Freedom Biosciences is a leading biotechnology platform focused on developing next-generation psychedelic therapies. The company was founded in April 2021 by Dina Burkitbayeva and Dr. John Krystal. Burkitbayeva is also the cofounder of PsyMed Ventures while Krystal is the psychiatry department chair at Yale University.
The company has raised $10.5 million in seed financing and focused on advancing a ketamine therapy for the treatment of major depressive disorder. Ketamine is a dissociative drug that is commonly used as an anesthetic, as well as a drug to manage acute pain. Recent studies have found that the drug may also be useful in the treatment of psychiatric disorders, including treatment-resistant depression as well as thoughts of suicide.
In a recent interview, Burkitbayeva stated that the company’s FREE001 lead program was a combination therapy with ketamine that had been developed to treat depressive disorders. Burkitbayeva, who is serving as the clinical-stage company’s CEO, explained that despite having short-term effectiveness, ketamine acted as a fast-acting antidepressant and could lengthen the efficacy window.
The company recently concluded a phase II investigational study which showed that its combined therapy provided two weeks of antidepressants effects, which is almost three times longer than the normal two to seven days observed from the sole administration of ketamine. Burkitbayeva noted that the company was focused on making the burden on the medical system and the patient lighter, because the treatment was a burdensome process.
Krystal serves as the company’s chief scientific advisor and has significant experience with ketamine treatments, having worked with them since the ’90s. He was part of a team that discovered ketamine’s antidepressant effects, leading to the eventual approval of Spravato by the FDA in 2019. Spravato is a ketamine prescription nasal spray developed by Janssen for adults with treatment-resistant depression.
Freedom Biosciences notes that its ketamine candidate is different from other products on the market primarily because of the duration of its effectiveness. During the interview, Burkitbayeva also pointed out that the company has a highly experienced team and is following a regulatory pathway designed to allowed it to get to market at a lower cost, in comparison to other psychedelic-based start-ups in the space.
Freedom Biosciences plans to enter the clinic with its candidate in 2023 and hopes to acquire additional funding to advance its formulation. The company had an incubation round last year that was led by MBX Capital. The Yale startup Village Global and PsyMed Ventures, among other participants, were also involved.
Freedom Biosciences joins the ranks of startups such as Silo Pharma Inc. (OTCQB: SILO) that are looking to make a difference in the health sector by coming up with novel psychedelics treatments for some of the hard-to-treat mental health indications, including post-traumatic stress disorder.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Silo Pharma Inc. (OTCQB: SILO) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/SILO
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