How psychedelics could address unmet need in mental health

[Image courtesy of Pixabay]Interest in the therapeutic potential of psychedelics is booming, given their therapeutic potential for treating depression and other conditions. It is telling that psychedelics were among the hottest topics at the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting this year in Davos, Switzerland, prompting mockery from late-night comics. 

Although the field remains embryonic, part of the reason for the recent interest in psychedelics is their potential to address difficult-to-treat mental health conditions. 

Get the full story from our sister site, Drug Discovery & Development. 

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How psychedelics could address unmet need in mental health

[Image courtesy of Pixabay]

Interest in the therapeutic potential of psychedelics is booming, given their therapeutic potential for treating depression and other conditions. It is telling that psychedelics were among the hottest topics at the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting this year in Davos, Switzerland, prompting mockery from late-night comics. 

Although the field remains embryonic, part of the reason for the recent interest in psychedelics is their potential to address difficult-to-treat mental health conditions. For example, research such as the U.S. government-backed Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study “showed us that our available medications are not as effective as we’d hoped they would be,” said Dr. John Krystal, chair of the department of psychiatry at Yale University, in a recent webinar from Cybin (Toronto, Canada). For depressed who respond to s…

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Clearmind aims to use a psychedelic to treat alcoholism

The psychoactive compound 5-methoxy-2-aminoindane (MEAI) is unique among psychedelics with therapeutic potential.  First, the drug could be self-administered. Second, it is patented, unlike psychedelics such as LSD, psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine. And while psychedelic drug developers tend to focus on indications such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, MEAI could potentially treat alcoholism.  MEAI was first described in 1980 as a non-hallucinogenic recreational drug. Early users of it claimed it reduced their desire to drink.  “It is an unusual situation where you have human testimonies, and now we’re going back to animals,” said Adi Zuloff-Shani, CEO of Clearmind Medicine, the developer of the drug.  MEAI has “great potential to help with one of the most devastating addictions society knows today, which is alcoholism,” Zuloff-Shani said.  Like a number of other psychedelics companies, Clearmind Medicine is headquartered in Vancouver, Cana…
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What the ketamine boom could mean for pharma

Photo by Alex Green from Pexels

The demand for ketamine has surged in recent years as interest in its off-label use for treating depression, anxiety and PTSD has grown.

Ketamine has been “shown to be very effective,” said Linnea Butler, founder and CEO of Bay Area Mental Health (Campbell, California), which recently began offering ketamine-assisted psychotherapy.

Also this week, Earlier this week, Pasithea Therapeutics Corp. (NSDQ:KTTA), announced the launch of the first U.K.-based ketamine infusion clinic.

And separately, Delic Holdings (CSE: DELC) announced two new alliances between Ketamine Wellness Centers (KWC) and the Veterans Administration Community Care Networks of Illinois and Minnesota. KWC plans to provide ketamine for PTSD, depression and chronic pain to veterans at no out-of-pocket cost at their locations in Naperville, Illinois, and Burnsville, Minnesota.

Parke-Davis, now …

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PurMinds believes psychedelics hold promise for neurological conditions

PurMinds believes psychedelics hold promise for neurological conditions

Interest in psychedelics has ratched up in recent years and a growing number of drug companies are beginning to explore their potential to treat everything from depression to neurodegeneration.

“It is a really really exciting time,” said Aron Buchman, chief strategy officer, PurMinds BioPharma, which is exploring psychedelics’ potential to treat neurological diseases.

American author Michael Pollan recently surmised in an interview with Independent that the psychedelics industry was in a “gold rush” phase. “Whether it’s going to work is another question. I think it’s going to be very challenging to fit into the system,” Pollan added.

Headquartered in North York, Ontario, PurMinds is based in a country that is warming up to the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. The Canadian government has granted a number of patients a federal dispensation covering the therapeutic use of p…

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The backstory on PurMinds’ investment in Israeli psychedelic drug company IMIO Life

Privately-held PurMinds BioPharma (Burlington, Ontario, Canada) recently announced an investment in the psychedelic drug company IMIO Life Ltd., a subsidiary of Tel Aviv–based Nextage Therapeutics Ltd. (TASE:NXTG). Nextage Therapeutics is itself a division of the pharmaceutical company Nextar Chempharma Solutions (Ness Ziona, Israel).

We reached out to PurMinds’ chief strategy and financial officer, Aron Buchman, to learn more about the alliance.

PPW: How did the relationship between PurMinds and IMIO Life come about?

Aron Buchman: PurMinds and the Nextar Family have had a corporate relationship since 2019. The initial R&D focus was on PurMinds’ patented nano-extraction technology.

PurMinds CEO Janet Qi visited Nextar Chempharma at their ODEC-accredited facilities at the prestigious Weizman Science Park, Israel. Unfortunately, the collaboration between the Nextar family of companies and the PurMinds family of companies was hindered by the COVI…

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Debate series considers the promise and pitfalls of psychedelics

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Intelligence Squared, the organizers of a popular debate series, recently asked a panel of experts whether psychedelics should be legalized. There was considerable overlap between the factions arguing in favor and opposition of that motion, reflecting the growing interest in psychedelic compounds for therapeutic applications. But the two camps were split when it came to the best regulatory model for psychedelic drugs.

“I advocate strongly that [psychedelics] be allowed to be studied for medical research to see what their therapeutic indications are and how they can help us to understand the brain and the mind,” said Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, the chair of Columbia University’s department, who argued against the motion.

Rick Doblin, executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), argued for a more permissive approach that would a…

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