Connect with us

Research

World’s first ketamine-assisted therapy study findings to be published 

The findings from the world’s first investigation into ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for alcohol use disorder will be published later this year.

Published

on

World’s first ketamine-assisted therapy study findings to be published 

The findings from a Phase II A/B study, which is the world’s first study on ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for alcohol use disorder, will be published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Psychiatry.

Awakn Life Sciences has been carrying out the investigation into ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for alcohol use disorder. The Ketamine in the Reduction of Alcoholic Relapse (KARE) psychotherapy intervention study findings will be published in the journal later this year.

The study was conducted by the University of Exeter (UoE) and led by UoE Psychopharmacology Professor, Celia Morgan, and Awakn’s Head of Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for addiction. Awkan has acquired the rights to the research.

Morgan said: “We are delighted that the findings are to be published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. This new approach looks set to revolutionise the treatment of alcohol use disorder. 

“We are excited to partner with Awakn for the next steps in the journey of ketamine-assisted therapy into a licensed treatment for this group of patients with limited treatment options.”

Awakn says the findings are an exciting step forward in the treatment of alcohol use disorder and for the wider psychedelic industry in general. 

The phase II a/b trial had four groups, ketamine with and without therapy, and placebo administered with and without therapy. The research team also interviewed participants in the trial following its completion and published an analysis of their experiences in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry entitled, This Is Something That Changed My Life: A Qualitative Study of Patients’ Experiences.

With ketamine already a licensed medicine, the results allow Awakn to deliver the KARE treatment in its clinics in the UK and Europe immediately and through its licensing partnerships outside of these territories. 

See also  Awakn’s second psychedelic therapy clinic to open in London 

The University of Exeter and Awakn are investigating how to move this research forward to a pivotal phase III trial, which ultimately would allow it to be delivered ‘on label’, meaning it could be adopted by public health systems and covered by insurers.

Awakn CEO, Anthony Tennyson, added: “This is a very exciting moment for ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. 

“For so many people who are suffering from alcohol addiction, for whom the current treatments just aren’t working, a successful phase II a/b trial and a unified ambition to progress this forward to a pivotal trial, gives real hope to those seeking a better and healthier future.”

Research

Psychedelics for addiction research gets $2.7m grant

The grant will fund research to investigate the efficacy of psychedelics for treating a variety of addiction disorders.

Published

on

Psychedelics for addiction research gets $2.7m grant

The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have received a $2.7m (~£2.15m) grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, to research psychedelics.

The researchers will use the funding to screen hundreds of compounds to discover new, non-hallucinogenic treatments for substance use disorders. 

With previous research having shown that psychedelic drugs can rewire parts of the brain involved in depression, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder, David Olson, associate professor in the departments of Chemistry, and Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at UC Davis, is searching for similar effects among compounds without the hallucinogenic effects of drugs like LSD. 

He calls these compounds psychoplastogens, for their ability to modify the brain.

See also  World’s first study on ketamine for behavioural addiction now complete

Olson commented: “I’m very excited that NIDA is recognising the potential that psychoplastogens might have for patients with substance use disorders.

“This grant will help us to understand the basic mechanisms by which these compounds impact addiction, and hopefully develop more effective and better-tolerated treatments.”

Olson’s work is part of a growing focus on psychedelics research at UC Davis and UC Davis Health. His lab has synthesised hundreds of molecules related to psychedelics in the search for new drug therapies. 

One such molecule, tabernanthalog, or TBG, produces both rapid and sustained anti-addictive effects in rodent models of heroin and alcohol self-administration.

The research will include mechanistic studies to understand how TBG impacts addiction and the development of new compounds with psychoplastogenic effects, he said. The team will use high-throughput screening to test for efficacy, safety and treatment potential. Promising compounds will undergo additional animal testing at CU Anschutz.

Delix Therapeutics, a startup founded by Olson, is also investigating non-hallucinogenic psychoplastogens for treating depression, anxiety and related disorders but is not involved in the project.

Continue Reading

Research

World’s first study on ketamine for behavioural addiction now complete

Awakn Life Sciences will now carry out a larger study following positive results.

Published

on

World’s first ketamine for behavioural addiction study now complete

Awakn Life Science’s study exploring the use of ketamine as a treatment for Gambling Disorder, Internet Gaming Disorder, Binge Eating Disorder and Compulsive Sexual Behavior is now complete.

Ketamine may provide a new treatment solution for behavioural addictions, according to the study researchers.

Gambling Disorder, Internet Gaming Disorder and Binge Eating Disorder affect up to 450 million, 235 million and 100 million people across the globe respectively. Compulsive Sexual Behavior affects up to 350 million people. 

Awakn, which highlights that the current standard of care for these conditions is poor, investigated ketamine as a new treatment approach for behavioural addictions by opening a window in which the brain can make new connections to change behaviour. 

See also  Awakn initiates first ever ketamine treatment study for gambling addiction

The findings indicated the desired effects via potentially novel mechanisms – results that merit a larger study and further exploration, which Awakn is now initiating.

The study was led by Professor Celia Morgan, Awakn’s head of ketamine-assisted therapy, Professor of psychopharmacology at the University of Exeter, and an internationally respected expert in the therapeutic use of ketamine. 

Morgan commented: “These promising early findings may suggest a new treatment solution in behavioural addictions, which are growing rapidly across the globe, and as yet, are a completely unmet treatment need. 

See also  Groundbreaking ketamine study receives approval for expansion

“The team are excited to be starting these new significant studies which promise to bring considerable innovation to the field.”

According to Awakn, the study also supports its Intellectual Property (IP) strategy and existing filed patent applications.

Awakn CEO, Anthony Tennyson commented: “This study is hugely encouraging and gave us all the data we could have hoped for. Critically, it also showed us that a larger study is merited, and we will now pursue this. 

“For such a huge cohort of over a billion people to be suffering with no pharmacological treatment available to them, is unacceptable and we will strive to deliver therapies to patients who are in desperate need.”

Continue Reading

Research

New partnership to harness digital tools to enhance psychedelic care

Beckley Psytech is entering into a partnership with Empatica to carry out one of the world’s first trials with psychedelics and digital tools.

Published

on

New partnership to advance personalised psychedelic patient care

Beckley Psytech and Empatica are collaborating to support the collection and analysis of data in Beckley Psytech’s future clinical trials.

The partnership will capture behavioural and physiological signals and predictive biomarkers in Beckley Psytech’s upcoming Phase 2 clinical trials. To do this, Beckley Psytech will harness Empatica’s medical-grade EmbracePlus wearable and software.

The trials will be evaluating the use of 5-MeO-DMT in combination with psychotherapy in the treatment of treatment resistant depression (TRD).

See also  Beckley Psytech doses first patients in novel 5-MeO-DMT study

Empatica, Inc., specialises in medical wearables and digital biomarkers, offering continuous, passive and unobtrusive monitoring for patients with neurological conditions. Beckley has stated the partnership is the latest step in its digital strategy to develop personalised treatment programmes for patients in need. 

The digital enhancement of the psychedelic treatment pathway aims to support patients before, during and after treatment through the application of novel, predictive biomarkers which will potentially identify early signals of patient response and relapse.

CEO of Beckley Psytech, Cosmo Feilding Mellen, said: “As we look to enhance the safety and effectiveness of our psychedelic treatments with patient-centric digital tools, this partnership with Empatica accelerates our strategy of creating an integrated treatment model to ensure patients are fully supported through the treatment journey. 

See also  Beckley Psytech collaboration to develop next-gen psychedelic medicines

“We are thrilled to be working with Empatica, a pioneering digital health company, through our upcoming clinical trials and look forward to further evolving our understanding of how digital tools can support and potentially improve outcomes for patients with neurological and psychiatric conditions.”

Beckley Psytech aims to establish a complete, end-to-end personalised psychedelic treatment programme, combining advanced digital phenotyping capabilities, such as those developed by Empatica, with psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. 

The company has stated that this approach will allow clinicians to provide patients with continuous access to personalised therapy support beyond their treatment, delivering potentially improved outcomes and safety for patients and healthcare systems.

Matteo Lai, CEO of Empatica, commented: “We couldn’t be more excited to collaborate with Beckley Psytech on this important project, especially since over the past two years, we have witnessed how critical mental health and depression have become globally. 

“The potential of psychedelic treatments in the field can help millions of patients, and Empatica is honoured to contribute its technology in one of the world’s first trials with psychedelics and digital tools, to advance these novel therapies with targeted help and better engagement.”

Continue Reading

Trending

Psychedelic Health is a journalist-led news site. Any views expressed by interviewees or commentators do not reflect our own. We do not provide medical advice or promote the personal use of psychedelic compounds. Please seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any of the issues raised.

Copyright © 2021 H&W Media Ltd.