$80 million has been set aside to study the psychedelic effects of ingesting toad venom.
Toad venom is gaining popularity as a viable anxiety and depression treatment. A research team is now studying the venom of Colorado river toads, commonly known as Sonoran Desert toads, to determine if the chemical molecule 5-MeO-DMT can be used to treat depression.
Beckley Psytech, a private clinical-stage biotech business based in Oxford dedicated to developing new psychedelic medicines for neurological and psychiatric illnesses, recently raised approximately $80 million in funding from investors to fund clinical research and development of the psychedelic substance.
In a press statement, Beckley Psytech Chief Executive Cosmo Fielding Mellen remarked, “My life’s goal has been to unlock the therapeutic potential of psychedelics because I believe these chemicals could help millions of people around the world.”
Fielding Mellen stated, “As we enter our next phase of expansion, our strong syndicate of professional investors will support us in offering much-needed novel medicines to patients suffering from neurological and mental diseases.”
Researchers have been exploring numerous psychedelic substances in recent years to determine if they may be used to treat depression, addiction, and anxiety. Ketamine, ecstasy, and psilocybin, a hallucinogenic substance present in some mushrooms, are the focus of current research into psychedelics for depression treatment.
Although the discovery is encouraging, scientists want to investigate additional psychoactive substances that produce a much shorter high. The high from psilocybin can last up to eight hours, but the chemical found in toad venom lasts about an hour. Because guided psilocybin excursions require a therapist to stay with the patient until the high ends, which can take up to eight hours, this would lower the cost of treatment.
“Requiring a therapist to sit with a patient for the entire duration of a psilocybin, MDMA, or LSD encounter, say, six to eight to ten hours,” Fielding Mellen told Sifted.
“What we’re attempting to establish is that we can get similar degrees of treatment response with 5-MeO-DMT as we do with psilocybin, but it just takes an hour instead of a day. If you can achieve it, you’ll have a significant edge in terms of patient access,” Fielding Mellen said.
5-MeO-DMT, according to Fielding Mellen, is also appealing as a novel compound. This is a condensed version of the information.