In a welcomed throwback to the days before psychedelic use and research was considered a forbidden topic, the conference “Horizons: Perspectives On Psychedelics” in New York City is an incredible testimony to where the field of psychedelic therapy, and the industry as a whole, is heading.
An impressive who’s who of influential presenters in the field, the conference running from Dec 1-5 includes notable psychedelic researchers and advocates Gita Vaid, MD, Joe Green, Rachel Yehuda, Ph.D., Matthew W. Johnson, Ph.D., Hamilton Morris, Annie Mithoefer, RN and Michael C. Mithoefer, MD, to name just a few of the many speaking at the event.
On the investment front, Joe Green, co-founder and president of the Psychedelic Science Funders Collaborative (PSFC), a community of philanthropists supporting research on psychedelic treatments and access to psychedelic healing, speaks on philanthropic funding in the psychedelic space.
In 2020, PSFC completed a $30 million fundraising campaign in partnership with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) to support the completion of phase III clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.
Green’s presentation looks at the complementary roles of for-profit and philanthropic funding in the psychedelic field and the challenges ahead for building a care delivery ecosystem for psychedelic healing as well as the critical role for philanthropy in addressing them.
A highlight of the event, which looks at the issue of scaling psychedelic therapies and therapists for such roles, is a session by Michael C. Mithoefer, MD and Annie Mithoefer, RN on training and educating therapists in MDMA-assisted therapy, titled “From The Lab To The Clinic: Training And Educating Therapists.” Each has extensive experience working on MDMA-assisted therapy clinical trials. The well-known husband and wife team conducted the first US Phase II clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy and subsequent Phase II trials, as well as a study providing MDMA-assisted sessions for therapists who have completed the MAPS therapist training. They also conducted a pilot study treating couples with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy combined with cognitive behavioral conjoint therapy.
Noted psychedelic researcher and journalist Hamilton Morris covers the topic of the psychedelic supply chain. Creator and director of the television series “Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia,” which investigates the chemistry, history and cultural impact of various psychoactive drugs, Morris now conducts pharmacological research at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.
Earlier this year, Morris engaged with COMPASS Pathways (NASDAQ:CMPS), a mental health care company dedicated to accelerating patient access to psychedelic treatments, to advise on research related to new psychedelic compounds that could be developed into therapies in areas of unmet mental health need.
As the psychedelic treatment industry expands, Morris’ topic that looks at streamlining manufacturing infrastructure and removing supply bottlenecks will be foremost on the minds of leaders in the space.