Psychedelic-inspired molecule in testing for treatment of opioid addiction

Psychedelic-inspired molecule in testing for treatment of opioid addiction

A neuro-pharmaceutical company known for its psychedelic-inspired medicines is ready to begin human testing of one of its products for the treatment of opioid use disorder.

Mind Medicine, the leading neuro-pharmaceutical company for psychedelic-inspired medicines, is scheduled to begin Phase 2 trials on 18-MC, a proprietary, non-hallucinogenic molecule, in late 2020. Based on the psychedelic ibogaine, 18-MC has shown promise in the treatment of opioid use disorder, the company said in a press release.

Ibogaine is an indole alkaloid found in the root bark of a West African shrub. Currently, the drug is considered a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Schedule 1 narcotic.

But since the 1860s, the drug has been used in Western medicine to treat fever, toothache, and high blood pressure. More recently, ibogaine has become a part of an ongoing debate in addiction treatment circles over its use in treating opioid use disorder.

MindMed’s 18-MC is an alpha-3-beta-4 nicotinic receptor antagonist that modulates dopamine fluctuations in the brain. Synthetic and non-hallucinogenic, 18-MC is designed around the chemical backbone of several plant-based medicinal compounds, like ibogaine. MindMed said 18-MC was designed to work like those plant-based drugs, but also to be anti-addictive and non-hallucinogenic.