“The data suggests that we have a new drug that may be at least as effective, if not more effective, than 5-MeO-DMT and, more importantly, it looks like it is much safer," says Mindset Pharma CEO James Lanthier.
Drug discovery and development company Mindset Pharma believes its DMT/5-MeO-DMT inspired drug candidates could offer patients the benefits of 5-Meo-DMT but with an improved safety profile.
The compound 5-MeO-DMT is showing incredible promise in the treatment of a variety of mental health conditions. However, there are concerns about the risks it may pose to patients in terms of serotonergic toxicity, also known as serotonin syndrome or 5-HT syndrome.
Serotonin syndrome occurs when high levels of the chemical serotonin accumulate in the body. Serotonin is the key hormone that stabilizes our mood, feelings of wellbeing, and happiness and it is required by the body for our brain cells and nervous system cells to communicate with each other. A lack of serotonin may play a role in depression, but too much of the chemical can be life-threatening.
First described in the 1960s, most reported cases of serotonin syndrome are in patients using serotonin-augmenting drugs such as anti-depressants, but it can occur from a multitude of drug combinations. Symptoms include confusion, agitation, headache, nausea, vomiting, tremors, loss of muscle control, high fever, seizures, and an uneven heartbeat. Severe cases can be fatal.
“5-MeO-DMT could be a true blockbuster drug for mental health because of how strong it is and how short it is, but it is not going to achieve that with its current health issues. It comes with some very concerning safety shortcomings,” said Mindset Pharma CEO James Lanthier.
“5-MeO-DMT induces a very strong and very short psychedelic trip, somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 to 30 minutes. A shorter trip could be very valuable for psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in the future. The shorter the trip, the less time in the clinic for a patient, and fewer resources that are required to treat those patients.”
Lathier said that Mindset Pharma had progressed towards addressing the safety challenges around 5-MeO-DMT with its propriety drug candidates. “The data suggests that we have a new drug that may be at least as effective, if not more effective, than 5-MeO-DMT and, more importantly, it looks like it is much safer.”
Mindset Pharma is optimizing psychedelic medicines to treat neurological and psychiatric disorders by creating new, psychedelic-inspired compounds. “We use the tools of modern medicinal chemistry and drug design to make careful, precise adjustments to the structures of old psychedelic drugs in order to create something new and better. If it’s better than the original, we keep developing it. Anything we create has to be superior to the original drug,” Lathier said.
The company believes it has created a psilocybin formula that is the “perfect microdosing drug,” and it has also filed a patent for its psilocybin synthesis method, which it says enables faster and cheaper production of the drug than other established methodologies.