FDA Greenlights University Research of Filament Psychedelic Drug

The FDA gave the nod to the University of Washington and UCLA.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted two major U.S. universities approval to study the effects of the psychedelic drug PEX010 on mental health conditions.

Vancouver-based drug developer Filament Health (OTCQB: FLHLF) is spearheading the initiative. The drug is derived from psilocybin, a naturally occurring compound found in certain mushroom species.

The University of Washington School of Medicine is looking into the potential of PEX010 in treating anxiety related to cancer, particularly in patients with advanced stages of the disease. Preliminary evidence suggests that combining group therapy with psilocybin could yield notable benefits. The study, already in progress, has commenced treatment for five patients.

In a statement, Dr. Anthony Back, the lead researcher for the University of Washington trial, noted the importance of alternative treatments.

“For patients with metastatic cancer, unrelieved anxiety and existential distress cause profound suffering,” Back said. “Existing therapies are unsatisfactory, and psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy has shown promise in treating the anxiety experienced by people living with cancer.”

Meanwhile, at the University of California, Los Angeles’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, researchers are exploring the synergy between psilocybin and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression treatment.

Led by Dr. Marc Weintraub, assistant professor of psychiatry, the study will examine whether psilocybin can enhance the outcomes of CBT by promoting cognitive flexibility and boosting motivation.

Filament isn’t selling any products for medical or recreational use right now. But it has signed several deals and holds ongoing partnerships connected to licensing its knowledge on producing extracts for clinical trials.

If the drugs are successfully brought to the market, Filament could receive ongoing payments and fees, providing a long-term income source.

Adam Jackson

Adam Jackson writes about the cannabis industry for the Green Market Report. He previously covered the Missouri Statehouse for the Columbia Missourian and has written for the Missouri Independent. He most recently covered retail, restaurants and other consumer companies for Bloomberg Business News. You can find him on Twitter at @adam_sjackson and email him at adam.jackson@crain.com.

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