5-MeO-DMT is a potent and fast-acting psychedelic, which is naturally produced by the Sonoran Desert toad as well as some species of plants.
Its short duration –from 20 minutes to one hour– is giving hope to researchers and executives in the psychedelics space who are seeking an alternative to the otherwise lengthy treatment sessions of psilocybin and MDMA.
Beckley Psytech, a British psychedelics research company and the for-profit arm of the Beckley Foundation, is advancing a research program on 5-MeO-DMT that involves a phase 1 clinical trial and development of a synthetic formulation of the substance.
Led by legendary psychedelics researcher and activist Amanda Feilding, the Beckley Foundation was launched in the late 90s as an initiative to prompt drug policy reform and scientific research into psychoactive substances.
In 2020, Beckley Psytech raised over £17 million ($24 million) to fund the 5-MeO-DMT research program.
CEO Cosmo Feilding Mellen told Benzinga that the first goal of the company is to apply an intranasal formulation in the treatment of depression and eventually move over to other mental health indications.
Why 5-MeO-DMT? From “Toad Venom” To Psychiatric Treatment
Feilding Mellen is very bullish on psychedelics-assisted psychotherapy as a potential treatment for a wide variety of mental health disorders. Today, MDMA and psilocybin remain the most researched molecules in the clinical trial pipeline.
Yet the executive fears that the resources needed to apply psilocybin and MDMA treatment could be greater than today’s mental health infrastructure can handle.
“The challenge that will be faced, we foresee, is in the patient access side of the treatment,” Feilding Mellen said.
Regardless of the clinical success of psilocybin, LSD and MDMA, he argues that requiring one or even two therapists to accompany a patient throughout an 8 to 10-hour session (recommended by research protocols) is very resource-intensive for an already overworked and undersupplied mental health workforce.
“That's going to potentially pose a major …