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Mind Medicine (MMED.E) and NYU Langone Health are raising money for psychedelics clinical trial

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10/08/2020

Mind Medicine (MMED.E) is raising money to found and launch a clinical training program focused on developing psychedelic-assisted therapies and medicines at New York University’s (NYU) Langone Health.

The company intends the NYU Langone Health psychedelic medicine research program to be the first step in a large initiative wherein they hope to establish a centre for psychedelic medicine.

“MindMed’s funding meets an important need for recruiting more clinical investigators and psychiatrists to the expanding and promising areas of psychedelic-assisted therapies and psychedelic-inspired medicines, which can help so many people suffering from addiction and other mental illnesses. NYU Langone Health’s training of the next generation of researchers and psychiatrists will help to advance and hopefully soon deploy this emerging category of medicines including psilocybin-assisted therapy for alcohol use disorder and MindMed’s ibogaine-derived molecule 18-MC for opioid use disorder patients,” said Dr. Charles R. Marmar, MD, chair, department of psychiatry, NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

Langone Health and the Grossman School of Medicine, also from NYU, have some prior experience with clinical research with psychedelic-assisted therapies and medicines for substance use disorders and other mental illnesses. MindMed’s aim here is to get the ball rolling and recruit and train psychiatrists and clinical investors in the necessary research to develop training tools so they can scale and optimize the delivery of these psychedelic-assisted therapies and medicines to millions of patients across the United States.

The undertaking comes out of a pre-existing partnership between MindMed’s drug development team and the department of psychiatry at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, which have been collaborating on an molecule called 18-MC, derived from Ibogaine, since 2009. MindMed intends to enter a phase 2 trial wtih 18-MC for potential use with patients suffering from opioid use disorder.

MindMed’s approach is the correct one. It isn’t enough just to get this medicine on the market. This stuff isn’t cannabis. Psilocybin has some moderately curious properties, but when taken reasonably, can make for a fun weekend. But drugs like ibogaine are serious business. Nobody does ibogaine recreationally. There’ll never be a recreational market for it.

“NYU Langone Health and the NYU Grossman School of Medicine are ideal partners for MindMed as we continue to evaluate and research future psychedelic-assisted therapies and medicines for substance abuse disorders and other mental illnesses. In order for our industry and company to turn these once-stigmatized substances into medicines, we need to build the critical training infrastructure in the United States to train clinical researchers, psychiatrists, mental health professionals and substance abuse counsellors who will ultimately be our close partners in delivering these future potential therapies and medicines to millions of patients in need,” said MindMed co-founders and co-chief executive officers J.R.Rahn and Stephen L.Hurst.

There’s a serious need if this drug comes to medical markets for not only clinical trials with oversight from the Food and Drug Administration, but training for clinical investigators, psychiatrists and mental health professionals on how to administer and deploy therapies and medicines in a regulated, accessible and financially efficient fashion. The Langone Health psychedelic medicine research training program will focus first on substance use disorders like alcoholism and opioid addiction.

MindMed’s commitment to the program is to the tune of $5 million over five years, paid to the NYU Langone Health psychedelic medicine training program and the corresponding centre for psychedelic medicine at Langone Health—which is presently still looking for financing.

—Joseph Morton

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