The Psychedelic News Feed

Thursday June 13th, 2024

Welcome back to the Psychedelic News Feed, where we round-up the latest coverage of psychedelics. We manually select news clippings, research publications and commentary for inclusion: no aggregators or AI bots here. (Read this short article explaining the rationale behind the Feed.)

This Feed is for the week commencing Monday the 10th of June, 2024. Receive a weekly digest to your inbox by joining our newsletter.

Breaking: Lykos Therapeutics Moved to Patent MDMA In Late 2022, Filing Reveals (June 13) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Pα+ Analysis: FDA Advisory Committee Snubs MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD in Overwhelming “No” Vote (June 11) ↗ BioSpace

The FDA Might Reject MDMA Therapy—but Not for the Reasons You Think (June 13) ↗ Slate

With MDMA debate spreading beyond biotech, Lykos CEO tries to dispel efficacy, safety concerns (June 13) ↗ Fierce Biotech

Trouble for ecstasy? What MDMA’s FDA setback could mean for psychedelics (June 13) ↗ NPR

‘Suicide headache’ patient granted magic mushroom access after Health Canada u-turn (June 12) ↗ National Post

Despite adcomm rejection, Lykos CEO sees future for MDMA drug (June 12) ↗ PharmaVoice

Psychedelic Therapies Could Soon Break Through Against Addiction (June 10) ↗ BioSpace

GOP Congressman Who Used Psychedelics For Mental Health Slams FDA Panel’s MDMA Rejection (Op-Ed) (June 13) ↗ Morgan Luttrell

Psychedelics change how we see the world. A UC Berkeley study aims to find out why. (June 11) ↗ Berkeley News

Oregon Threatens to Revoke Approval of a Mushroom School That Says It’s a Religious Practice (June 12) ↗ Willamette Week

Oregon’s psilocybin industry, a year old, seeks customers (June 10) ↗ Oregon Capital Chronicle

MDMA therapy for PTSD treatment? FDA panel says no (June 11) ↗ KCRW

Reeling from FDA setback, researchers plot the future of psychedelic-assisted medicine (June 11) ↗ Science

Magic mushrooms helped a Navajo woman deal with trauma. Now she wants to help others (June 12) ↗ The Guardian

Psychedelic drugs ‘overhyped as miracle cures’ (June 10) ↗ The Times

FDA panel rejects MDMA-assisted therapies for PTSD despite high hopes from veterans (June 13) ↗ Fox News

June 3 - 9, 2024

Follow our Live Coverage of FDA’s MDMA Advisory Committee
(June 4) ↗ MIT Technology Review

The psychedelic medicine revolution just took a big loss
(June 4) ↗ POLITICO

Psychedelics companies see FDA panel’s vote as a growth opportunity, not a roadblock (June 6) ↗ STAT

MDMA-Maker Failed Its FDA Hearing — And Its PTSD Patients (June 5) ↗ Bloomberg

After FDA setback, psychedelic drugmakers distance themselves from a pioneer (June 8) ↗ WSJ

After ‘sobering’ FDA panel, psychedelics supporters wonder what’s next (June 7) ↗ Biopharma Dive

In a setback for psychedelic therapy, FDA advisers vote against medical use of ecstasy (June 5) ↗ Science

Panel rejects psychedelic drug MDMA as a PTSD treatment in possible setback for advocates (June 5) ↗ AP News

MAPS / Lykos: who is to blame and what happens next? (June 8) ↗ Ecstatic Integration

Can MDMA-AT Be Saved? (June 5+) ↗ The Frontier Psychiatrists

Breaking News: F.D.A. Panel Votes Against MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD (June 5) ↗ The Microdose

Perspective: FDA Advisory Committee vote on MDMA-AT (June 6) ↗ Liana Sananda Gillooly

Landmark review spotlights challenge of judging psychedelic therapies
 (June 3) ↗ Axios

Psychedelics Are Challenging the Scientific Gold Standard (June 3) ↗ The Atlantic

Could psychedelic toads boost our brains? London scientists launch trial into substance found on amphibian’s skin (June 3) ↗ The Standard

The FDA may approve psychedelics for treating PTSD. Here’s what to know (June 3) ↗ Quartz

What’s next for MDMA (June 3) ↗ MIT Technology Review

Lykos’ MDMA-Assisted Therapy Faces Landmark Adcomm (June 3) ↗ BioSpace

Misconduct claims may derail MDMA psychedelic treatment for PTSD (June 3) ↗ NPR Short Wave (Audio)

Some psychedelic medicine developers want to ditch the therapy aspect. What could go wrong? (June 7) ↗ Salon

How ‘Selling Out’ helped psychedelic MDMA (June 3) ↗ Mercury News

From Toad Toxin to Medicine: The Promise of 5-MeO-DMT (June 3) ↗ Undark

Could psilocybin change a young mother’s cancer journey? Inside Colorado’s major psychedelic study (June) ↗ CPR News

Adam’s son died in the Hunter Valley bus crash. In a NSW first, he’ll try MDMA to ease his anguish (June 3) ↗ The Sydney Morning Herald

I have lifelong anorexia. MDMA and mushrooms showed me remission is possible (June 5) ↗ The Guardian

May 27 - June 2, 2024

This Week’s Feed, Sponsored by

Clerkenwell Health, a specialised psychedelic research organisation, has opened enrolment for their Psychedelic Practitioner Foundations Programme, a course aimed at all healthcare professionals to prepare them with the skills and knowledge required to safely, ethically, and effectively deliver psychedelic treatments in the future.

Pα+ ICER Panel Rejects MDMA-Assisted Therapy, Highlights Evidence Gaps and Study Flaws in 14-1 Vote (May 31) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Pα+ Patients, Practitioners, Researchers and Public Submit Comments Ahead of FDA Advisory Committee on MDMAD (May 29) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Meeting materials available for Tuesday’s FDA advisory committee on MDMA-assisted therapy. ↗ FDA

Can psychedelics treat depression? Maybe, and you might not even have to take a trip (Jun 1) ↗ The Guardian

PTSD Has Surged Among College Students (May 30) ↗ NYT

“The prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder among college students rose to 7.5 percent in 2022, more than double the rate five years earlier, researchers found.”

Pα+ What to Expect: FDA Advisory Committee Set to Review MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD (May 27) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

The Long Road Toward Equitable MDMA Treatment in the United States (May 29) ↗

uOttawa launches groundbreaking MA in Psychedelics & Consciousness Studies (May 29) ↗ uOttawa

Psychoactive drugs like ketamine and MDMA are having a moment. The FDA will soon weigh in. (May 28) ↗ CBS News

An Academic Shroom Boom (May 30) ↗ Oprah Daily

A variety of mainstream outlets are running stories on Lykos Therapeutics’ upcoming FDA advisory committee, slated for next Tuesday.

FDA Staff Raises Concerns About Ecstasy Drug’s Safety in Report (May 31) ↗ Bloomberg

F.D.A.’s Review of MDMA Cites Health Risks and Study Flaws (May 31) ↗ NYT

What to watch for in the crucial FDA meeting on MDMA therapy for PTSD (May 31) ↗ STAT

Psychedelic drug MDMA faces questions as FDA considers approval for PTSD (May 31) ↗ WaPo

The battle for MDMA as drug steps closer to becoming a prescription medicine (May 31) ↗ Independent

What to watch for in the crucial FDA meeting on MDMA therapy for PTSD (May 31) ↗ STAT

Illegal Ecstasy Takes Step Toward Becoming Legal Drug for PTSD (May 30) ↗ Bloomberg

May 20 - 26, 2024

Pα+ Psychedelic Patent Analysis: April 2024 (May 24) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

This month:

  • A CaaMTech & ASRI Collaboration
  • GH Research & Beckley Psytech: An Update
  • CaaMTech Grows Tryptamine Patent Portfolio
  • Atai Sees Two New Allowances to Support DMT Program

Psychedelic-assisted therapy in the treatment of addiction (May 21) ↗ UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

The traumatised police officers flying to Peru to take psychedelics (May 23) ↗ The Telegraph

Inside the breathtaking world of therapeutic psychedelics: Great promise and great challenges (May 22) ↗ Fierce Healthcare

Fluence Launches Generative AI Tools for Psychedelic Therapist Training (May 21) ↗ Press Release

A patchwork of state-level psychedelic medicine legislation raises equity concerns (May 24) ↗ Healthcare Brew

IBEX011, the first Nagoya-compliant GMP iboga extract, is now available for clinical use and academic research (May 20) ↗ Press Release

Equitable Access, Healing Trauma, and Shifting Public Opinion: Highlights from the “Horizons” Conference (May 21) ↗ BCSP

Could microdosing with psychedelics help treat depression? (May 23) ↗ The Irish Times

After MDMA therapy, she considered suicide. The trial data tell a different story (May 24) ↗ STAT

May 13 - 19, 2024

This Week’s Feed, Sponsored by…

May 23-24, Boston

The 4th Annual Psychedelic Therapeutics & Drug Development Conference offers a unique opportunity to delve into the rapidly evolving field of psychedelic science and its potential in healthcare. Plenary talks and panel sessions will see a wide range of topics covered including drug scheduling, the future of psychedelic science, clinical trial design, research protocols, pain and psychedelics and precision medicine in mental health care.

Pα+: Psychedelic Bulletin #163: Tempering Excitement Around Recent Raises; Compass Shares Cut of Open-Label PTSD Data; Other News (May 17) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Industry and Researchers Respond to ICER Report on MDMA-Assisted Therapy, Which Maintains Lykos’ Clinical Evidence Is “Insufficient” (May 14) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Pα+: Breaking: AbbVie Inks Deal with Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals (May 13) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

“We’re Going to See Demand for This Go Through the Roof”: VA Under Secretary for Health Shares How the Agency Is Preparing for MDMA, Psilocybin Therapies (May 15) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Lucid News Salutes Our Friend Ken Jordan (May 14) ↗ Lucid News

“The staff of Lucid News is deeply saddened by the death on Sunday of our friend and colleague Ken Jordan. In addition to being our Editorial Director and co-founder of Lucid News, Ken was a true pioneer and leader in the psychedelic movement and a dear friend to many of us. He had a clear vision of the future of psychedelic communities and dedicated his life to the transformative power of psychedelics for worldwide healing.”

We at Psychedelic Alpha share in this deep sadness. If you would like to honour Ken’s legacy, please consider donating to Lucid News.

Woman free of anxiety meds 1 year after Cleveland Clinic LSD trial success (May 15) ↗

Psychedelics could treat some of the worst chronic pain in the world (May 15) ↗ Vox

California’s Latest Psychedelics Bill Dies in Committee (May 17) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

California’s new magic mushroom team (May 13) ↗ POLITICO

Expand your mind with a new magazine of psychedelic art and literature. (May 13) ↗ Literary Hub

Franklin King, MD: Psychedelic Therapy History, Advances, and Hurdles (May 13) ↗ HCP Live

MDMA therapy could be legalized by summer. Why are so many advocates sounding the alarm? (May 13) ↗ Business Insider

MAPS (the nonprofit) issued a statement in response.

Srinivas Rao to Take the Reigns as atai Life Sciences CEO by Year-End, Replacing Florian Brand (May 15) ↗ Press Release

Amazonian Chief At UN To Combat Traditional Knowledge Piracy (May 14) ↗ International Business Times

“A psychoactive brew prepared from vines by the people of the western Amazon basin, ayahuasca is seen, depending on the version, as a miracle cure, a tool for inner exploration and personal development, a recreational hallucinogen, or a dangerous psychotropic drug.”

As the FDA evaluates ecstasy treatment for PTSD, questions mount about the evidence (May 13) ↗ NPR

May 6 - 12, 2024

A message from our friends…

June 5, Haarlem (the Netherlands)

The Pathways to Access Summit (Paths) takes place a day prior to ICPR in Haarlem, the Netherlands. The full-day Summit convenes key stakeholders from Europe and beyond to explore the opportunities and challenges around the development, approval, and eventual integration of psychedelic medicines into mainstream European health care.

Use code PA100 for €100 off your Paths ticket

Pα+: European Medicines Agency CMO Talks Psychedelics and Their Therapeutic Use in Live Q&A (May 9) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Pα+: FDA Advisory Committee to Review Lykos Therapeutics’ MDMA-Assisted Therapy in Early June (May 7) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Next month, the first psychedelic-assisted therapy will be put before an FDA Advisory Committee as Lykos Therapeutics’ MDMA-AT gets a June 4th slot.

Research Briefing: Toad psychedelic points to biological target for antidepressants (May 8) ↗ Nature

Podcast Episode: The Power and Promise of Psychedelics in Therapy (May 9) ↗ The Assignment with Audie Cornish (CNN)

Drugs, Sacraments or Medicine? Psychedelic Churches Blur the Line. (May 12) ↗ NYT

Lululemon Scion JJ Wilson Plots to Make Psychedelic Drugs the New Yoga (May 12) ↗ The Daily Beast

Australian Federal Government Funds Trial of MDMA-Assisted Therapy for Individuals Affected by Northern River Floods (May 10) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Welcome to the Age of Psychedelic Inequality (May 7) ↗ The Nation

“Psychedelic-assisted therapies have been hailed as the wave of the future. They’re also becoming big business. What if most people can’t afford them?”

Weed changed this California town. Now artsy residents are all in on psychedelics (May 8) ↗ LA Times

Compass Pathways announces durable improvement in symptoms through 12 weeks in open-label phase 2 study of COMP360 psilocybin in post-traumatic stress disorder (May 8) ↗ Press Release

The VA’s high hopes for psychedelics (May 10) ↗ POLITICO

California makes moves toward legalizing psychedelic therapies, like Oregon (May 11) ↗ Oregon Live

First Responders, Veterans Hail Benefits of Psychedelic Drugs as California Debates Legalization (May 9) ↗ California Healthline

The Church of the Eagle and the Condor Settles with Federal Agencies, Can Continue Importing and Using Ayahuasca (May 8) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Cultivating Connections: Ecological Medicine Meets Psychedelic Therapies (Event: May 10) ↗ UCLA Ecological Medicine & Psychedelic Studies Initiative

GoDaddy Founder Bob Parsons Opens Up About Trauma and Leadership in ‘Fire in the Hole’ Memoir (May 7) ↗ Inc.

“I am in favor of legalization of all drugs, primarily psychedelics. If it takes having psychedelics legalized for therapeutic use, then I’m all in for that also.”

The State of Psychedelics (May 6) ↗ Oprah Daily

“The idea that all of a sudden, wow, instead of having to take a pill every day, a single dose of psilocybin or MDMA could have this profound effect on a chronic illness—it’s pretty cool,” said former NIMH Director Thomas Insel.

Ohio State commencement speaker says he took psychedelics to write Bitcoin speech (May 8) ↗ The Hill

April 29 - May 5, 2024

This Week’s Feed, Sponsored by…

May 23-24, Boston

The 4th Annual Psychedelic Therapeutics & Drug Development Conference offers a unique opportunity to delve into the rapidly evolving field of psychedelic science and its potential in healthcare. Plenary talks and panel sessions will see a wide range of topics covered including drug scheduling, the future of psychedelic science, clinical trial design, research protocols, pain and psychedelics and precision medicine in mental health care.

Therapists and Trialists from Lykos’ Phase 3 MDMA-Assisted Therapy Studies Push Back on ICER’s Critical Draft Report
(Apr 29) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Reunion Neuroscience Gets a New Lease of Life with $103M Series A to Fund Phase 2 Studies of 4-HO-DiPT Prodrug (May 3) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Gilgamesh Announces Initiation of Phase 2a Trial of GM-1020 in Major Depressive Disorder (May 1) ↗ Press Release

See NCT06309277 for more.

Rick Doblin Featured in TIME100 Health (May 2) ↗ TIME100 Health

“I feel incredibly lucky to see the change that I’ve been working for happen in my own lifetime,” Doblin says. “I can die happy, whenever that comes around.”

Lismore to host clinical trial using MDMA, nature therapy to treat disaster-induced PTSD (May 3) ↗ ABC News

“The [Australian] federal government will spend $3.8 million on the trial involving about 200 survivors of the record-breaking floods that hit the region in 2022.”

A champion of psychedelics who includes a dose of skepticism (May 4) ↗ LA Times

“Ernesto Londoño’s memoir ‘Trippy’ explores psychiatry’s renewed flirtation with drugs such as LSD. He’s a believer but not a zealot.”

For more, read Josh’s interview with Londoño.

I was angry, aggressive and in chronic pain – then a party drug changed everything (May 4) ↗ Metro

Impact Investing in Psychedelics (May 4) ↗ SOCAP 2023 (YouTube)

Compass Pathways establishes research collaborations with Journey Clinical (Apr 29) ↗ Press Release, Mindful Health Solutions (May 2) ↗ Press Release

The longest, strangest trip: Some psychedelic drug users are stuck with unwelcome highs (Apr 30) ↗ LA Times

“A rare condition called hallucinogen persisting perception disorder has puzzled researchers and raised alarms as psychedelics go mainstream.”

Coalition forming to oppose psychedelics ballot question, argues home-grow is unsafe (May 2) ↗ Boston Herald

On this public day on psychedelics, researchers transcend the media hype (Apr 29) ↗ Universiteit Leiden

$3.8 million to help Northern Rivers community heal after 2022 floods (May 3) ↗ Australian Minister for Health and Aged Care

“The stepped care treatments in this clinical trial will include an arts-based group compassion program and group-based MDMA-assisted therapy. It is hoped the findings will provide additional treatment options for those impacted by future disasters.”

The Hopkins-Oxford Psychedelics Ethics (HOPE) Working Group Consensus Statement (May 2) ↗ The American Journal of Bioethics

US poised to ease restrictions on marijuana in historic shift, but it’ll remain controlled substance (May 1) ↗ AP News

Bob Nelsen on megarounds, Altos and psychedelics (May 1) ↗ Fierce Biotech

“Psychedelics are included, a field that Nelsen said ARCH has an interest in. He said that there’s more scientific rigor needed to really dig into how psychedelics work but that the mechanisms of action are intriguing.”

UW’s “magic mushroom” trial advancing (Apr 30) ↗ Axios

Doors of experience: Can psychedelics and meditation solve our problems? (May 3) ↗ Times Literary Supplement

The Rise of Psychedelic Gummies (May 5) ↗ Forbes

Pα+ Psychedelic Patent Analysis: March 2024
(Apr 30) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

  • First Look at Nolan Williams et al.’s Ibogaine IP: Is Co-Administration of Magnesium and Ibogaine Common Practice?
  • Clexio Biosciences Protects CLE-100 Development Programs
  • Broad Strokes Attempt from Axsome Fails to Overcome Prior Art
  • NYU Abandons “Hot Psilocybin Patent Garbage”

Natural Medicine Advisory Bulletin 11: March & April 2024 (Apr 29) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha X Vicente LLP

Do dying people have a ‘right to try’ magic mushrooms? 9th Circuit weighs case (May 1) ↗ LA Times

Next-generation psychedelic workers (May 1) ↗ POLITICO

A Path Toward Parity: Ensuring Equitable Access to Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy (Apr 29) ↗ BrainFutures

BrainFutures’ latest report “focuses on the critical intersection between the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) and psychedelic-assisted therapy (PAT), offering insights into how this law can help pave the way for comprehensive insurance coverage and access to PAT for those who stand to benefit.”

Magic mushrooms effective for treating depression – study (May 2) ↗ Sky News

Peggy Mellon Hitchcock, Who Helped Timothy Leary Turn On, Dies at 90 (May 2) ↗ The New York Times

“She was an enthusiastic supporter of the counterculture. And when she suggested that her brothers rent Mr. Leary a mansion, she made psychedelic history.”

Magic mushrooms ‘more effective for treating depression in pensioners than young people’ (May 2) ↗ The Telegraph

April 22 - 28, 2024

May 8-11, New York City

Horizons’ 16th Conference comes to NYC next month. Set in the New York Academy of Medicine, the event explores the many dimensions of psychedelics including science, medicine, policy, business, culture, and spirituality.

Pα+ Psychedelic Bulletin #162: EQUULUS Therapeutics Emerges from Stealth; Responses to ICER’s Draft Evidence Report on Lykos’ MDMA; and more… (Apr 25) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Safety and Early Efficacy Studies of Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy for Chronic Pain in Older Adults
(Opens September 10, 2024) ↗ NIH

Lykos Therapeutics Announces Completion of European Phase 2 Study for MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD (Apr 24) ↗ Press Release

“By pursuing FDA approval of MDMA-assisted therapy first, we believe the learnings will be beneficial as we determine our regulatory strategy in the United Kingdom and Europe”, said Lykos CEO Amy Emerson.

In psychedelic therapy, clinician-patient bond may matter most (Apr 22) ↗ OSU News

PTSD crisis looms as troop shortages take toll on Ukrainian soldiers’ mental health (Apr 25) ↗ Kyiv Independent

“Hibadulin said his condition impeded his relationships and education, and that the only treatment that proved effective for him was psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy – a controversial method to cure PTSD illegal in Ukraine but used to a limited extent in some Western countries.”

Inside Alberta’s promising psychedelic-assisted therapy industry (Apr 27) ↗ CTV News

Insights from the European Medicines Agency’s Psychedelics Workshop: A Pα+ Dispatch (Apr 23) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Josh explores some of the key themes discussed at the workshop: from regulatory remits and rescheduling through to disentangling pharmacotherapy from psychotherapy, standardisation and its discontents, blinding, and much more.

The Church of the Eagle and the Condor Reaches a Settlement with Federal Agencies Affirming the Religious Right to Use Ayahuasca (Apr 22) ↗ Press Release (via Chacruna)

“CEC is the first non-Christian church to receive protection for its spiritual practices regarding Ayahuasca.”

Tech bros love talking about microdosing – but the legality of psychedelics is a messy grey area  (Apr 26) ↗ The Independent

From politics to the lab: The push for psychedelics in Mass.  (Apr 23) ↗ WBUR

MDMA trials are showing it has promise as a psychiatric medicine  (Apr 26) ↗ Guardian

“Readers respond to a letter which said that MDMA is not helpful in mental health care”

Nine Lawmakers Ask VA to Report on Its Preparations for MDMA Approval (Apr 23) ↗ Read the Letter (PDF)

“We respectfully request that you produce VA’s implementation plan that would be deployable as soon as this novel treatment option is approved for clinical use”, the letter reads.

Opinion: Ketamine bros are giving psychedelics a bad rap. That’s a problem for those who need them. (Apr 24) ↗ USA Today

Agony over ecstasy: FDA bid shows it’s hard to test psychedelics (Apr 27) ↗ The Washington Post

Psychedelic drugs to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Apr 22) ↗ UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

Psychedelic drugs to treat eating disorders (Apr 22) ↗ UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

Two new Rapid Response briefings from the UK Parliament’s POST look at the state of the evidence for psychedelics’ use in treating PTSD and eating disorders.

Psychedelics and their therapeutic use – Linkedin Live interview with Steffen Thirstrup, EMA’s Chief Medical Officer (Tuesday, May 7) ↗ EMA

Psychedelic therapy for veterans MUST be implemented by the Biden administration says former Navy SEAL who credits drugs for saving his life after brutal combat (Apr 23) ↗ Daily Mail

How to untangle ethics of psychedelics for therapeutic care (Apr 23) ↗ The Harvard Gazette

How a psychedelic retreat helped me face up to stage four cancer (Apr 27) ↗ The Times

It Is High Time the U.K. Changes Psychedelics Laws (Apr 22) ↗ The Regulatory Review

Psychedelic Company Financing Tracker
 ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

April 15 - 21, 2024

This Week’s Feed, Sponsored by…

May 23-24, Boston

The 4th Annual Psychedelic Therapeutics & Drug Development Conference offers a unique opportunity to delve into the rapidly evolving field of psychedelic science and its potential in healthcare. Plenary talks and panel sessions will see a wide range of topics covered including drug scheduling, the future of psychedelic science, clinical trial design, research protocols, pain and psychedelics and precision medicine in mental health care.

Pα+ Psychedelic Bulletin #161: Numinus Shifts Focus to US; Algernon Makes DMT for Stroke Lead Asset; atai Pivots to IV Ibogaine (Apr 17) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Mushroom death mystery at wellness seminar triggers police probe (Apr 16) ↗ The AGE

Researchers Ask Federal Court To Block DEA From Banning Two Psychedelics Under ‘Unconstitutional’ Administrative Process (Apr 17) ↗ Marijuana Moment

The Unlikely Force Behind a Push to Legalize ‘Shrooms’ in New York (Apr 19) ↗ NYT

“A lobbying effort led in part by religious groups has state lawmakers considering two different measures that would legalize psilocybin, a drug known as “magic mushrooms.””

Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Is Going Mainstream. How Will the Industry Grow Around It? (Apr 19) ↗ Kellogg Insight

Are you interested in writing for Psychedelic Alpha? Please reach out to with a short blurb about yourself, topics you might be interested in writing about, and any published work samples.

New Horizons in Healing: The Psychedelic Renaissance in the Middle East (Apr 15) ↗ Newsweek

Global Perspectives on Psychedelics Regulation (Apr 15) ↗ The Regulatory Review

This six-part series will see a new article published each weekday through next Tuesday.

Business Tripping: The Professionals Trying Drugs to Get Better at Work (Apr 21) ↗ WSJ

Ayahuasca: psychedelic brew landing shamans in jail (Apr 16) ↗ France 24

Eyes wide shut: Why psychedelic trips intensify with eyes closed (Apr 18) ↗ Big Think

Michael Pollan’s long and strange trip: shifting perspectives on food and psychedelics (Apr 21) ↗ KCRW

Push to legalize psychedelic-assisted therapy treatment continues (Apr 17) ↗ CBS News

Downtown Windsor magic mushroom dispensary raided by cops for 4th time, 1 arrested (Apr 18) ↗ CBC

Bicycle Day marks an unofficial commemoration of the first use of LSD
(Apr 19) ↗ NPR (2 min audio)

The Bad Trip Detective (Apr 15) ↗ Nautilus

“[Jules] Evans doesn’t advocate against psychedelics. But by exposing the hazards that tripping could involve, Evans hopes to temper the prevalent ethos of breezy optimism with a dash of caution.”

Psychedelic Community Divided Over Upcoming Conference in Israel (Apr 15) ↗ Filter Mag

Psychedelic Travel Experiences Are More Popular Than Ever (Apr 17) ↗ Condé Nast Traveler

The endless quest to replace alcohol (Apr 18) ↗ Vox

“From kava to “sleepy girl mocktails,” can anything ever take the place of booze?”

Shulgin Farm Announces Seed Crystal Campaign to Preserve Psychedelic History and Build Community Hub (Apr 18) ↗ Press Release

Psychedelic treatments on cusp of approval, but questions remain (Apr 16) ↗ PharmaPhorum

April 8 - 14, 2024

April 27-28, San Francisco

Chacruna’s two-day Psychedelic Culture conference fosters conversations around topics including Indigenous Reciprocity & Decolonial Dialogues, Psychedelic Justice, Protection of Sacred Plants & Cultural Traditions, and voices from the Global South. Hosted at the Brava Theater in San Francisco,  the event also includes music and meditation circles as well as rapé ceremonies.

Developing Esketamine (Spravato) and Lessons for Psychedelic Drug Developers with Jaskaran Singh (Apr 12) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Josh sits down with Jaskaran (‘Jaz’) Singh, Vice President Psychiatry Development at Neurocrine Biosciences. For the purposes of this conversation, however, we focus on Singh’s role in spearheading the development of esketamine for treatment-resistant depression, now marketed as Spravato.

Here, we discuss how Singh’s early work assessing ketamine’s antidepressant effects at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) encouraged him to move into industry; how his team decided to pursue esketamine; lessons learned that might be relevant for psychedelic drug developers; and his broader outlook on the field.

As California Seeks to Legalize Psychedelics for Therapy, Oregon Provides Key Lessons (Apr 12) ↗ KQED

EU launches landmark €6.5M study on use of psychedelics to treat mental disorders (Apr 11) ↗ Science Business

Psychiatry drugs finally have pharma’s attention. Can they keep it? (Apr 8) ↗ Biopharma Dive

“Arguably the buzziest area of research are psychedelic compounds. Long dismissed because of thorny legal and scientific issues, psychedelics are being taken more seriously as possible treatments for anxiety, depression and psychosis.”

Seaport Therapeutics Launches with $100 Million Oversubscribed Series A Financing Round to Advance Novel Neuropsychiatric Medicines (Apr 9) ↗ Press Release

The company’s pipeline includes SPT-348, “a prodrug of a non-hallucinogenic neuroplastogen in development for the treatment of mood and other neuropsychiatric disorders, [which] leverages Glyph to create a potential first-in-class treatment with improved pharmacokinetics and tolerability compared to conventional psychedelics.”

Psychedelics Paid for by Work? It’s Coming (Apr 11) ↗ WSJ

Psychedelic drug retreat reports 183% spike in bookings as health experts cite ‘huge downside’ (Apr 13) ↗ FOX News

Can Microdosing Psychedelics Help Golfers Raise Their Game? (Apr 11) ↗ Men’s Health

Almost No One Is Happy With Legal Weed (Apr 8) ↗ The Atlantic

Jane C. Hu asks: Will legal psychedelics be any better?

Hu also appeared on Slate’s ‘TBD’ podcast on Sunday in an episode titled, Is America Ready for Legal Psychedelics?

Are Mushrooms the New Prozac? (Apr 8) ↗ Brown Alumni Magazine

What a Terror Attack in Israel Might Reveal About Psychedelics and Trauma (Apr 11) ↗ NYT

No magic at city council for Vancouver mushroom dispensaries as retail framework rejected (Apr 10) ↗ Global News

This Real Estate Mogul Is Funding Psychedelics Research to Support the LGBT+ Community (Apr 9) ↗ Inside Philanthropy

Natural Medicine Advisory Bulletin 10.1: Legislative Update (Apr 9) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha X Vicente LLP

The big business bet on psychedelic drugs (Audio, 20 mins) (Apr 7) ↗ The Globe and Mail

April 1 - 7, 2024

This Week’s Feed, Sponsored by

Clerkenwell Health is building the infrastructure for developing and delivering mental health and CNS treatments through their network of hybrid research and care clinics, CRO services and therapist training programme. Based in Central London, Clerkenwell Health offers the only purpose-built commercial clinical research site in Europe dedicated to psychedelic-assisted therapies.

MindMed’s ‘Total Elimination’ of Psychotherapy in LSD Study Stokes Debate Around Its Role in Psychedelic Therapies
(Apr 5) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

In March, MindMed scored an FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation for its LSD-D-tartrate candidate (MM120) for generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). In this piece, Josh takes a closer look at the company’s claim to have ‘eliminated’ psychotherapy from its Phase 2b study of MM120 and explores how a broader ‘Spravato-isation’ of psychedelic therapies is stoking debate around the contribution of psychotherapy (or lack thereof) in these interventions.

Magic mushrooms should be available on NHS, says Labour MP (Apr 5) ↗ The Telegraph

 “Charlotte Nichols, who has PTSD, says there is enough evidence to prescribe psilocybin therapy as mental health treatment”

Natural Medicine Advisory Bulletin 10: March 2024 (Apr 4) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha X Vicente LLP

Vicente LLP reviews the March 15th Colorado Natural Medicine Advisory Board meeting, where draft rules for Facilitator licensing and training were discussed.

Senator Kirk Cullimore on Utah’s MDMA and Psilocybin Pilot Program
(Apr 3) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

April 1st Edition of the Psychedelic News Feed
(Apr 1) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Owing to some bizarre headlines from across the psychedelics space, we have compiled a special edition of our Psychedelic News Feed.

I tried psychedelic drugs to treat my depression. Here’s what happened (Apr 7) ↗ The Times

LSD, Ecstasy, magic mushrooms coming to a clinic near you? Legalization nears for psychedelics (Apr 5) ↗ The Globe and Mail

Why Psychedelic Therapy Needs Specially Trained Therapists (Apr 2) ↗ Psychology Today


Explore more roles and join our Talent Network: ↗ Psychedelic Alpha Job Board

She had a severe brain injury—so her husband turned to an unprecedented therapy (Apr 2) ↗ National Geographic

Hot air balloon pilot had high level of ketamine in his system during crash that killed 4, toxicology report finds (Apr 4) ↗ CNN

April 12: The Therapeutic Use of Psychedelic Drugs: Legal, Policy and Neuroscientific Perspectives Symposium
 ↗ American University

Read more about the symposium, at which our Editor-at-Large Graham Pechenik will be speaking, via this American University article. Free registration is available.

March 25 - 31, 2024

Pα+ Psychedelic Bulletin #160: Mutual Recognition for MDMA-AT in the UK? Beckley Shares Cut of 5-MeO-DMT Data; and more
(Mar 29) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

ICER Draft Evidence Report on Lykos’ MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Deems Clinical Evidence “Insufficient”
(Mar 27) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

We review ICER’s draft evidence report on Lykos Therapeutics’ MDMA-AP, which finds that the publicly-available clinical evidence on the intervention is “insufficient” to inform a comparative clinical effectiveness analysis. The report also highlights clinical and ethical concerns surrounding the studies.

HPPD, the drug-induced disorder which can be brought on by psychedelic substances (Mar 29) ↗ ABC News

Compass Pathways Board Chair and Co-Founder George Goldsmith and Co-Founder Ekaterina Malievskaia Step Down from Board of Directors (Mar 28) ↗ Press Release

Special Issue on Psychedelic Therapy: A Primer for Primary Care Clinicians (Mar/Apr) ↗ American Journal of Therapeutics

atai Life Sciences Announces Positive Initial Results from Beckley Psytech’s Phase 2a Open Label Study of BPL-003 (Intranasal 5-MeO-DMT) in Treatment Resistant Depression (Mar 27) ↗ Press Release

According to the press release, a single dose of BPL-003 “demonstrated a rapid and durable antidepressant effect in TRD patients, with 45% of patients in clinical remission at week 12”.

It’s worth noting that the initial topline results represent 12 participants.

Beckley Psytech also published its own press release.

Promise, apprehension during State House hearing on psychedelics (Mar 27) ↗ Boston Globe

LSD, Ecstasy Lure Traders Betting on ‘Psychedelic Renaissance’ (Mar 28) ↗ Bloomberg

Can psychedelics with shorter yet intense experiences cure people with alcohol dependence? (Mar 27) ↗ Outsourcing Pharma

Psychedelics Design Conference (April 11, Virtual) ↗ Psychedelics Design

Tickets are priced at £20 / $25. Get 15% off, using code PsychedelicAlphaPD15 here.

No hallucination: Hundreds back magic mushrooms at Oakland psychedelic wellness conference (Mar 30) ↗ SF Chronicle

Jonathan Haidt on Religion, Psychedelics and the Anxious Generation (Mar 27) ↗ Theos

For a Firefighter Struggling With Trauma, Ketamine Therapy Offers Hope (Mar 26) ↗ NYT

For Brilliant Color: Packaging the First LSD Blotter (Mar 25) ↗ MIT Press

Many users of Oregon’s legal psilocybin program aren’t Oregonians at all (Mar 26) ↗ Oregon Live

Why are so many young people taking hallucinogens? (Mar 27) ↗ Dazed

Six Months After Opening, a Northeast Portland Shroom Center Becomes the First to Close (Mar 27) ↗ Willamette Week

Naropa University Launches Pioneering Psychedelic Minor (Mar 29) ↗ Press Release

March 18 - 24, 2024

This week’s feed is sponsored by

April 18-19, San Francisco

Discovery Sessions brings together thought leaders at the forefront of psychedelics across culture, policy, science, and conscious entrepreneurship to engage in a spirited, inclusive dialogue to envision a brighter future.

Pα+ Psychedelic Bulletin #159: Patient Access to MDMA-Assisted Therapy; Notes from SXSW; Whole Mushroom vs. Synthetic Psilocybin
(Mar 21) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Usona Institute Announces Launch of uAspire Phase 3 Clinical Trial Investigating Psilocybin for Major Depressive Disorder (Mar 20) ↗ Press Release

Visit for more information on the protocol (NCT06308653).

Fluence’s Elizabeth Nielson on Professional Education for the Psychedelics Field (Mar 19) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

A Psychedelics Reporter With a Changing Perspective (Mar 20) ↗ NYT

Magic and Medicinal: On the Pharmacological Potential of Mushrooms (Mar 20) ↗ Literary Hub

An excerpt from Molds, Mushrooms, and Medicines: Our Lifelong Relationship with Fungi by Nicholas P. Money.

Notes from the International Society for Research on Psychedelics’ 2024 Conference in New Orleans (Guest Contribution) (Mar 20) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Treat addiction with psychedelics? (Mar 22) ↗ The Harvard Gazette

Cops Demand the Right for Cops to Do Psychedelic Drugs (Mar 23) ↗ Daily Beast

VA Portland Health Care opens first-of-its-kind psychedelic medicine research center (Mar 19) ↗ Portland Business Journal

What psychedelics legalisation and decriminalisation looks like around the world (Mar 21) ↗ BBC

Through the Psychedelic Looking Glass (Mar 18) ↗ New Lines

Webinar: Breaking Down the First Draft Rules for Psychedelics in Colorado (Mar 19) ↗ reMind via LinkedIn

The psychedelic AI found (Mar 18) ↗ POLITICO

POLITICO covers Mindstate Design Labs’ IND submission for a Phase I study of 5-MeO-MiPT. 

Ibogaine, the psychedelic, unlikely to receive approval as opioid treatment, says top addiction researcher (Mar 21) ↗ STAT

“The remarks from Nora Volkow, the longtime director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, serve as a cautionary note amid widespread enthusiasm about ibogaine, a naturally occurring substance that drug companies and researchers have increasingly cast as a potential paradigm-shifting addiction treatment.”

The rise of the work drug (Mar 24) ↗ Business Insider

The Psychedelic Evangelist (Mar 21) ↗ NYT

“Get on Your Knees”—Alberta Cops Raid Home Over Ayahuasca Delivery (Mar 20) ↗ Filter

What a long, strange trip it’s been for this psychedelic library book returned 13,437 days late (Mar 19) ↗ Denver Post

March 11 - 17, 2024

Gilgamesh Scoops $14m from NIDA to Develop Safer Ibogaine Analog for Opioid Use Disorder (Mar 14) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Cybin Scores Breakthrough Therapy Designation for Deuterated Psilocybin Analog in MDD, Shares 4-Month Data (Mar 13) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

How Psychedelic Drugs Are Going Mainstream (Mar 17) ↗ Mother Jones

Kentucky should reconsider using psychedelics to treat opioid addiction, attorney general says (Mar 13) ↗ Associated Press

Ayahuasca-Using Church’s Tax Status Claim Faces Skeptical Court (Mar 11) ↗ Bloomberg

Sorry, You Probably Cannot Get MDMA Through Telehealth (Mar 12) ↗ Bill of Health

Cybin Initiates Phase 2 Proof-of-Concept Study of CYB004 in Generalized Anxiety Disorder (Mar 15) ↗ Press Release

VA-funded psychedelic therapy trials for PTSD could save lives, veteran organization says (Mar 14) ↗ FOX13

Psychedelics are about to become a casualty of Oregon’s opioid crisis (Mar 16) ↗ Vox

What Does 2024 Have in Store for Psychedelic Science? (Mar 14) ↗ Technology Networks

U.S. Psychedelic Legalization & Decriminalization Tracker (Updated March 14th) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

We have been tracking psychedelic policy reform across the United States for a number of years now. Visit the updated map today to see the latest in your state.

A Small University Goes Big on Psychedelic Therapy Training (Mar 12) ↗ Inside Higher Ed

Ketamine’s unlikely conversion from rave drug to mental health therapy (Mar 11) ↗ New Scientist

New Scientist also produced a video on the topic (15 mins).

Denver first responders to get psychedelic crisis training (Mar 13) ↗ The Denver Post

A Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Learning Framework – Open Source Learning Objectives for Practitioners ↗ Beckley Academy

Psychedelic drug ibogaine hailed as healing. U.S. patients ask why it’s illegal. (Mar 14) ↗ Washington Post

Could a psychedelic help solve Ohio’s opioid crisis? Ohio Treasurer just hired one of its biggest backers (Mar 11) ↗

Experts want Ecstasy and shrooms legalized. Government officials are behind the curve. (Mar 12) ↗ Houston Chronicle

From LSD to healing minds: Where are we standing in psychedelic drug development? (Mar 13) ↗ Labiotech

After crunching 70k ‘trip reports’, Mindstate looks to test first AI-derived psychedelic on humans (Mar 13) ↗ Fierce Biotech

Mindstate has submitted an IND to the FDA to study 5-MeO-MiPT, aka moxy, co-administered with an approved generic. The Phase I trial aims to dose five cohorts of ten healthy volunteers.

Magic Mushrooms Are Risky New Tool Touted by Executive Coaches (Mar 11) ↗ Bloomberg

Inc. also covered the story: Business Tripping: Tune In, Turn On, Drop $3.5K for a Psychedelic Weekend (Mar 12) ↗ Inc.

NSW Mental Health Minister Rose Jackson acknowledges calls for NSW to expand psilocybin, MDMA treatments (Mar 13) ↗ The West Australian

Elsewhere in Oz, Ex-Abbott minister hits out at ‘ridiculous MDMA ban’ (Mar 12) ↗ The West Australian

Congress wants the Veterans Affairs Department to lead the way in psychedelics research. (Mar 13) ↗ POLITICO

MAPS Provides Psychedelic Crisis Assessment and Intervention Training to Denver’s First Responders (Mar 11) ↗ Press Release

It’s time for California to take a more pragmatic approach to psychedelic drug policy | Opinion (Mar 14) ↗ The Sacramento Bee

Why conservative Missouri lawmakers want to legalize ‘magic mushrooms’ for veterans (Mar 14) ↗ Springfield News-Leader

Psychedelics and Mental Health: Rose Cartwright meets Ashleigh Murphy-Beiner (Mar 12) ↗ BBC Radio 4

Groundbreaking research into psychedelic therapy (Mar 15) ↗ Uppsala University

VA has $20 million for MDMA therapies, but that’s not all it needs (Mar 15) ↗ Task & Purpose

The Prophet Of Shroom (Mar 17) ↗ Forbes

March 4 - 10, 2024

FDA Hands MindMed’s LSD Candidate Breakthrough Therapy Designation in Generalised Anxiety Disorder; Company Provides 12-Week Data and Fleshes Out Phase 3 Program Plans (Mar 8) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Psychedelic drug developer MindMed has announced that the FDA has granted breakthrough therapy designation to its LSD-D-tartrate candidate (MM120) for the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). The company also shared topline 12-week data from the same program, as well as results of a pharmacokinetic bridging study and further details on phase 3 study design.

Pα+ subscribers can read our coverage here.

Pα+ Psychedelic Bulletin #158 (Mar 6) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

  • Fluence and UPRA Team Up to Bring Psychedelic Therapy Training to Ukraine
  • MindBio’s Small Open Label Microdosing Study Shows Promise in MDD
  • Biomind’s 5-MeO-DMT Study Shows Promise, But Small Sample and Unclear Protocol Temper Excitement
  • Oregon Psilocybin Services Complaints
  • Further Reading & Other Stories

Read the latest Issue.

Psychedelic news: The government finally fast-tracked LSD as an anxiety treatment (Mar 7) ↗ Fast Company

Colorado issues draft rules for psychedelic industry’s healing centers (Mar 7) ↗ Axios

How Psychedelics Could Help Soldiers Overcome Trauma (Mar 10) ↗ TIME

Powerful Psychedelic Gains Renewed Attention as a Treatment for Opioid Addiction (Mar 5) ↗ New York Times

Prominent At-Home Ketamine Co. Founder, Juan Pablo Cappello, Sounds Alarm, Withdraws Support for the Practice (Mar 4) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

One of the at-home ketamine industry’s biggest boosters has turned bearish, calling for caution among patients and providers and withdrawing his endorsement of the practice. Here, we take a closer look at the case study that changed Cappello’s mind as well as broader concerns around at-home ketamine operators, and we speak with Cappello himself.

atai Life Sciences Announces First Participant Dosed in Phase 1b Trial of VLS-01 (Mar 4) ↗ Press Release

Readers might remember that atai shared topline results from a Phase 1 study of the candidate back in October 2023, finding the oral transmucosal film (OTF) formulation to be “well-tolerated with a favorable safety profile”. However, the company announced it would “further optimize” the candidate in preparation for a Phase 2 study in treatment-resistant depression.

As such, this Phase 1b study will compare an improved OTF formulation of the candidate with IV. The improvements include taste masking, a backing layer, “and enhancements to further increase permeability.”

For reference, atai dosed the very first subject with VLS-01 in Q4 2022.

Vancouver to reinstate business licence of illegal magic mushroom dispensary (Mar 5) ↗ Vancouver Sun

“At a business licence hearing Tuesday, a three-person panel approved a motion asking staff to reinstate the licence with terms that clarify the business is involved in education and advocacy of medicinal psychoactive substances.”

“We opened the door now, just a crack, but it’s only going to get bigger”, said Dana Larsen.

On March 7th, Vancouver Sun columnist Dan Fumano wrote a piece titled, “Dan Fumano: Psychedelics are illegal — and Vancouver police say criminal charges could be coming”.

China’s emerging psychedelic scene looks a lot like Silicon Valley (Mar 6) ↗ Vox

Ego tripping: Why do psychedelics “enlighten” some people — and make others giant narcissists? (Mar 8) ↗ Salon

Bay Staters for Natural Medicine Co-Founder, James Davis, on Grassroots Psychedelic Policy Reform, a Community-based Facilitator Network, and the Corporatisation of Psychedelics (Mar 8) ↗ Psychedelic Alpha

Psychedelics, Solid Tumors Will Be Key Focuses for Investors in 2024 (Mar 6) ↗ BioSpace

Marketing magic: How influencers are helping sell psychedelics to social media masses (Mar 4) ↗ The Denver Post

Hidden trauma: Do psychedelics reveal memories or create fake ones? (Mar 4) ↗ Big Think

Psychedelic Lobbying and Regulatory Capture (Mar 4) ↗ Bill of Health

Do you have experience conducting psychedelic-assisted therapy outside of the research setting? You may be eligible to participate in a new study from Imperial College London’s Centre for Psychedelic Research. Learn more and participate.

Leading psychedelic trainer Ben Sessa suspended over relationship with vulnerable former patient (Mar 6) ↗ ABC News

Cleveland Clinic Expands Psychedelic Research and Launches First Psilocybin Trial in Northeast Ohio (Mar 6) ↗ Cleveland Clinic

Bringing Neuroplastogens to the Window: Q&A With Delix CEO Mark Rus (Mar 5) ↗ Pharma Executive

Who will staff the psychedelic resurgence? (Mar 7) ↗ Open Access Government

Were Plato and Dante munching on magic mushrooms? Probably (Mar 8) ↗ The Standard

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