Five governments around the world are now funding psychedelics research

More governments around the world are seeing the potential of psychedelics in treating large swaths of their population, and have begun to anty up on the bet of better mental health wellness using psychedelics. Here’s a quick look at what is happening not just in the U.S., but in four other countries as well.

– Australia. The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), January, 2022, a $15 million grant (Australian dollars). Seven clinical trials testing the use of potential breakthrough combination therapies to treat debilitating mental illnesses will receive a grant from the Australian MRFF. The seven projects awarded funding under the government’s Innovative Therapies for Mental Illness Grant will accelerate global efforts to find new treatments for mental illness by supporting Australian-led research into the safety and efficacy of these drugs compared to standard therapies when used in controlled conditions and accompanied by psychotherapy. The largest of the grants, more than $3.8 million, will go to a research team at the University of Melbourne for a trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treatment resistant social anxiety in young adults with autism spectrum disorder.

– Canada: The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Spring, 2022, a $3 million grant (Canadian dollars). The CIHR announced the launch of the “Operating Grant: Psilocybin-assisted Psychotherapy for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Funding Opportunity.” This funding opportunity is led by CIHR’s Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA) with funding provided by the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy (CDSS). The focus of the grant is to support phase 1 or 2 clinical trial research into the safety and early efficacy of using psilocybin, in combination with a psychotherapy, to treat substance use and mental health disorders.

– Germany: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), November, 2020, a $2 million grant (Euro dollars). The first psilocybin depression study in Germany since the 1970s will be a phase 2b two-center study that will investigate the safety and efficacy of psilocybin in a controlled, randomized double-blind design. The study expects to have 144 participants. It will be conducted study at the Central Institute for Mental Health in Mannheim together with the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at Charité Campus Berlin Mitte and the Mind Foundation.

– United Kingdom. The National Institute of Health and Care Research, September, 2020, a £1,135,984 grant (English pounds). Multiple controlled clinical trials are being done at the Psychedelic Trials Group at the Centre for Affective Disorders at King’s College London. It’s a single center clinical trial to evaluate the feasibility, safety and efficacy of psilocybin, given under supportive conditions, in a randomized, blinded design in adult participants with treatment resistant major depressive disorder. The NIHCR, the country’s largest funder of health and care research, is funding the Psilocybin in Depression Resistant to Standard Treatments study, recruiting now for their work through 2022. 

– U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), October, 2021, a $4 million grant. Johns Hopkins Medicine was awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to explore the potential impacts of psilocybin on tobacco addiction. Johns Hopkins Medicine will lead the multisite, three-year study in collaboration with University of Alabama at Birmingham and New York University. The study will be conducted simultaneously at the three institutions to diversify the pool of participants and increase confidence that results apply to a wide range of people who smoke. The grant is funded by NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Dave Hodes

David Hodes is a business journalist based in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. He has contributed feature articles to several cannabis and psychedelics publications, as well as general business/lifestyle publications, on a variety of topics. Hodes was selected as 2018 Journalist of the Year by Americans for Safe Access. He is a member of the National Press Club, and the deputy booking agent for the National Press Club Headliners Committee.

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