Popular antidepressants may enhance the efficacy of the classical psychedelic DMT when given to patients suffering from major depressive disorder, according to a new study by the British biotechnology company Small Pharma Inc. (TSXV: DMT) (OTCQB: DMTTF).
On Wednesday, the company announced the results from its Phase Ib study investigating the interaction between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and SPL026, a native N, N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT). The study revealed that by the fourth week, all patients taking SSRIs responded to DMT with 92 per cent in remission from depression.
Previous studies required patients to discontinue their SSRI treatment before receiving SPL026, which often resulted in a disruptive experience for patients. This new study aimed to address this limitation and assess the safety and efficacy of co-administering SPL026 alongside SSRIs, which are the current standard of care for MDD.
The study involved 171 patients with moderate to severe MDD, divided into two cohorts, one with SSRIs and the other without SSRIs.
Results revealed that SPL026 was well-tolerated by all patients, with no serious drug-related adverse events reported. A small number of mild to moderate drug-related adverse events were observed, and most resolved during the dosing visit. These findings indicate the safety and tolerability of combining SPL026 with SSRIs.
The most significant and exciting outcome of the study was observed in terms of efficacy. While SPL026 demonstrated antidepressant effects in both cohorts, the SSRI Cohort exhibited a notably greater magnitude of improvement compared to the non-SSRI cohort.
The study suggests the combination potentially provides a more effective treatment option for MDD patients who have previously struggled to find relief.
Small Pharma’s approach may eliminate the need for patients to withdraw from SSRIs, thus streamlining the clinical development pathway and potentially providing earlier access to this treatment.
While these results are promising, further research and clinical trials will be necessary to validate and expand upon these findings.
Small Pharma stock fell by 5.88 per cent on Wednesday to $0.16 on the Canadian Ventures Exchange.