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Mydecine & Johns Hopkins Look To Psychedelic Therapies To Cure Addictions

Mydecine Innovations Group (NEO: MYCO)(OTCMKTS: MYCOF) inked a five-year agreement with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to study the therapeutic use of psychedelics. The announcement saw shares of the psychedelic stock jump, as investors gain confidence in the group’s ability to establish themselves as a frontrunner in the space.

Read full press release here.

Led by professor Dr. Matthew W. Johnson and the school’s Behavioural Pharmacology Research Unit, the study will focus specifically on the use of psychedelic molecules for smoking cessation.

The Dales Report caught up with Mydecine Chairman & CEO Josh Bartch to further discuss this promising partnership and its potential to revolutionize the way psychedelics are perceived in therapeutic practices.

No research team has been more influential in psychedelic therapeutics than Johns Hopkins, and Bartch is excited to see his company collaborate with what he views as the perfect partner. 

“The Hopkins team has been looking at psychedelics and how they affect the brain for more than 20 years. Our team has world-class drug development, human capital, and infrastructure. We’re taking their expertise, their knowledge, and what they know about how these chemicals interact, and we are going to leverage that to help our second generation of drug and molecular design.”

Bartch added that while the initial research will focus on smoking cessation, the partners plan to use their findings to further explore psychedelics and their ability to affect a number of mental health disorders.

“The study is very collaborative, and outside of addiction and mental health disorders, what we are really looking at is potentially endless amounts of variations and molecules that we can design in this collaboration.”

The decision to examine nicotine addicts was well calculated and Bartch explained that smokers made perfect testing subjects largely because the addiction comes with less outside influence to change the behavior.

“Smoking and nicotine addiction is unique in that it is a raw addiction. It doesn’t destroy your life, it doesn’t ruin you financially. There are not the same external influences to convince people to quit smoking, other than the fact that it is killing you internally. Alcohol will ruin your life. You can lose your job, your family. It’s the same with opioids. With smoking, you can just live your normal life.”

“So we know if we are causing them to quit smoking it’s because the intervention and treatment is successful.”

Bartch added that smokers allowed for an easier clinical trial, as the results are pretty straightforward. 

“It’s a binary result. Either they quit smoking or they didn’t. It’s very easy to monitor.”

Test subjects are required to be both physically and mentally healthy, only struggling with their nicotine addiction. While evidence already exists that psychedelic therapies have the ability to combat mental health disorders, smoking offers a less complex problem and one that is easier to diagnose and monitor throughout a trial.

Mental disorders offer a different level of complexity, and misdiagnosis could skew study results. By removing some of these variables, Mydecine and Johns Hopkins are looking to walk before they run and create molecular compounds that allow for the regeneration of healthy neural pathways while eliminating harmful desires.

“What we believe is happening is that when patients undergo one of these treatments and regiments, something is happening in the brain that’s allowing the therapy to be more successful.”

According to the CDC, cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, responsible for more than 480,000 deaths annually. Federal regulations require tobacco companies to disclose the harmful nature of nicotine boldly on the package. Yet the powerful nature of nicotine addiction sees smokers overlook the images of black, cancer-ridden lungs and continue with their harmful habit.

This study could prove to be a giant step forward in the way the medical community views psychedelics and therapy in general. The process of psychological interventions combined with psychoactive molecules that allow for the remapping of neural pathways could be the key to releasing millions from the grips of addiction.

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