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First-ever research centre for psychedelic drug therapy is opening in Australia

The Pschae Institute will look at the benefits of psychedelics in medicine

  • Safi Bugel
  • 4 August 2021
First-ever research centre for psychedelic drug therapy is opening in Australia

A first-of-its-kind research centre for psychedelic drug therapy is opening in Melbourne, Australia.

Launched by a global team of researchers from organisations including King’s College London, University of Toronto and the University of Zurich, the Psychae Institute will be responsible for developing psychedelic medicines to treat mental health disorders and other medical conditions.

The institute will operate on a not-for-profit basis.

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Pre-clinical and clinical studies of psychedelics will take place, advancing research on products including those inspired by ayahuasca, a South American psychoactive plant medicine combination.

The centre will also explore a number of emerging treatments for mental health disorders, including some that use magic mushrooms, MDMA and other substances.

Development of psychedelic medicine is scheduled to begin this year, whilst clinical studies are to follow in 2022.

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Currently, there are calls for more advanced therapies with less side effects for those with mental health disorders.

The team behind Pschae Institute hope to make new developments in the field, such as establishing psychedelic medicines as registered treatments which are offered to patients within national health services.

Daniel Perkins, Co-Director Associate Professor of the organisation said:

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"It's an exciting time for research into psychedelics, with a growing body of rigorous scientific evidence indicating that these substances may provide a potent new class of treatments for mental health disorders and possibly other medical conditions.

"Today, many people with mental health conditions are becoming aware of this research and in desperation are accessing black market psilocybin, or flying to countries like Peru to use ayahuasca in non-clinical settings.

"The significant opportunity for us at Psychae Institute is to meaningfully increase the scientific and clinical evidence supporting the safe use of these compounds as therapies to eventually achieve drug registration with global regulators including the US Food and Drug Administration."

Safi Bugel is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

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