A new study undertaken by experts at John Hopkins University School of Medicine has revealed that taking psychedelics can have the same transformational effects as a near-death experience (NDE). The study examined the NDEs of over 3,000 persons who reported changes in their attitude toward death following a psychedelic encounter or a near-death experience. Psilocybin (the primary element in magic mushrooms) and ayahuasca, a South American beverage containing the natural hallucinogen DMT, were among the four psychedelic drugs studied. People in the study described both drug and NDE experiences that gave them a more positive attitude about death, with less fear. People reported considerable improvements in psychological insight, well-being, and life purpose. Recent research also suggests that psychedelics can aid in the treatment of depression and anxiety, as well as lead to an increase in emotional well-being. Numinus Wellness (TSX:NUMI) (OTCQX:NUMIF), HCA Healthcare (NYSE:HCA), Bright Minds Biosciences (NASDAQ:DRUG) (CSE:DRUG), LifeStance Health Group (NASDAQ:LFST), and Acadia Healthcare (NASDAQ:ACHC) are working on developing psychedelic-based treatments.
Numinus Wellness Inc. (TSX:NUMI) (OTCQX:NUMIF) is a mental health care firm dedicated to advancing innovative mental health care and safe, evidence-based psychedelic-assisted therapies. Numinus provides a wide range of mental healthcare treatments, from counseling and therapy to Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), ketamine-assisted, and, when approved through Canada’s Special Access Programme, psychedelic-assisted therapy.
Numinus just announced that its research division, Numinus Bioscience, has developed a psilocybin-containing tea bag to be used in clinical research and, if the appropriate regulatory approvals are granted, for the eventual treatment of clients in psychedelic-assisted therapy.
The Psilocybe tea bag, which was designed to deliver 25 mg per dose of Numinus’ validated strain Psilocybe cubensis, will be studied in a Phase 1 trial with the goal to be used in Numinus’ research, including trial partnerships at the company’s clinical trial management division, Cedar Clinical Research. The new product has also been submitted to Health Canada to be included on the psilocybin supplier list for the federal Special Access Program (SAP), which allows health care providers to provide psychedelic-assisted therapies to patients with demonstrable need.
“Numinus recognizes that solid therapeutic products, such as whole mushrooms or pills, might be unappealing or difficult to use by certain populations, such as some people receiving palliative care for serious illnesses,” said Numinus’ Chief Science Officer Dr. Paul Thielking. “This new product is part of our commitment to increasing accessibility to psychedelic-assisted therapies for those in need, while contributing to the growing research that suggests psilocybin use in combination with therapy may be highly effective for treating mental health disorders.”
On September 22, Numinus Wellness announced the opening of a new clinic in Montreal to replace an existing facility in the downtown area. The new Plateau location will be able to treat more people with ketamine and provide a broader choice of ketamine-assisted therapy alternatives.
“Numinus recognizes that people in Montreal can benefit from having more treatment options, including ketamine,” said Payton Nyquvest, Numinus Founder and CEO. “Expanding our services here is another important step towards improving access to best-in-class and innovative mental healthcare in Quebec, while continuing to expand our clientele and market presence.”
Numinus currently runs 13 clinics in Canada and the U.S., including locations in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Arizona, and Utah. These clinics offer a wide range of services, from mental health therapy to neurologic care, and Ketamine-assisted therapy.
Health Companies Make Changes to Their Teams
HCA Healthcare (NYSE:HCA) announced on September 13 that President of Service Line and Operations Integration Bruce Moore will retire after working for the company for 40 years. Moore is in charge of HCA Healthcare‘s care network, which has grown a lot since he took over. This includes a platform for mental health services with more than 50 facilities, about 70 inpatient rehabilitation facilities, more than 30 comprehensive stroke programs, one of the largest ambulatory surgery networks in the country, and a large provider outreach and telemedicine program. Moore also managed the creation of specialized support across numerous important service lines and the acquisition of Sarah Cannon Research Institute, a national leader in cancer research and medication development. Moore’s replacement is being sought.
Bright Minds Biosciences (NASDAQ:DRUG) (CSE:DRUG) announced on September 7 that Doug Williamson has been appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors. As an independent director, Dr. Williamson will be a part of the Compensation, Nominating and Corporate Governance, and Audit Committees. Dr. Alan Kozikowski also quit the Board at the same time. In addition, Bright Minds announced in August that it has given its lead product, BMB-101, to the first patient in a Phase I trial (NCT 05397041) to treat Dravet. CMAX Clinical Research, a clinical trial centre specializing in early-phase trials and first-time-in-human studies, is running the Phase I trial in Adelaide, Australia. BMB-101 is a 5-HT2C selective and biassed agonist from the next generation. It has strong behavioural and preclinical pharmacology and safety data and could be the best drug in its class. In well-tested, accurate animal models, BMB-101 reduced both the number and severity of epileptic seizures by a significant amount.
LifeStance Health Group (NASDAQ:LFST) appointed Ken Burdick as the new CEO and Chairman of the company on September 7. Burdick will take over for Michael Lester, who has been the company’s founder and CEO/Chairman since 2017 and will leave his position. Lester will still work for the company as a Strategic Advisor. LifeStance helps kids, teens, and adults with a wide range of mental health problems get a treatment that is evidence-based, affordable, and based on medical science. It does this both in person and through its digital health telemedicine service. LifeStance has a network of over 5,000 clinicians working in 32 states and about 600 centres. They provide state-of-the-art clinical excellence in a safe and caring environment.
On September 15, Acadia Healthcare (NASDAQ:ACHC) and Thomas Jefferson University announced that Acadia’s Belmont Behavioral Health Hospital has signed a formal affiliation agreement with Thomas Jefferson University’s Sidney Kimmel Medical College and Jefferson Health in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to give students in behavioural healthcare more chances to learn and get hands-on care. On September 14, Acadia Healthcare announced that some of the acute care mental health hospitals in its network will participate in a registration-directed trial to study people with suicidal thoughts and behaviour who have major depression. Seelos Therapeutics is sponsoring this study for its investigational drug SLS-002. Acadia hospitals that satisfy the clinical trial site participation criteria will be able to recruit eligible patients in this research who exhibit specific symptoms and meet the enrollment conditions.
Numinus Wellness (TSX:NUMI) (OTCQX:NUMIF) recently started to provide ketamine-assisted therapy to patients suffering from neurologic disorders in Toronto. The Neurology Centre of Toronto in Forest Hill will provide treatment.
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