Landmark clinical trial exploring LSD-MDMA combo to begin late 2020

sychedelic pharmaceutical company MindMed is set to conduct a novel Phase 1 clinical trial exploring the subjective effects of combining LSD with MDMA. The primary goal of the prospective study is to investigate whether MDMA, a drug known to induce feelings of well-being, can reduce some acute negative mood effects seen with LSD and improve overall outcomes for psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.

It is fair to say psychedelic science is booming at the moment. MDMA is on the cusp of being approved as a treatment for PTSDpsilocybin has been twice granted a Breakthrough Therapy designation by the FDA for depression; and LSD is being trialed for everything from Alzheimer’s disease to alcoholism.

MindMed, working with a psychedelic research lab headed by Matthias Liechti at the University of Basel in Switzerland, is building a strong resume of research projects that are certainly unique. Earlier this year the company revealed it is working on an LSD-neutralizing compound designed to function as an “off-switch” for any psychedelic experience that becomes too discomforting for patients. The company is also conducting a Phase 2 trial testing LSD microdoses for adult ADHD.

Discussing the genesis of this new clinical trial, Liechti hypothesizes the two drugs may synergistically function to deliver greater therapeutic outcomes than when administered alone.

“The potential of MDMA-LSD is to create a psychological state that may have the benefits of both substances and have longer lasting effects than standalone psilocybin or LSD,” says Liechti. “Inducing an overall primarily positive acute response during psychedelic assisted therapy is critical because several studies showed that a more positive acute experience is linked to a greater therapeutic long-term effect in patients.”

The Phase 1 clinical trial, set to commence later this year, will initially enroll 24 healthy subjects. A four-stage cross-over design means each subject will blindly undertake four experimental sessions.

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