Massachusetts General Hospital is partnering with Atai Life Sciences to study the effects of psychedelics on the human brain.
Atai Life Sciences is a biotech firm focused on developing medications to manage schizophrenia while also working on creating alternative treatments for various mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
The two organizations decided to work together after the hospital set up a program, named the Center for Neuroscience of Psychedelics, to study psychedelic therapy. A psychiatric at the hospital, Jerrold Rosenbaum is the head of the program and has specialized in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. Rosenbaum stated that there was a need to better comprehend the effects that psychedelics had on the human brain.
Rosenbaum revealed that he became interested in the psychedelic therapy field after a friend began studying the subject, which prompted Rosenbaum to reevaluate his perceptions on psychedelic substances. His friend is now serving as the director of the Center for Neuroscience of Psychedelics advisory council.
Rosenbaum explained that in the beginning he perceived hallucinogens as recreational drugs that had been banned from being studied for many years. However, as he begun to learn more about the substances, he realized that psychedelics presented an opportunity that had yet to be developed.
The Center for Neuroscience of Psychedelics is currently focused on neuroplasticity, which refers to the ability of the cells in the brain to alter themselves. Recent research has demonstrated that psychedelics enhance this activity in the brain, which may change how depression influences the brain.
Atai’s chief scientific officer Srinivas Rao explained that psychedelic therapy would help boost the effects of psychedelic substances by making use of the neuroplastic state. Atai and Massachusetts General are not revealing the particular substances that will be tested in the lab or on animals; neither are they disclosing the financial terms of their partnerships. However, Stephen Haggarty, who is the hospital’s researcher co-leading the collaboration, stated that it would involve psychedelics that were not similar to psilocybin, describing them as the next generation of psychedelics. Additionally, Haggarty stated that the molecule showed a lot of potential based on reports of the molecule in human beings.
Earlier in November, Atai Life Sciences had announced that it had raised more than $125 million in financing, which would be used to support the testing and development of psychiatric treatments. This brought the company’s total funding to roughly $250 million.
Atai Life Sciences was established in 2018 by Compass Pathways as a way for the organization to raise funds.
Atai isn’t the only company looking to develop psychedelic medicines. Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (OTC: CLXPF) is also intent on developing psychedelic medicines, especially given the encouraging preliminary research results showing the potential of these substances in treating mental illnesses.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (OTC: CLXPF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CYBN
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