The MDMA-LSD trial, the first-ever to combine both drugs, is scheduled to start in the fourth quarter in Basel, Switzerland, MindMed said in a statement Tuesday.
New York-based MindMed said that combined MDMA-LSD treatments have the potential to create next-generation psychedelic-assisted therapy paradigms.
When added to a psychedelic assisted therapy session, MDMA has the potential to reduce some known rare negative side effects that may occur while using LSD or other classic psychedelics on their own, MindMed noted.
It has been shown that classic psychedelics such as psilocybin and LSD can sometimes induce short-term unpleasant effects for patients during a psychedelic-assisted therapy session. These symptoms may include negative thoughts, rumination, panic and paranoia. MDMA, an empathogen, is known to acutely induce feelings of increased well-being and trust.
By combining LSD and MDMA within the same session, the Liechti Lab and MindMed are evaluating if the combination produces greater overall positive acute effects when compared to LSD or MDMA on their own. MDMA may reduce some of the negative mood effects of LSD and make the patient more comfortable during psychedelic-assisted therapy.
"The potential of MDMA-LSD is to create a psychological state that may have the benefits of both substances and have longer-lasting effects than standalone psilocybin or LSD,” Dr Matthias Liechti, who runs the lab said in a statement.
“Inducing an overall primarily positive acute response during psychedelic-assisted therapy is critical because several studies showed that a more positive acute experience is linked to a greater therapeutic long-term effect in patients."
Understanding the balance
MindMed said it is interested in understanding how to balance these compounds in a cohesive way to create better patient outcomes and develop more advanced psychedelic-assisted therapies as it expands both its research and development and commercial drug development pipeline.
"A new treatment paradigm combining MDMA and LSD may enhance the positive effects of LSD by inducing a positive psychological state with MDMA which is an empathogen to help counteract some known negative or less positive aspects of LSD or psilocybin,” said Dr Miri Halperin Wernli, president of MindMed.
“With this innovative treatment paradigm, we are looking to bring the participants outside the bounds of their everyday perceptions, bringing their mind into a very flexible state of mind facilitating new states of consciousness. This will provide the opportunity to step outside their usual sense of self and experience themselves from a radically different and new perspective."
The Phase 1 clinical trial is intended to take around one year to complete. MindMed said if it finds the results promising, the company may decide to undertake further studies with treatments combining MDMA and LSD, and prepare patient trials for various indications.
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