This Week in Psychedelics

Algernon completes dosing the first cohort in its Phase 1 clinical study. Arizona moves forward a bill to research psilocybin mushrooms.

February 17, 2023

This Week...

Algernon Pharmaceuticals announced that it has completed dosing the first cohort in its Phase 1 clinical study of an intravenous formulation of AP-188 (DMT). The safety review committee has approved moving the study forward with the next cohort at an escalated dose after observing no safety or tolerability issues. Here’s more:

Arizona lawmakers approved a bill in committee to promote research into the medical potential of psilocybin mushrooms for a variety of conditions, which could inform future reforms to more broadly allow access to psychedelic-assisted therapy.

The proposal is focused on psilocybin research, providing $30 million in grants for scientists to study the impact of the psychedelic on 13 different conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, long COVID symptoms, and substance misuse disorder. Check it out:

Science News ran a piece this week entitled: "Psychedelics may improve mental health by getting inside nerve cells," where analyst McKenzie Prillaman discussed how certain psychedelic substances can get inside nerve cells in the cortex and tell the neurons to grow.

Several mental health conditions, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, are tied to chronic stress, which degrades neurons in the cortex over time. Scientists have long thought that repairing the cells could provide therapeutic benefits, like lowered anxiety and improved mood. Here’s more:

Did You Know?

Did you know psychedelic therapy was legal in Switzerland between 1988 and 1993?

In most of the world, the heyday of psychedelic research came to an unfortunate end with the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances in 1971. Switzerland, however, was not a signatory to the convention. So after a little lobbying, in 1988, five Swiss psychiatrists and psychotherapists were given permission by the government to prescribe MDMA and LSD for therapeutic use.

It would last only five years. In 1993, the Swiss government banned the drugs once again, reportedly following the death of a young woman in the Netherlands who was receiving ibogaine treatment. But some physicians continued to conduct psychedelic therapy underground, and Switzerland eventually approved new MDMA-related research in 2004 and LSD-related research in 2007.

You can read more about the period here.