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Novel findings presented on LSD and psilocybin

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Brain activity in depressed people increases following psilocybin use

Mind Medicine has presented its novel findings on LSD and psilocybin from several ongoing studies.

Dr Matthias Liechti, scientific collaborator and advisor at biotechnology company, Mind Medicine, which is developing psychedelic-inspired therapies, presented data from several ongoing studies at the INSIGHT Conference in Berlin, Germany.

The studies are being conducted as part of MindMed’s ongoing collaboration with the UHB Liechti Lab.

Novel findings presented included a study on the Comparative Effects of LSD and Psilocybin, in which findings demonstrated that the perceptual effects of a dose of 100 mcg LSD was equivalent to a dose of 20 mg psilocybin in healthy volunteers. 

The findings are the first direct clinical evidence demonstrating the equivalence of psilocybin and LSD on acute psychedelic effects.

Also presented were the findings that psilocybin is safe to administer together with an antidepressant – demonstrating that daily pretreatment with escitalopram for two weeks prior to psilocybin administration reduced anxiety and blood pressure increases associated with psilocybin, but did not reduce the acute psychedelic experience in healthy volunteers.

“While both LSD and psilocybin have a long history in psychiatric research, psilocybin is being studied in a majority of ongoing clinical trials of psychedelics,” said Dr Liechti. 

“It is important for us to understand the acute effect characteristics of different psychedelics, and to understand how these substances interact with other treatments like antidepressants. We look forward to fully analysing the exciting data produced by these studies and publishing our findings later this year.”

MindMed Executive President, Dr Miri Halperin Wernli, added: “The psychedelic experience can be conceptualised as the facilitated transforming encounter between one’s fears and longings with the universe and its network of living processes. 

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“This work with Professor Liechti, indicating for example that genetic polymorphisms of CYP2D6 significantly influence the pharmacokinetic and subjective effects of LSD, is an illustration that biological and psychological transformation processes may be deeply interwoven. 

“When LSD is the chosen key to open an opportunity for psycho-transformation and growth, individual parameters such as one’s own metabolisation and bio-transformation rhythm have to be carefully understood and taken into consideration in order to allow the transformative effect to happen in the most powerful and safe manner.”

“Investors and researchers alike are eager to understand the similarities between psilocybin and LSD. Learning how these substances compare and interact with other drugs helps us ensure that our treatment programs are as effective and efficient as possible,” commented MindMed CEO Robert Barrow.

Medicinal

Silo Pharma to utilise psilocybin for autoimmune diseases

The company has announced it is expanding its license agreement and patent portfolio.

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Silo Pharma to utilise psilocybin for autoimmune diseases

Silo Pharma has entered into a commercial evaluation license agreement (CELA) for next-gen liposomes therapeutics to target multiple diseases, including autoimmune disorders.

Silo Pharma has expanded its CELA with the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) for its next-generation liposomal peptide targeting autoimmune diseases.

CEO of Silo Pharma, Eric Weisblum, commented: “We are delighted to expand our partnership with UMB. Pre-clinical testing of these peptides has shown positive results in animal studies. 

“The three-phage peptides we identified specifically target inflamed vascular endothelium of arthritic joints in an adjuvant-induced arthritis rat model.”  

See also  Brain activity in depressed people increases following psilocybin use

Weisblum stated that to test the therapeutic effect of the peptides, arthritic Lewis rats (n=4/group) were injected intravenously with one of the peptides or PBS either at the onset or just following the onset of arthritis. 

“The rats were monitored regularly for disease severity and were assigned an “arthritic score.” The results show treatment of arthritic Lewis rats with two of the three phage-encoded peptides (NQR and RGD) suppresses adjuvant arthritis, with RGD producing the most robust effect,” he said.

“Therefore, phage peptides ADK homes to the synovial vasculature of the inflamed joint, while phage peptides NQR and RGD both home to this area of the inflamed joint and have a therapeutic effect in a rat model of arthritis.”

Silo Pharma’s drug – SPU-21, arthritogenic joint homing peptides utilising psilocybin – has demonstrated it significantly inhibited arthritic progression in the animal model, and the company is carrying out further studies at UMB.

It highlights on its website that the ability of the peptides to target inflamed epithelium suggest they could be used to target drug delivery. 

It notes that: “This approach could enhance the therapeutic effect of current and future therapies and decrease potential systemic toxicity despite systemic administration of the drug. These peptides have potential for the development of fusion imaging molecules and/or nanoparticles to study arthritic pathogenesis. 

“They could also be customizable and used to deliver nanoparticles for precise imaging. In addition, these novel joint-homing peptides can be used to treat autoimmune diseases, including but not limited to RA [rheumatoid arthritis].”

With the global market for autoimmune disease therapeutics projected to be over $150bn by 2025, Weisblum stated that the company believes the issued patent portfolio that comes with these assets allows Silo to further advance its value to investors and future partners.

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Research

Study to investigate macro and microdoses of psychedelic compounds

The study will interrogate how these doses modulate expression levels of molecular biomarkers of brain plasticity in rats.

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Study to investigate macro and microdoses of psychedelic compounds

Mindset Pharma and Canada’s top psychiatric research hospital, CAMH, have entered into a collaboration to build the molecular profile of MSP-1014 compared to psilocybin.

Under the collaboration, Mindset will sponsor a preclinical study at CAMH on its lead asset, MSP-1014. MSP-1014 is a novel and patented second-generation psilocybin-like compound that is being prepared for first-in-human studies alongside psilocybin.

Single psychedelic experiences can cause both short- and long-term behavioural changes in humans and the mechanisms of these are relatively under-explored. The study will interrogate how macro and microdoses of psychedelic compounds modulate expression levels of molecular biomarkers of brain plasticity in rats. 

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The team expects to uncover short- and long-term cFOS and BDNF expression changes that could underlie the long-term behavioural changes associated with a single psychedelic experience. 

It also expects to develop molecular insights into the magnitude of effects of its lead compound, MSP-1014, compared to psilocybin. 

CEO of Mindset, James Lanthier, commented: “Mindset’s drug discovery platform is built on a broad spectrum of high-quality scientific data generated in preclinical models. 

“This collaboration will profile and build our understanding of the observed superiority of our lead asset, MSP-1014, to psilocybin at the molecular level.”

Dr Anh Dzung Lê, senior scientist and Head of Neurobiology of Alcohol Lab in the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at CAMH, will lead the study, supported by Dr Douglas Funk, a Project Scientist in the CAMH Neurobiology of Alcohol Lab. 

“We are excited to partner with Dr Lê and Dr Funk who are pioneers in mental health research to build this dataset and continue in our shared mission to advance groundbreaking new treatments to patients who are waiting,” said Lanthier.

“This study is the beginning of a strong partnership with CAMH, and we are excited for the research to come.”

“We are eager to work together with Mindset Pharma to contribute to the field of psychedelic knowledge. Given that by the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, 1 in 2 have – or have had – a mental illness, CAMH scientists and clinicians are dedicated to exploring treatment option that account for the unique needs of individual patients.

Dr Anh Dzung Lê commented: “We are pleased to partner with Mindset on this study as our missions are aligned in the prioritisation of mental health care.”

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Medicinal

Application submitted for trial exploring LSD analogue for migraines

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Application submitted for trial exploring LSD analogue for migraines

Ceruvia Lifesciences has submitted an FDA Investigational New Drug (IND) Application for its NYPRG-101 Migraine Prevention Program.

The company is aiming to begin a Phase 1 clinical trial of NYPRG-101, which is being developed for the prevention of migraines.

The trial would be a Phase 1, single center, randomised, double blind, placebo controlled, single ascending dose study assessing the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of NYPRG-101 (in healthy adult participants.

See also  Analysis finds clinical administration of LSD safe in healthy subjects 

NYPRG-101, also referred to in the literature as BOL-148, is a non-hallucinogenic analogue of LSD, differing by only one atom. 

First synthesised at Sandoz by Albert Hofmann in 1957, BOL-148 was used as a placebo in early LSD trials. BOL-148 has been administered to more than 150 humans (126 healthy volunteers and 28 patients) in clinical and experimental settings since the 1950s, with most of the research occurring prior to 1970. In these early studies, BOL-148 was observed to be non-hallucinogenic.

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Founder and CEO of Ceruvia Lifesciences, Carey Turnbull, commented: “This is another exciting milestone in the roll-out of our clinical drug development program and builds on our longstanding relationship with Harvard Medical School to investigate the use of BOL-148 to treat headache disorders.

“Migraine, which affects approximately 15 per cent of the population and disproportionately impacts women, is associated with significant psychosocial burden and disability. Results from our IND-enabling pre-clinical toxicology work as well as research conducted with human subjects prior to the 1970s, indicate a positive safety profile for NYPRG-101. 

“We believe that this molecule has great potential to provide meaningful relief to those suffering from migraine.”

This Phase 1 single ascending dose trial, to be held at a single clinical research site in the United States, will evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and effects on neurocognitive functioning of healthy adult participants.

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