Magic Mushrooms — The Next Blockbuster Medicine?
Here at ClinTex, we have been following the psychedelics in clinical trials space with great interest over the last 2 years. It was around this time that the market took an important step towards legitimacy in the eyes of corporate America, when the U.K.-based pharmaceutical company Compass Pathways became the first psychedelics company to break into the U.S. market. The news was a huge step towards legitimizing the legal psychedelics marketplace — which is now forecasted to be a nearly $6.9 billion business by 2027.
Like cannabis before it, psychedelic drugs, once considered illicit, are now gaining more recognition for their therapeutic value. Although the substances, their effects and the chemical compounds at their core are quite different, psychedelics — specifically psilocybin (the active ingredient in so-called Magic Mushrooms) are being accepted by the medical community as a robust treatment option for patients. Cannabis for example, offers a number of positive benefits like anti-inflammatory properties, while psychedelics like psilocybin are increasingly being used to treat severe, drug-resistant depression and PTSD.
This offers a massive opportunity for ClinTex to use their Clinical Trials Intelligence (CTi) technology to drive forward this exciting and developing area of clinical research. The Food and Drug Administration have already classed psilocybin as a breakthrough therapy for anxiety and depression related illnesses. This “Breakthrough Therapy Status” coupled with the fact that psychedelic mushrooms have already been in use for centuries, means that companies can accelerate the clinical study process. They can rely on Real World Data that is already in existence and do not have to solely rely on large Phase III clinical trials that take years. Use of a tool like CTi will help visualise these various sources of data and clinical insights and knowledge can quickly be deduced, to support the rapid filing of a New Drug Application, saving $$ and time.
A major motivation for Clintex prioritising psychedelics is that the rise of these treatment options comes at a time when depression and anxiety have never been higher and for many people, there is a massive unmet need for a reliable and effective treatment option. Analysis of data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) has tracked changes in levels of psychological distress during the pandemic. It suggests the proportion of adults aged 18 and over reporting a clinically significant level of psychological distress increased from 20.8% in 2019 to 27.1% in January 2021. ClinTex are proud to be involved and actively exploring this space to help play their part in providing medicines to society that will help reduce these statistics and improve the quality of life for those suffering from these conditions.
As always, we shall keep the community informed on our progress.
Director of Clinical Data Analytics
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