This Week in Psychedelics

Two major announcements from Atai Life Sciences; plus CPT codes for psychedelic-assisted therapy take effect.

January 5, 2024

This Week...

Atai Life Sciences agreed to pay $50 million for a 36.5% ownership in Beckley Psytech in an effort to expand its portfolio of drug candidates for the treatment of mental health conditions.

Beckley will use a part of the funds to develop its existing pipeline of short-duration drug candidates. These include BPL-003, an intranasal spray targeting treatment-resistant depression and alcohol use disorder, and ELE-101, an intravenous medication for major depressive disorder. Here’s more:

Atai also announced this week, positive results from its Phase 1 study evaluating orally administered EMP-01, the R-enantiomer of MDMA.

The goals of this Phase 1 study were to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics (PK), and pharmacodynamics (PD) of EMP-01. The four-cohort, single-ascending dose, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study enrolled 32 healthy participants who received 75mg, 125mg, 175mg or 225mg of EMP-01 or placebo in a 6+2 design. Check it out:

Massachusetts officials certified that activists submitted enough valid signatures to force legislative consideration of a psychedelics legalization initiative before the measure potentially heads to the state’s 2024 ballot.

Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin’s office certified that the campaign Massachusetts for Mental Health Options collected 96,277 valid signatures for the reform measure—about 20,000 more than required to put the issue before legislators. Check it out:

The American Medical Association’s CPT III codes for psychedelic-assisted therapies went into effect.

The new CPT codes will provide physicians and other qualified healthcare providers a means to seek coverage and reimbursement for delivering psychedelic-assisted therapy if approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"). This is a very big deal. Here’s more:

Did You Know?

Did you know that Andre Ulrych, the architect who designed the Magic Mushroom House in Aspen, CO, used psychedelics as his muse while building the structure?  Not that such a thing should come as a surprise given the fact that the structure is actually called the “Magic Mushroom House.”

Ulrych had never built a house before, and decided that the best way to tap into a rich, creative vein within and construct the house that represented his most inner-self was to build it while tripping on mushrooms, and occasionally LSD. Six years and countless caps and stems later, he finished what is known as the Magic Mushroom House. Check it out: