Psychedelics have established themselves as a game changer in the drug development space in recent years.
And it is not just scientists who are excited, either. Investors, politicians, and regulators have done a 180 when it comes to opinions about the use of psychedelics.
“The reason that legislators are legalizing or decriminalizing psychedelics is because of the unmet need [when it comes to medical treatment],” said Kurt Rasmussen, Chief Scientific Officer at Delix Therapeutics, Inc., at a panel at the 2023 Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) International Convention. Delix Therapeutics is pioneering the development of psychoplastogens to treat central nervous system diseases such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
And the science is undeniable. “When you look at what psychedelics can do, they do things in the brain that nothing else does,” said Peter Silverstone, CEO and Director at Zylorion Health, which is developing psychedelic-based therapies for a wide range of mental health disorders.
“Kentucky has just launched a program to try and combat the opioid crisis, and recently, the Nevada legislature is looking at ways to regulate psychedelics as well,” explained moderator David Cox, a freelance journalist and broadcaster.
“Recently, a paper was published just this last [year] showing that psychedelics effects can be incredibly positive in a way that underscores the idea that the structural neuroplasticity produced by these compounds is very, very important,” added Rasmussen.
Yet, while the legal, R&D, and treatment space is opening up in a way that the U.S. has never seen before, there is still a lot of work to do.
The panelists agreed more research is needed, as well as a better understanding of how to ensure safety. Furthermore, it’s important to note that these compounds are still illegal in most states.
Regardless, when it comes to psychedelics, the tide is turning and the research is growing. Watch this space.