MindMed to Study Potential ‘Off Switch’ for LSD

MindMed to Study Potential ‘Off Switch’ for LSD

Psychedelic medicine biotech firm MindMed has announced it has begun a study for a “neutralizer” technology that could shorten and stop the effects of an LSD trip during therapy, paving the way for an “emergency shut-off switch” for psychedelic-assisted therapy.

The company is collaborating with University Hospital Basel’s Liechti Lab on a Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate the effect of ketanserin on the acute response to LSD in health subjects after administration. Study participants will receive either 40 mg of ketanserin or a placebo one hour after taking LSD. Previous studies have demonstrated that ketanserin can almost completely prevent the acute effects of LSD when taken prior to LSD administration. The MindMed study seeks to determine whether the LSD experience can be cut short by ketanserin administration once psychedelic effects have fully established.

“One of the many fears and stigmas associated with psychedelics are rare happenings of ‘bad trips’,” MindMed executive president Miri Halperin Wernli, PhD, said in a news release. “We are seeking to equip therapists and other medical professionals with the resources and technology to better control the effects of dosing LSD, and other 5-HT2A agonists such as psilocybin, in a clinical setting to improve the patient experience and outcomes. This advancement could pave the way for greater therapeutic applications of LSD to really allow our brain to reach states of complexity beyond that which it has ever experienced in normal daily life.”

The study is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

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