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Press Release: Beckley Psytech receives FDA Investigational New Drug (IND) approval for Phase IIb study of BPL-003, a novel synthetic formulation of 5-MeO-DMT (Mebufotenin)

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OXFORD, England–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Beckley Psytech Ltd, a private, clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to addressing neuropsychiatric disorders by transforming psychedelics into safe, effective and licensed medicines, today announced that it had received Investigational New Drug (IND) approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a global multi-site Phase IIb study exploring the safety, efficacy and tolerability of two distinct doses of its lead compound, BPL–003, in patients with Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD).

BPL-003 is Beckley Psytech’s novel synthetic formulation of the psychedelic compound 5-MeO-DMT (also known as Mebufotenin) and is administered intranasally via an FDA-approved delivery device. This IND marks the first time the FDA has ever given IND approval for a Phase IIb study of a short-acting psychedelic treatment or a 5-MeO-DMT treatment. The study will be conducted with the help of 40 investigator sites in 7 different countries and is due to be initiated in H1 2023.

Phase I data has already shown BPL-003 to be well-tolerated with consistent dose delivery and a reproducible, dose-linear pharmacokinetic profile. Medium and high dosages were found to reliably induce profound psychedelic experiences, which might be correlated with positive clinical outcomes, with a rapid onset of psychedelic treatment effects within minutes. All perceptual effects were resolved within 60-90 minutes.

Beckley Psytech’s Phase IIb randomised, dose-finding study will evaluate the effects of a single medium or high dose of BPL-003 against a sub-perceptual dose in patients with moderate to severe TRD who are not taking concomitant antidepressants. The study will be quadruply masked, with the patient, investigator, attendant and outcomes assessor all blinded to the dose allocation of the subject to reduce expectancy bias. Efficacy will be assessed using the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) at several time points during the trial.

The Phase IIb study, which is fully funded from Beckley Psytech’s existing cash reserves, will complement the Company’s ongoing Phase IIa study of BPL-003 for TRD and initial results are expected in 2024.

Commenting on the IND approval, Cosmo Feilding Mellen, Chief Executive Officer at Beckley Psytech, said: “This is a critical step towards our mission of delivering safe, effective and licensed psychedelic treatments to patients in need, and is also a significant milestone in the evolution of our clinical pipeline. It’s a privilege to be given the FDA’s first IND for a Phase IIb study of 5-MeO-DMT and it provides firm validation of the positive preclinical and Phase I data we have generated so far with BPL-003. This is an important step not only for Beckley Psytech, but also for the whole field of psychedelic drug development and, most importantly, for patients who are in urgent need of more effective treatments for mental health conditions such as depression.”

It is estimated that nearly 300 million people around the globe have depression but, for many of those living with the condition, even the best current medicines either do not work or have side effects that leave them unable to experience life to the fullest. 33% of patients are resistant to available treatments, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and 60% of patients discontinue or switch SSRIs within 12 weeks due to side effects.

Beckley Psytech’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Frank Wiegand, also said: “The distinctive characteristics of BPL-003 make us optimistic about the compound’s potential to be a safe and effective alternative to currently available antidepressants. The rapid onset of effect, as well as the reliable induction and short duration of profound psychedelic experiences, are of great interest to us and we are excited to assess the therapeutic benefits of BPL-003 more deeply in this study”.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20230221005523/en/Beckley-Psytech-receives-FDA-Investigational-New-Drug-IND-approval-for-Phase-IIb-study-of-BPL-003-a-novel-synthetic-formulation-of-5-MeO-DMT-Mebufotenin



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Press Release: PsychedelicNewsWire Named Official Media Sponsor of the 4th Annual Psychedelic Therapeutics and Drug Development Conference

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LOS ANGELES, May 17, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — PsychedelicNewsWire (“PNW”), a specialized communications platform for the psychedelics sector and one of the 60+ brands powered by IBN (“InvestorBrandNetwork”), is pleased to announce that it will be the Official Media Sponsor for the 4th Annual Psychedelic Therapeutics and Drug Development Conference (“the conference”), an industry flagship event dedicated to research and development of psychedelics in the healthcare space hosted by Arrowhead SciTech Conferences & Events (“Arrowhead”). The event will be held at the iconic Revere Hotel Boston Common, 200 Stuart Street, Boston, MA 02116 on 23-24 May 2024



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Risks of Psychedelics for People with Personality Disorders

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While psychedelics have shown promise in treating certain mental health conditions, a recent study suggests they may pose risks for individuals with personality disorders. The findings underscore the importance of careful screening and personalized approaches in psychedelic-assisted therapy.

Navigating the Psychedelic Landscape: Potential Risks for Individuals with Personality Disorders

Psychedelics, including substances like psilocybin and LSD, have gained significant traction in recent years for their potential therapeutic benefits in treating mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. However, a recent publication in the Journal of Psychopharmacology has raised concerns about the suitability of these substances for individuals with personality disorders.

The study surveyed individuals who had used psychedelics and who were also diagnosed with personality disorders. A considerable number of respondents reported negative and persistent psychological impacts following their psychedelic experiences. Notably, these included heightened anxiety, paranoia, mood instability, and an exacerbation of existing personality disorder symptoms.

Researchers suggest that the vulnerability of individuals with personality disorders to the adverse effects of psychedelics may stem from pre-existing challenges in emotional regulation, self-identity, and interpersonal relationships. The profound and introspective nature of psychedelic experiences can intensify these issues, potentially leading to psychological distress and symptom aggravation.

This research highlights the critical need for thorough screening and assessment in the context of psychedelic-assisted therapy. It suggests that individuals with personality disorders might require tailored therapeutic approaches and robust support systems to navigate potential risks and to secure safe and positive outcomes.

Why It Matters

The burgeoning interest in psychedelic therapy underscores the necessity to discern both the potential benefits and risks across different demographic groups. This study contributes valuable insights, particularly for clinicians and researchers, stressing the importance of personalized treatment plans and the cautious consideration of individual vulnerabilities when administering psychedelic-assisted therapy.

Potential Implications

The findings from this study emphasize the need for ethical and responsible practices within the field of psychedelic-assisted therapy. There is a pressing requirement for the development of detailed screening protocols that can identify individuals who may be more susceptible to the adverse effects of psychedelics. Furthermore, crafting specialized therapeutic strategies that cater specifically to the needs of individuals with personality disorders is essential for ensuring their safety and overall well-being during and after undergoing psychedelic experiences.

The Bigger Picture

The debate surrounding the therapeutic use of psychedelics is complex, with various factors influencing the suitability of these treatments for different individuals. While there are promising results in general populations, the nuanced needs and potential vulnerabilities of those with personality disorders require careful consideration to prevent harm and maximize therapeutic outcomes. This necessitates ongoing research, improved clinical protocols, and a commitment to patient-centered care in the burgeoning field of psychedelic medicine.

Source: Science Alert



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Treating Depression: Psychedelics vs. Antidepressants

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Recent research suggests that psychedelics and traditional antidepressants, while both potentially effective in treating depression, work through distinct mechanisms. Understanding these differences could lead to more personalized and effective treatment approaches. Psychedelics vs. Antidepressants: What are the key differences?

Unlocking the Mysteries of Depression Treatment: Psychedelics vs. Antidepressants

The quest for effective depression treatments continues to be a significant focus in mental health research. Traditional antidepressants, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have been a mainstay in treatment, prescribed widely despite varying efficacy among individuals and often accompanying unwanted side effects. In contrast, psychedelics have recently garnered attention for their rapid and enduring antidepressant effects observed in clinical trials.

A recent study has delved into the distinct mechanisms of action of SSRIs and psychedelics, illuminating how they uniquely influence the brain and potentially alleviate symptoms of depression. SSRIs primarily increase serotonin levels in the brain, which is believed to enhance mood and diminish depressive symptoms. However, this process can require several weeks to manifest noticeable effects, and not all patients respond favorably to SSRIs.

Conversely, psychedelics such as psilocybin, found in “magic mushrooms,” operate through a different mechanism. Research indicates that psilocybin’s antidepressant effects are not directly due to elevated serotonin levels. Instead, psilocybin is thought to promote neuroplasticity, the brain’s capacity to reorganize and form new neuronal connections. This heightened neuroplasticity may facilitate more adaptable thought patterns and an improved ability to process emotions, contributing to the rapid and sustained antidepressant effects seen in clinical trials.

Moreover, the study examined the role of the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor, a primary target for both SSRIs and psychedelics. While SSRIs inhibit this receptor’s activity, psychedelics activate it. Intriguingly, blocking the 5-HT2A receptor did not reduce psilocybin’s antidepressant effects, suggesting that its therapeutic benefits originate from other pathways.

Psychedelics vs. Antidepressants: Why It Matters?

Understanding the distinct mechanisms by which psychedelics and antidepressants affect the brain is crucial for the development of more personalized and effective treatment strategies for depression. This knowledge could lead to enhanced patient selection for specific treatments, reducing trial and error while optimizing outcomes. Furthermore, exploring the unique properties of psychedelics may pave the way for novel antidepressant medications that are quicker acting and have fewer side effects.

Potential Implications

This research could catalyze a shift in depression treatment paradigms, moving from a one-size-fits-all approach to more targeted therapies. By pinpointing the specific mechanisms that underlie different antidepressant interventions, clinicians can customize treatment plans based on individual patient profiles and needs. This personalized approach could improve treatment success rates and enhance the quality of life for individuals battling depression.

What Next?

While the study of psychedelics for therapeutic purposes is still in its nascent stages, the initial findings are promising and suggest that psychedelics may offer a valuable addition to the arsenal of tools for combating depression and other mental health conditions.

Source: Neuroscience News



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