Non-hallucinogenic LSD derivative reduces depression symptoms in preclinical studies

Vancouver-based biotech firm BetterLife Pharma (OTCM:BETRF) is working on a non-hallucinogenic LSD derivative for treating neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders.

Known as BETR-001 (2-bromo-LSD), the compound is also not controlled. Conversely, LSD, like other serotonergic hallucinogens, is a Schedule I compound. That status makes it difficult and expensive to research for potential medical uses.

BetterLife announced recent positive results from preclinical studies for the LSD derivative in reducing depressive symptoms in rats.

The research has been published in Cell Reports.

In vitro studies found that 2-bromo-LSD promoted dendritogenesis and spinogenesis in rat cortical neurons. Additionally, in vivo studies found that it produced active coping behavior and reversed chronic stress deficits. Those effects are likely dependent on activation of the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor. The study concluded that 2-bromo-LSD appears to have potential as a t…

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LSD-assisted therapy resulted in durable anxiety improvement in Phase 2 study

[Image courtesy of PubChem]

A randomized placebo-controlled Phase 2 study found that lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)–assisted therapy yielded significant reductions in anxiety and depression symptoms for up to 16 weeks.

The data from the study was recently published in the peer-reviewed Biological Psychiatry.

Researchers at the University Hospital Basel (UHB) conducted the investigator-initiated study, which involved 42 patients.

While there was a substantial amount of research on LSD-assisted therapy in the 1950s and 1960s, psilocybin has emerged as a more popular compound for psychedelic-based therapy in recent years.

In the data published in Biological Psychiatry, researchers used Spielberger’s State-Trait Anxiety Inventory–Global (STAI-G) score and the HAM-D-21 (Hamilton Depression Rating Scale) to quantify anxiety and depression, respectively. Investigators also used the Beck Depressio…

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MindMed launches Phase 2b to study LSD in generalized anxiety disorder

Psychedelic medicine firm MindMed (OTCMKTS:MMDCF) has dosed the first patient in a Phase 2b dose-optimization trial of MM-120, a pharmaceutically optimized form of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).

The study will test the potential of LSD to treat general anxiety disorder (GAD), which affects about 3% of the population.

While LSD emerged as the definitive psychedelic compound of the 1960s, psilocybin has more recently emerged as a more popular recent focus of clinical trials. LSD arguably has seen more cultural backlash than psilocybin.

Unravelling psychedelic mysteries

Evidence is mixed regarding LSD’s potential to treat mood disorders. Some LSD users report obtaining life-changing insights from their experiences. For instance, the actor Cary Grant reported experiencing an “immeasurably beneficial cleansing of so many needless fears and guilts” after ingesting LSD an estimated 100 times in a therapeutic setting from 1958 to 1961. Conve…

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