An Australian psychedelic therapy company has partnered with a university in Melbourne for a large-scale clinical trial on psilocybin with the goal of combatting treatment-resistant depression.
On Monday, Swinburne University of Technology announced that it had signed a AUD$5 million clinical trial agreement with Sydney’s Woke Pharmaceuticals.
The psilocybin drug candidate for the study, designated as WP002, is a rapid-release tablet developed by Woke Pharma. Enrolment for the trial is expected to begin mid-way through this year and the two parties involved expect that there will be approximately 160 participants.
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According to Woke and Swinburne, this is the largest clinical trial on psilocybin in Australia’s history.
“I am excited to be leading this trial. We have the opportunity to make a substantial difference and for Australia to lead the way in psychedelics research,” said Lead Researcher, Professor Susan Rossell.
“Psychedelics could transform the landscape of treatments for many psychiatric disorders, including major depression,” she added.
Rossell is a cognitive neuropsychologist at Swinburne’s Centre for Mental Health.
Woke Pharmaceuticals‘ Director and CEO Nick Woolf also conveyed his enthusiasm for the upcoming study.
“This trial will inform the further development and potential registration of WP002 psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy as an effective treatment approach for patients living with this debilitating condition,” said Woolf.
“In addition, the trial will investigate the potential economic benefits to the healthcare system and society from durable remission of depression.”
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Australia has been a significant contributor to psychedelic research in recent years
Last August for example, Lobe Sciences Ltd. (CSE: LOBE) (OTCQB: LOBEF) began clinical trials in the country on two of its psilocin analogues (active ingredient in psilocybin) and the Australian government was able to provide the company with a 43.5 per cent rebate on expenditures related to the study through its Research and Development Tax Incentive program.
Earlier last year in January a team of scientists at the University of Sydney received approximately $2.8 million in government funding to study MDMA for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use disorder.
In 2021, Australia’s Medical Research Future Fund organized a $14.5 million grant for psychedelic research and clinical trials.