Mind Medicine (MindMed) Inc (NEO:MMED) (OTCQB:MMEDF) told shareholders on Thursday that it is pursuing research into N, N-Dimethyltryptamine, the active ingredient in ayahuasca commonly known as DMT.
The news comes as part of a research and development collaboration that the psychedelics company has with the University Hospital Basel’s Liechti Lab. MindMed will provide startup funding for a Phase 1 clinical trial looking at intravenous dosing regimen options for DMT.
The first stage of the trial is designed to understand how humans react to DMT, a naturally-occurring psychedelic substance that causes a rapid onset and offset of action compared to similar psychedelic substances like psilocybin or LSD. When administered as an ayahuasca brew, DMT along with natural substances can prolong experiential effects and slow the metabolism in the human body.
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In Phase 1, MindMed and the Liechti Lab will examine how DMT can achieve a similar experience to ayahuasca by using a controlled intravenous dosing method. Research collected in the first phase will set the stage for potential Phase 2a proof of concept trials to design drug development programs based on DMT sessions, according to MindMed.
"There is a growing trend in Western society to use ayahuasca and DMT to facilitate a healing process for one's mind,” MindMed CEO JR Rahn told shareholders in a statement. “However, there is very limited safety data and clinical trials evaluating DMT as a potential medicine so we are going to double down on understanding the therapeutic opportunity and more effective ways to administer DMT in a controlled setting to achieve this healing process."
According to MindMed, this is the first study to determine the elimination half-life of DMT. As a result, little is known on dosing regimens of pure DMT.
The substance could be a powerful treatment option for addiction disorders, MindMed said, citing anecdotal evidence. DMT is quickly metabolized if taken orally and only has a short duration in the body, so a potentially stable source of DMT taken intravenously could cause an experience lasting up to two hours.
Intravenous administration could allow therapists to better control an experiential state safely and effectively.
The trial is slated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2020.
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