Pharmaceutical Startup Gets Approval to Develop LSD-Based Anxiety Treatment
A New York-based psychedelic drug development company called Mind Medicine Inc., recently acquired exclusive rights to conduct eight clinical trials to study the effectiveness of LSD for treating anxiety and other common mental disorders.
Previous studies have shown that LSD is effective for treating anxiety, and this new development phase will hopefully result in a treatment that can be prescribed for those who would benefit.
Clinical trials will take place at the University Hospital Basel in Switzerland where world-renowned psychopharmacologist Dr. Matthias Liechti will oversee the research.
“Over the past decade we have amassed the largest collection of clinical trials around LSD; we have been studying the pharmacology and potential medical uses of LSD and other psychedelics for many years in the laboratory, in patients, and in healthy volunteers,” Dr. Liechti said in a statement.
The project happens to have extremely influential investors who have contributed over $30 million to the effort. Investors include Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary and Blake Mycoskie, founder of Toms Shoes.
“Once in a while, you hear an idea that is a game changer. There haven’t been new medicines for depression, alcoholism, ADHD, or any of that for 35 to 40 years. This is a medicinal pursuit with a huge, positive outcome for the human race if it works,” O’Leary said.
Mind Medicine co-founder JR Rahn says that he wants to fight the stigma against psychedelic drugs.
“We are going to develop these drugs as FDA-approved medicines. We are going to focus on the data and clinical trials and develop IP that will help us create federally-legal medicines,” the 32-year-old explained. “We need to get the average person to realize that these are not evil drugs—they can be used as medicines and be successful at treating unmet medical needs.”
Mind Medicine is also exploring other possible treatments including an ibogaine derivative for opioid addiction.