Diamond Therapeutics Signs Agreement with McGill University for Research on Low-Dose LSD
TORONTO, Feb. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ - Diamond Therapeutics Inc. ("Diamond"), a leading psychedelic drug development company focused on low-dose therapies for mental health, has entered into an agreement with McGill University for the exclusive use of Dr. Gabriella Gobbi's groundbreaking studies with lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), its mechanism of action on the brain, and its potential for use at low doses in the treatment of mental health disorders.
The agreement provides Diamond with access to the technology, data and intellectual property developed by Dr. Gobbi and postdoctoral fellow Danilo De Gregorio, PharmD, Ph.D. and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. The work investigates for the first time the mechanism of action behind LSD's effect on social interactions. The findings suggest that psychedelics could play a role in treating diseases characterized by social impairment, such as autism spectrum disorder and social anxiety disorder.
"The studies we are conducting bring us closer to a fundamental understanding of how psychedelic compounds affect mood, cognition and social behaviour, providing a foundation that is crucial to drug development," Dr. Gobbi explained. "I'm thrilled to initiate this collaboration with Diamond, which promises to pave the way towards the translation of our discoveries into innovative clinical strategies."
Diamond will also be working on a series of research studies in collaboration with Dr. Gobbi's laboratory. "We're honoured to be working together and view this as the starting point for a long and productive partnership," said Judith Blumstock, Chief Executive Officer of Diamond. "Dr. Gobbi's work is expected to provide valuable preclinical and clinical data and intellectual property. Advancing this research could further Diamond's pursuit of low-dose, sub-perceptual, psychedelic-derived medicines that are safer and more effective for patients than the current first-line treatments."
Dr. Gobbi will act as a consultant to Diamond and is expected to provide input into the company's preclinical and clinical programs. "Dr. Gobbi's combination of extensive research expertise and clinical insights make her a perfect addition," said Diamond's Scientific Advisory Chair, Dr. Edward Sellers.
"Working with commercial partners such as Diamond Therapeutics is an important step in realizing the benefits of research for society," said Mark Weber, Director of the Office of Innovation and Partnerships at McGill. "Our team is proud to play an important role in facilitating these relationships, and we look forward to more of them."
The Office of Innovation and Partnerships and McGill's neuroscience accelerator, NeuroSphere, were instrumental in forming the partnership between Diamond and McGill, which comes at a time of urgent need for the next generation of mental health drugs. The World Health Organization estimates that depression affects more than 250 million people worldwide, while anxiety is the most prevalent mental health disorder in the United States, affecting more than 40 million adults. Existing treatments, including SSRIs, have low efficacy (<50%) and many side effects but are expected to surpass a market size of US$ 75.7 billion by 2027.
"Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) promotes social behavior through mTORC1 in the excitatory neurotransmission," by D. De Gregorio, N. Sonenberg, G. Gobbi, et al, was published in PNAS on January 25, 2020. Doi: 10.1073/pnas.2020705118
Diamond Therapeutics is a psychedelic drug development company based in Toronto. Our mission is to develop new and better therapies for mental health conditions by unlocking the promise of psychedelic compounds. Diamond is focused on sub-perceptual, non-hallucinogenic treatments that hold potential for use across a broad patient cohort — maximizing the positive impact better drugs can have on the global mental health crisis. To learn more about Diamond, visit www.diamondthera.com.
About McGill University
Founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 1821, McGill is a leading Canadian post-secondary institution. It has two campuses, 11 faculties, 11 professional schools, 300 programs of study and some 38,000 students, including 8,800 graduate students. McGill attracts students from over 150 countries around the world, with more than 7,700 international students making up 20 percent of the student body. Almost half of McGill students claim a first language other than English, including 38 percent who claim French as their first language.
NeuroSphere is the McGill accelerator dedicated to innovation and partnership in neuroscience research funded through Healthy Brains, Healthy Lives (HBHL). Through support from HBHL, McGill has an opportunity to focus on neuro-innovation and help high potential projects move towards commercialization. Strategic approaches and activities will also be undertaken to ensure that NeuroSphere acts as a facilitator for all commercialization projects coming out of the neuroscience community at McGill University.
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SOURCE Diamond Therapeutics Inc.