“Cigarette smoking remains one of the most difficult addictions to treat and contributes to more deaths than all the other substances combined, making this research vital," says Mydecine Innovations Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rakesh Jetly.
Life sciences company Mydecine Innovations is partnering with Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine to work on a number of collaborative research initiatives over the coming years to further psychedelic therapy.
The five-year research agreement will allow for the company and university to further collaborate to advance research on novel psychedelic therapies to treat mental health and addiction disorders, including the expansion of their research on psychedelics and smoking cessation.
Johns Hopkins University is widely regarded as the leading psychedelic research institution in the United States. In 2019, with the support of a $17 million private donation, the university launched the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research to build on and expand the university’s research on psychedelics.
A 2014 study by the university found that psilocybin in the context of a cognitive behavioral therapy treatment program could help long-time smokers who had failed many attempts to quit to stop smoking. The abstinence rate for participants was 80% after six months which is substantially higher than the typical success rate for other smoking cessation trials. But researchers noted that further research was needed to explore the role psilocybin could play in smoking cessation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, killing more than 480,000 Americans a year. It results in the country spending more than $300 billion each year on smoking-related illnesses.
“Despite recent attention to opiate and dependence on other illicit substances, we sometimes forget about the incredible burden that nicotine dependence has on our societies,” said Mydecine Innovations Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rakesh Jetly. “Despite all the public education and dire warnings, cigarette smoking remains one of the most difficult addictions to treat and contributes to more deaths than all the other substances combined, making this research vital.”
Mydecine Innovations is focused on building a robust research and development pipeline of naturally sourced psychedelic-assisted therapeutics, novel compounds, therapy protocols, and unique delivery systems. With approval from Health Canada, the company has access to a full cGMP certified pharmaceutical manufacturing facility which gives it the ability to import, export, extract, isolate, and analyze active mushroom compounds.
“The long-term potential of this research agreement is captivating for us here at Mydecine Innovations,” said the company’s Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer Rob Roscow. “It demonstrates our commitment to advancing psychedelic medicine by exploring multiple molecules and medicines for a variety of indications.”
Mydecine Innovations CEO Josh Bartch added: “We are excited to expand on the current work we are conducting with [the university] in regards to smoking cessation and numerous other projects over the next five years. The researchers at John Hopkins University have proven their incredible depth of knowledge in the field.”