Researchers Studying Psychedelic Drug as Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease
Written by on September 21, 2022
A Toronto-based biotech company is researching a new psychedelic drug as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, noting in a recent announcement that it has received approval from regulators in Argentina to commence a Phase ll clinical trial of the company’s novel psychedelic compound, BMND08.
“As we continue to move forward with our efforts in identifying indications where we can provide significant improvement in patients suffering from mental health, we are more than pleased to announce the approval of a Phase II clinical trial for our BMND08 novel drug candidate which may allow us to address a new line of development to attenuate depression and anxiety states in patients with Alzheimer’s-type cognitive impairment,” Alejandro Antalich, CEO of Biomind Labs, said in a statement from the company.
Biomind Labs is a biotech research and development company that is studying novel drugs and innovative nanotech delivery systems for a variety of psychiatric and neurological conditions. Using its technology, the company is developing new pharmaceutical formulations of the main psychedelic molecules, N,N-Dimethyltryptamine, 5-MeO-DMT, and mescaline for the potential treatment of a wide range of therapeutic indications, with a focus on providing patients access to affordable and groundbreaking treatments.
“Since our inception, neurodegenerative diseases were on the list of indications we wanted to tackle. We can now address such indications using a novel approach that uses a fast-acting psychedelic molecule capable of providing relief to certain mood states when Alzheimer’s disease first appears in patients,” said Antalich. “After a thorough analysis on the potential benefit of using a psychedelic molecule to alleviate certain symptoms in Alzheimer’s patients, we concluded that the most suitable candidate from our portfolio was BMND08, an oral formulation of 5-MeO-DMT.”
Nearly Six Million American Seniors Live with Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that causes brain cells to atrophy and die. Nearly six million people in the United States aged 65 and older live with the disease, according to information from the Mayo Clinic. The disease is the most common cause of dementia, a continuous decline in cognitive function and social skills that affects the ability to function independently. Although medications may temporarily improve or slow the progression of symptoms, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. In advanced stages of the disease, complications from significant loss of brain function such as dehydration, malnutrition or infection result in death.
“Given the significant morbidity rate associated with Alzheimer’s disease such as agitation, apathy, sleep disturbances and anxiety, it became clear to us that novel approaches to treat Alzheimer’s-type cognitive impairment are urgently needed,” Antalich said. “The Phase II clinical trial will test Biomind’s psychiatry intervention-based model, allowing a rapid and feasible merge of fast-acting psychedelic medicines into clinical practices already in existence.”
The research is studying whether BMND08, a drug based on the natural psychedelic compound 5-Methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (also known as 5-MeO-DMT or simply DMT), is effective as a treatment for the depression and anxiety commonly found among patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The Phase ll clinical trial will be conducted in Argentina, where regulators gave approval for the study in May.
Previous studies have shown that more than 60% of patients with Alzheimer’s disease have also been diagnosed with depression. Treating a patient’s depression may also help treat or delay other symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease. An unrelated study showed that the antidepressant called imipramine may be effective in treating cognitive decline in patients with the condition. Although some research has studied cannabis as a possible treatment for the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, Biomind’s study is believed to be the first to test a psychedelic like DMT.
“While the current practice guidelines consistently refer to the management of symptoms as central to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, the lack of established effective treatments continues to motivate us to generate novel therapeutic solutions,” said Antalich.
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