In a recent interview for The Dales Report, I sat down with Dr. Reid Robison, chief medical officer and director at Novamind (CNSX: NM) (OTCMKTS: NVMDF), to learn more about his role in clinical trial work on ketamine.
Robison is a board-certified psychiatrist with fellowship training in neurodevelopmental genetics and clinical research, and co-founded Cedar Psychiatry and Cedar Clinical Research, two organizations that were acquired by Novamind in 2020. He was also a lead researcher at a site for the study on depression that led to Spravato’s recent approval by the FDA, so he knows the trial landscape well.
Robison has been involved in a number of studies involving ketamine and other drugs that target the same mechanisms. Many of the questions he’s asked along the way have centered around safety considerations and optimal conditions for treatment.
In addition to treatment-resistant depression, these studies have looked at the ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder as well as eating disorders, which he says aren’t being talked about enough.
“These are serious mental health conditions. If you look at anorexia nervosa, for example, it has the highest mortality rate of any mental health condition, and yet, there are zero FDA approved treatment options for that condition,” he said.
Previously, Dr. Robison was brought on by MAPS to help design and implement a protocol for MDMA assisted psychotherapy for eating disorders, and he’s been involved in several pilot projects and clinical trials that began with a group-based ketamine study a few years ago.
In that setting, Robison said he was able to see clearly how ketamine helped “reduce the fear” of doing deep work in psychotherapy in patients and allowed them to “see things with fresh eyes.”
Robison also helped develop a program for ketamine called Emotion-Focused Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy, or EF-KAP, a specific way of approaching therapy paired with ketamine for eating disorders, which has led to a formal open label clinical trial.
“It’s definitely a passion of mine to try and find new ways of helping individuals who are suffering with eating disorders, including anorexia and others,” he said.
Watch the interview to hear Robison’s succinct explanation of the clinical trial process, learn more about the relationship between Novamind and Cedar Clinical Research, and the company’s plans for 2022.