Research on psychedelics has grown tremendously these past few years, as more about potential health benefits are discovered. For instance, substances such as psilocybin and MDMA have shown potential in the treatment of various conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
Some research has shown that these substances may be even more effective than current treatments for these conditions, which can take weeks to begin working. The primary downside of these substances is the duration of psychedelic trips, which drug=development and biotech companies are working to make shorter. Normally, psychedelic trips range between 4 to 12 hours, depending on the drug administered.
Atai Life Sciences CEO Florian Brand stated that the main hindrance to psychedelics’ mainstream adoption as treatments was the length of the trip itself. The biosciences company, which is based in Germany, is currently focused on shortening the effect of these substances while optimizing the duration of the treatment and maintaining the psychedelic treatment’s effectiveness. Brand believes that shortening the trip by altering psychedelic molecules may make it easier for insurance companies to cover the treatments.
Atai isn’t the only company working to develop a novel short-acting psychedelic. Mental health clinic company Field Trip Health is also planning to introduce altered psychedelic molecules to the market. The Toronto-based firm is currently focused on the development of a psychedelic molecule that targets 5HT-2A receptors in the brain. This is the same receptor that psilocybin targets.
Field Trip plans to submit its compound, which is called FT-104, for FDA approval. Field Trip chief scientific officer Nathan Bryson stated that reducing the timeframe for the treatment would make psychedelic-assisted therapy more convenient for both doctors and patients.
Another biotech startup based in Boston, Delix Therapeutics, is also focused on developing neuropsychiatric drugs that are based on psychedelic compounds but don’t induce a psychedelic trip. The startup, which was cofounded by David Olson, a professor at the University of California, hopes to bring to market drugs that will treat various conditions, including dementia, substance abuse and depression.
In addition to this, a separate biotech startup based in Toronto, Cybin Inc. (NYSE American: CYBN) (NEO: CYBN), is working to develop a dissolvable oral strip that will be dosed with psilocybin. Cybin CEO Doug Drysdale states that the company’s goal is to introduce to the market a second-generation psychedelic medicine that can be used during a one-hour talk therapy session. Drysdale notes that the company is looking at ways to have a shorter duration and a rapid onset of action.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (NYSE American: CYBN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CYBN
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