Therapy in the UK
There’s a good chance mental health patients in the UK will soon have access to world-class psychedelic therapy thanks to a powerful partnership.
- COMPASS Pathways (NASDAQ: CMPS) has been collaborating for years with the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London.
- They’ve signed a new, multi-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at advancing psychedelic research and development of new models for the “mental health care clinic of the future” in the UK.
In the pipeline
- COMP360 psilocybin therapy and other novel therapies that may be developed by COMPASS.
- Focus on depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anorexia.
- Training of therapists in psychedelic therapy.
- Build state-of-the-art facilities for research.
Cybin’s Large Footprint in the US
Cybin (NEO:CYBIN) signed on a new partner this week, potentially facilitating future distribution of FDA-approved psychedelic medicines.
- TMS NeuroHealth Centers, a subsidiary of Greenbrook TMS (NASDAQ: GBNH) will collaborate with Cybin on research and development.
- Together they are to establish Mental Health Centers of Excellence for the purpose of innovative psychedelic compound-based therapeutics.
A significant partner
Patients suffering from depression will be the main focus of this strategic partnership with Greenbrook.
- Greenbrook currently operates 129 outpatient mental health service centers in the US.
- Their network of physicians has treated over 17,000 patients suffering from Major Depressive Disorder and other mental health disorders in the US.
Specific projects to be pursued at the future Center(s) of Excellence will focus on:
- Furthering clinical research of the psychedelic compounds in Cybin’s development pipeline.
- Developing a deeper understanding of psychedelic therapeutic delivery, including feasibility.
- Facilitating recruitment of clinical trial participants for upcoming clinical trials.
Psychedelics in Canadian Courts
Nearly 40 patients and 19 healthcare professionals in Canada have been granted medical exemptions to use psilocybin for therapy. Now, a fight in the Federal Court aims to broaden access.
- The process for applying and proving a medical need to use psilocybin in Canada remains unclear to the public and professionals alike.
- Health Canada’s Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu has granted exemptions without specifics of their criteria.
- Dozens of applications appear to be stuck in limbo, with some “under consideration” since February 2021.
TheraPsil on the frontlines
Last August, the non-profit Therapsil helped a cancer patient secure the first exemption under Canada’s drug laws to use magic mushrooms for psychotherapy.
- They continue to provide resources for those who present a need for psilocybin-assisted therapy.
- The basis of their argument is that the existing laws and application process are “causing harm to patients”, which goes against Health Canada’s focus on the ‘public’s best interest.’
Currently, psilocybin remains illegal in Canada since being banned in 1974. Those who received exemption are able to receive treatment following strict procedures for preparation, therapy (during the experience), and careful integration afterward.
Tapping in to the Central Nervous System
For the past 10 years, Vancouver-based MYND Life Sciences (CSE: MYND) has been identifying and examining neural pathways involved in Major Depressive Disorder.
The progress they’ve made could now help over 300 million people who suffer from psychiatric diseases.
- In January, the company announced a collaborative research agreement with the University of British Columbia on MDD.
- MYND focuses on exploring whether depression and other Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders can be treated with novel psychedelic drugs.
- They’re also working on methods to treat, or at least delay, Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia.
MYND is developing several CNS treatment protocols including diagnostic biomarkers, treatment of medical conditions with specific psilocybin and other related compounds and vaccines and immuno-therapeutics.
The company has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Eyam, a private vaccine developer.
- Eyam’s proprietary technologies have applications to CNS vaccines.
- They aim to prevent neurological disorders, such as MDD, by stopping the neuro-inflammatory process before it starts.
A three-pronged approach
MYND’s investigational medical pipeline looks promising, with a three-pronged approach:
- Objectively diagnose patients with depression and monitor improvement.
- Develop a solution to alleviate and reverse depression.
- Create vaccines for diseases of the central nervous system.
Neural Connections Can be Regenerated, and Created
It’s still unclear exactly how psychedelics work in the brain, and how long the touted beneficial results may last.
A new study from Yale University shows effects on the brain that may go as far as to explain how we’ve evolved as human beings. Could the stoned ape theory be correct?
- Researchers found that a single dose of psilocybin prompted an immediate and long-lasting increase in connections between neurons in the brain of mice.
- Chronic stress and depression are known to reduce the number of these neuronal connections.
- Changes in the mice were still present a month later.
- New neural connections may be the structural changes the brain uses to store new experiences.
The new Yale research, authored by Alex Kwan, found that these psychedelic compounds increase the density of dendritic spines, which are small protrusions found on nerve cells. They aid in the transmission of information between neurons. The research was published on July 5th in the journal ‘Neuron.’
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