal, CEO and Director of Lexston.
Other related developments from around the markets include:
Mind Medicine, a leading biotech company developing psychedelic-inspired therapies announced the publication of the first data on the interaction of the selective serotonin uptake inhibitor (SSRI) escitalopram with the acute response to psilocybin in humans . The publication resulted from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover pharmacology study in healthy volunteers conducted by the University Hospital Basel Liechti Lab and sponsored by MindMed. The study found that escitalopram pre-treatment had no relevant impact on positive mood effects of psilocybin but significantly reduced negative effects like anxiety and adverse cardiovascular reactions, compared with placebo pre-treatment in the study's healthy volunteers. Escitalopram did not alter the pharmacokinetics of psilocin. Escitalopram did not alter QTc intervals or circulating BDNF levels before or after psilocybin administration.
COMPASS Pathways, a mental health care company dedicated to accelerating patient access to evidence-based innovation in mental health, shared results of a phase I study showing the feasibility of administering COMP360 psilocybin to up to six healthy participants simultaneously, with 1:1 support. The study, peer-reviewed and published in The Journal of Psychopharmacology as 'The effects of psilocybin on cognitive and emotional functions in healthy participants: results from a phase I, randomised, placebo-controlled trial involving simultaneous psilocybin administration and preparation1', was conducted by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King's College London in 2019. The results also showed there were no short or long term detrimental effects on thinking patterns or processing of emotions.
Field Trip Health Ltd., a global leader in the development and delivery of psychedelic therapies, announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a Notice of Allowance for Field Trip's patent application No. 17/364,047 for claims related to FT-104 (informally known as“Isoprocin Glutarate”), Field Trip's first novel psychedelic molecule in development. Claims in the allowed patent application titled,“Tryptamine Prodrugs”, cover composition of matter, use and manufacturing of a family of hemi-ester compounds of hydroxytryptamines, including FT-104.
Cybin Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on progressing“Psychedelics to Therapeutics™”, announced that an Institutional Review Board has approved a Company-sponsored feasibility study using Kernel's quantitative neuroimaging technology , Kernel Flow, to measure ketamine's psychedelic effect on cerebral cortex hemodynamics. As part of Cybin's sponsorship of the feasibility study, the Company will retain an exclusive interest in any innovations that are discovered or developed through its independent analysis of the study findings.“By leveraging the Kernel Flow technology, we may have the ability to measure longitudinal brain activity before, during and after a psychedelic experience, and collect quantitative data as opposed to subjective patient reporting,” said Doug Drysdale, Cybin's Chief Executive Officer.“We believe the results of this study will lead to future studies that will test the effectiveness of psychedelic treatments and will further support our mission to develop psychedelics into therapeutics.”
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