Small Pharma is exploring how to treat mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, and PTSD with quick-acting DMT.
Small Pharma, a U.K.-based neuropharmaceutical company banking on the psychedelic DMT to edge out other psychedelic therapies for mental health treatment, has launched on the Toronto TSX Venture Exchange, raising $58 million Canadian dollars ($47.8 million USD).
DMT is a powerful psychedelic found naturally in some plants and animals, including the Amazonian plant brew ayahuasca. Known as the “spirit molecule,” DMT is used ceremonially to bring spiritual enlightenment. The substance is illegal in most countries, including the U.S. and U.K.
Research has shown psychedelic medicines such as psilocybin, ketamine, and MDMA, to be effective at treating mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and addiction. But not much research has looked into the therapeutic benefits of DMT.
Small Pharma believes DMT may be as effective as other psychedelics at treating mental health symptoms. Unlike other hallucinogens, including DMT-containing ayahuasca, whose effects last 6-8 hours or more, the psychedelic effects of pure or synthetic DMT last only about 20 minutes. The medicine is also quickly cleared from the bloodstream without the need for medical monitoring.
“We see this significant reduction in the duration of the dosing session as critical to the delivery of this treatment paradigm at scale in the future,” Small Pharma CEO Peter Rands told Pharmaphorum.
The company has partnered with Imperial College London’s Centre for Psychedelic Research to study the safety and efficacy of its novel DMT analogue named SPL026 in people with depression who have failed to benefit from current first-line therapies.
Rands said the company is on track to complete a proof-of-concept trial during the third quarter of 2022. The company also expects to add more drug candidates to its pipeline in the year ahead.