A North West firm has been chosen to co-lead research into a new psychedelic drug treatment for depression.
MAC Clinical Research – one of Europe’s largest independent clinical development firms – has been selected by neuropharmaceutical company Small Pharma to accelerate research for its lead product dimethyltryptamine – and test for its effectiveness in major depressive disorder (MDD).
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the trial in December 2020, with its first phase that took place at Hammersmith Medicines Research (HMR) now complete.
READ MORE: Boris Johnson backs Northern Powerhouse Rail plan – but with ‘disappointing’ lack of detail
MAC said it will now work with HMR to shape the trial’s second stage and explore the use of DMT-assisted therapy at its bespoke facility for psychedelic research in Liverpool.
The trial will see patients take part in preparation sessions with the therapists before they are dosed DMT. MAC said patients will be supported during the experience and provided with integration sessions once the psychedelic experience ends.
Dr Mark Dale, CEO at MAC, said: “We’re excited to be collaborating with Small Pharma on the safety and efficacy of DMT-assisted therapy in patients with moderate or severe MDD.
“We are looking forward to being a part of developing DMT in combination with psychotherapy as a potential treatment for mental health disorders.
BusinessLive is your home for business news from around the North West- and you can stay in touch with all the latest news from Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria through our email alerts.
You can sign up to receive daily morning news bulletins from every region we cover and to weekly email bulletins covering key economic sectors from manufacturing to technology and enterprise. And we’ll send out breaking news alerts for any stories we think you can’t miss.
Visit our email preference centre to sign up to all the latest news from BusinessLive.
For all the latest stories, views, polls and more – and the news as it breaks – follow our BusinessLive North West LinkedIn page here.
“Psychedelic treatments have been shown to have therapeutic benefits in disorders such as depression, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder. Clinical research suggests that DMT can disrupt the neuronal pathways that underlie negative thought processes, and by doing so may facilitate the benefits of therapy given in combination with DMT.”
Peter Rands, CEO of Small Pharma, added: “We’re pleased to now be progressing this study into its second phase. MAC’s extensive clinical practice experience, expertise and infrastructure will provide us with more access to additional sites designed for psychedelic clinical trials such as ours.
“This means we can work with more patients and accelerate our timelines to deliver proof of concept for our lead product, DMT.”