The psychedelic neuroplasticity and safety conundrum: Reaping the rewards of neuroplasticity with caution

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Evidence continues to build that serotonergic psychedelics such as psilocybin, DMT, and LSD promote neuroplasticity. Cortical atrophy is involved in the development of a broad swathe of neuropsychiatric conditions ranging from depression to substance use disorder. But it remains unclear how psychedelics may potentially treat mood disorders and other conditions. Despite their therapeutic potential, these compounds continue to remain unpopular in some quarters and could be contraindicated for many individuals even if they ultimately win regulatory approval.

Drug developers, such as Boston-based Delix Therapeutics and Onsero Therapeutics, aim to develop compounds that trigger neuroplasticity in what they deem to be a safer and more accessible therapeutic option than classic psychedelics.

Meanwhile, players such as Compass Pathways (Nasdaq:CMPS) and Small Pharma (CVE:DMT), are wo…

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AstraZeneca announces global R&D postdoctoral program for complex disease research

AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) is looking for final year MD or PhD students and postdoctoral researchers to reach out with ideas to speed drug discovery and development in the company’s core disease areas.

The company’s central focus areas include oncology; cardiovascular, renal and metabolism; and respiratory and immunology.

Candidates accepted into the program have a fully funded postdoctoral research position that gives them access to in-house expertise, access to AstraZeneca’s R&D facilities and support from a partnering university.

Researchers will also get access to compounds, tools and technologies and mentoring.

Sir Mene Pangalos, AstraZeneca’s executive vice president, biopharmaceuticals R&D highlighted the need to continue accelerating R&D. “Rapid progress in disease understanding, as well as scientific and technological advances are genuinely changing our expectations of what is possible,” Pangalos said. “We are delighted to la…

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Moderna debuts fellowship program for young researchers focusing on mRNA therapies

Messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines may offer significant promise, but few scientists specialize in the technology.

Moderna (NSDQ: MRNA) is looking to inspire a new generation of scientists and clinicians to focus on mRNA research with a new fellowship program. The program will support a range of applications within domains such as medicine, basic research, epidemiology, pharmacology and nursing.

For the first year of the program, which will launch in 2022, the company is aiming to select roughly 50 fellows from around the world to focus on mRNA-based treatments of infectious diseases.

Individuals selected for the program will receive guidance from a supervisor and fellow.

The term of fellowship will range from one to three years. The program also will provide a salary of up to $75,000 and annual expenses of up to $100,000.

“We’re at a critical moment for mRNA vaccine development,” said Dr. Greg Poland, director of Mayo Clinic’s …

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