New Research Shows Ketamine May be Able to Treat Mood Disorders

Psychedelics, like ketamine could be key to revolutionizing mental health. In fact, according to medical university, Karolinska Institutet, “In a new study, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have further investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying ketamine's antidepressant effects. Using experiments on both cells and mice, the researchers were able to show that ketamine reduced so-called presynaptic activity and the persistent release of the neurotransmitter glutamate.” In addition, “Elevated glutamate release has been linked to stress, depression and other mood disorders, so lowered glutamate levels may explain some of the effects of ketamine," says Per Svenningsson, professor at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, and the study’s last author. While further research will be needed, such news could be a major catalyst for companies such as NeonMind Biosciences (CSE:NEON)(OTC:NMDBF), Mind Medicine Inc. (NEO:MMED)(NASDAQ:MNMD), Cybin Inc. (NEO:CYBN)(OTC:CLXPF), Compass Pathways (NASDAQ:CMPS), and Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE:TRYP)(OTC:TRYPF).

NeonMind Biosciences is Strengthening its Specialty Clinics Advisory Board with Appointment of Mood Disorders and Ketamine Expert Dr. Gustavo Vazquez, MD, PhD.

NeonMind Biosciences (CSE:NEON)(OTC:NMDBF) an integrated drug development and wellness company focused on the potential therapeutic uses of psilocybin for treating obesity and weight management conditions, announced today that it has appointed Dr. Gustavo Vazquez, MD, PhD, a Professor of Psychiatry at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and a noted expert in mood disorders and ketamine utilization, to its Specialty Clinics Advisory Board.

In his role on NeonMind’s Specialty Clinics Advisory board, Dr. Vazquez will leverage his considerable expertise in organizing and managing ketamine clinics to support NeonMind as it develops its company-branded, specialty clinics network to increase patient access to evidence-backed effective treatments including ketamine.

Dr. Vazquez is a global expert in utilizing ketamine for the treatment of mood disorders. He started his career in 1996 in Argentina and was first appointed as Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the University of Buenos Aires and then as Associate Professor at the University of Palermo in 1998. In 2002, he became Professor of Neuroscience and through his expertise, founded and directed the Department of Neuroscience and the Research Center on Neuroscience and Clinical Neuropsychology in 2011.

He was appointed Professor of Psychiatry at Queen’s University in 2016 and is currently working at the Mood Disorders Research and Treatment Service at Providence Care where he is the clinical lead of the Ketamine Clinic which has provided over 400 treatments since inception. Based on his success in treating patients, he has also published a seminal book, “Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression: Neurobiology and Applications”. His current research is focused on the study of the clinical features, neurocognitive characteristics and pharmacological treatments of unipolar depression and bipolar disorders.

He is actively involved in the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) and the Canadian Biomarker Integration Network for Depression (CAN-BIND) as both a co-author of their guidelines and as a researcher. Over the course of his career, he has published over 140 different articles in leading international peer reviewed journals, three books (on Neuroscience, Affective Disorders and Ketamine), twenty-two book chapters and has presented his work and research in several international meetings and congresses around the world. He holds research grants from multiple funding agencies, covering studies in clinical treatments in depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental disorders and has conducted clinical trials studying the uses of ketamine, esketamine and neurostimulation for mood disorders. He is a Fellow and active member of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada and has won numerous awards in leading psychiatric societies and defended a PhD in Psychiatry and Neuroscience.

“It is an honor to have Dr. Vazquez join our Specialty Clinics Advisory Board. His research on ketamine for mood disorders and treatment resistant depression is highly regarded in the medical community. His depth of knowledge and experience leading clinical operations at Providence Care’s Ketamine Clinic will be invaluable in supporting the development and launch of NeonMind’s specialty clinics network in bringing innovative treatments to patients and communities in need,” said Robert Tessarolo, President & CEO of NeonMind.

On ketamine as a treatment option for mood disorders, Dr. Vazquez said, “The clinical response we are seeing with ketamine treatment is unprecedented. This is truly a transformational treatment when administered to the appropriate patient following our treatment protocols and we are seeing robust effectiveness and our program experience deems it to be a safe treatment. From a healthcare perspective, it is important and valuable to find ways to enhance access to these treatments including access in the community. I look forward to working with NeonMind in developing their network of interventional psychiatry clinics.”

Other related developments from around the markets include:

Mind Medicine Inc., a leading biotech company developing psychedelic-inspired therapies, and BioXcel Therapeutics, Inc., a leading clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, announced the publication of BioXcel’s International Patent Application No. PCT/US2020/051256 (published as WO2021055595) for detecting and preventing the early onset of agitation in patients predisposed to highly agitated behaviour. The disclosure provides a method for measuring the signs of an impending agitation event and alerts the caregiver to treat the subject before agitation symptoms arise.

Cybin Inc. announced that it has filed two additional international patent applications that bring the potential to obtain patent coverage in 153 countries for each of the patent applications. The application, governed by the Patent Cooperation Treaty, grants the Company the right to file future national applications into treaty member jurisdictions, including important potential markets for the Company. The PCTs claim a library of phenethylamine and derivative drug development candidates and methods of use.

Compass Pathways, a mental health care company dedicated to accelerating patient access to evidence-based innovation in mental health, announced that it has acquired an intellectual property (IP) portfolio including patent applications covering a variety of psychedelic and empathogenic substances. The IP was developed together with inventor Matthias Grill PhD, founder and CEO of MiHKAL GmbH in Basel, Switzerland, who will be working with COMPASS on an exclusive research project to develop new product candidates.

Tryp Therapeutics Inc., a pharmaceutical company focused on developing psilocybin-based compounds for diseases with unmet medical needs, announced it has completed the training of psychotherapists for its upcoming Phase 2a clinical trial using synthetic psilocybin in combination with psychotherapy for over-eating disorders.  The training was conducted by Fluence, which is led by researchers and psychotherapists with direct experience in psychedelic clinical trials and is the foremost provider of psychotherapeutic training for health professionals that are administering psychedelic compounds to patients. 

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