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Training begins for psychedelic-assisted clinical trial

Beckley Psytech leads a new project focused on addressing psychiatric and neurological conditions through the use of psychedelic medicines.

As interest in psychedelics, within the context of pharma, gains traction in the UK and America, the first group of psychotherapists have begun training for a pioneering clinical trial using psychedelics and therapy in treatment-resistant depression (TRD). The phase 2 clinical trial will specifically examine 5-MeO-DMT assisted psychotherapy.

Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy (PAP) refers to therapeutic processes that involve the ingestion of a psychedelic drug, while previous trials have shown that PAP can improve clinical symptoms and promote lasting, positive change for patients.

Beckley Psytech–the company leading the project–specialises in addressing neurological and psychiatric disorders through the novel application of psychedelic medicines.

Cosmo Feilding Mellen, CEO of Beckley Psytech, explained: “The initiation of this training programme is a vital step towards developing an ecosystem to support the emerging paradigm shift in how we treat neurological and psychiatric conditions.”

The training is being carried out in collaboration with Fluence, an expertise-driven education platform providing professional training in psychedelic therapy for psychiatrists, psychotherapists, social workers and other healthcare practitioners.

Only 60-70% of patients with depression respond to antidepressant therapy and of those who do not respond, 10-30% exhibit treatment-resistant symptoms, paired with difficulties in social and occupational function, a decline in physical health and suicidal thoughts. Approximately 30% of patients with treatment-resistant depression do not respond to any treatment whatsoever.

Through the partnership with leading psychiatrists and researchers, Beckley Psytech aims to develop a holistic system that will enable the delivery of the best care to patients worldwide.

Initial elements of the training programme will feature online, interactive, self-taught modules, followed by live, in-person training sessions hosted by the Kadima Neuropsychiatry Institute in San Diego.

This comprehensive programme aims to be the catalyst for meaningful change among those suffering from severe mental health disorders and–over the next year–Beckley Psytech aims to train 80 psychotherapists.