There’s a growing trend in mental health disorders, both in the US and around the world. We welcome back Rob Roscow, CSO for psychedelic company Mydecine Innovations Group, to discuss how his company is involved in research that might bring some breakthrough-level therapy for conditions such as depression and PTSD.
Some highlights from the interview here:
COVID a Huge Stressor Contributing to Depression
Some statistics have been pointing to figures as high as 15-20% of the world’s population being diagnosed with depression, and it appears that COVID is contributing to the issue. In positive news, however, Roscow says that the mechanism to understanding depression and suicidal tendencies is quickly becoming better understood.
In PTSD patient groups, a single hormone from a blood draw is capable of precisely predicting suicide attempts within a period of six months. This sort of mechanistic understanding, matched with therapy for the condition, is something that Roscow finds exciting for the possibility psychedelic therapeutics. Not only would it be possible to monitor a severe risk, but it would also be massively enabling for professionals to have the tools to address it.
Psychedelic Therapy Moving Quicker than Cannabis, Says Roscow
Psychedelic compounds still being listed as Schedule 1 drugs may be aiding the industry, at least when it comes to exploring therapy. Unlike cannabis, which is dealing with issues around recreational use, the scheduling of psychedelics helps keep the focus to be purely pharmaceutical.
The medical utility for psychedelics is well supported, Roscow says, so the idea that they would be “…forever into the future [listed] as Schedule 1 substances with no medical value just doesn’t hold water anymore.” Additionally, the pipeline on how to develop pharmaceutical drugs from other pharmaceuticals is well-known, making it significantly more straightforward than product development in the cannabis space.
Phase 2 Clinical Trial Focused on PTSD
The next phase of Mydecine’s clinical trials will be focusing on PTSD, matching of therapies already accepted as useful for treating PTSD with psilocybin assistance. Trials are expected to be smaller, approximately 5 to 10 participants in each trial, but Roscow hopes to capture data that can be later used in meta-analysis scenarios, applying biometrics “across the whole footprint” to improve mechanistic understanding.
If there are positive results yielded by the trials, they can then look at commercializing the output of the trial. Depressants and anxiolytics are markets that are worth independently in the tens of billions of dollars per country per year.
This is the second part of our interview with Rob Roscow; be sure to catch part 1 of the chat about Mydecine’s 3 Pillars here.