A pharmaceutical psychedelics company has reportedly discovered an antidote to LSD which has the ability to act as an “off-switch” for a hallucinogenic trip. The discovery of the novel compound was announced last week by MindMed, which has filed for patent protection for the medication that could play a role in the emerging field of psychedelic therapy.
MindMed developed the new compound in conjunction with Dr. Matthias Liechti and the Liechti Laboratory, a research facility studying the pharmacology of psychoactive substances at the University of Basel in Switzerland. MindMed co-founder and co-CEO JR Rahn said in a press release that the collaboration with the Liechti Lab would further new advancements in psychedelic therapy.
“The innovative and original work of the Liechti Laboratory is a treasure trove of novel data on LSD,” Rahn said. “We are just at the beginning of several significant discoveries that have the potential to further the application of psychedelics as therapeutic medicines. If developed, these discoveries will benefit both patients and therapists working in the psychedelic medicine space.”
Off-Switch For A Bad Trip
As the potential therapeutic uses of LSD and psychedelic drugs are studied, researchers and patients alike are wary of the possibility of an intensely uncomfortable experience, or ‘bad trip.’ With a compound such as the one developed by MindMed available as an antidote to LSD, therapists would have a tool to control the length of a session and end it quickly if necessary.
“The novel concept is to reduce the duration of action and the effect intensity of a psychedelic in high doses, for example, in cases where panic develops or in overdoses and after the hallucinogen has been ingested,” Liechti wrote to New Atlas in an email. “The rapidity of the effect will depend on the specifics of the formulation that is being tested and developed.”
MindMed has filed a U.S. patent application for “a neutralizer technology intended to shorten and stop the effects of an LSD trip during a therapy session.” Although the company believes that long-known psychedelic compounds themselves should remain in the public domain, MindMed co-founder and co-CEO Stephen Hurst said that novel medications that are developed for use in conjunction with them should be eligible for patent protection.
“MindMed believes that true innovations will always be protectable, which is why MindMed is committed to investing in novel research and proprietary data around LSD and other psychedelics,” said. “We believe this latest invention is a good example of the work we will seek to patent and we remain committed to understanding how pharmaceutical ingredients, novel methods of manufacture, new uses of older medications, proprietary formulations and surprising experimental results can benefit patients.”
MindMed and the Liechti Lab plan to continue their research and development of proprietary compounds for the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs under a multi-year exclusive partnership announced earlier this month.