Pasithea Biotech Reports That It's Aiming To Be At The Forefront Of The Mental Health Revolution

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Pasithea Therapeutics Corp. KTTA is a company focused on discovering new treatments for psychiatric and neurological disorders, ranging from depression to multiple sclerosis, but it also operates a growing network of clinics offering ketamine-based therapies to look to provide relief for disorders that currently lack reliable, effective treatment options.

The company states that its research and service offerings are guided by CEO Dr. Tiago Reis Marques’s insights on the evolving landscape of psychiatric care and the parallel needs to develop newer, better therapies while also making use of what’s available today to offer as much relief as possible to patients in urgent need of it.

Mental Health Treatments May Desperately Need An Update

In an interview with Psychedelics Today, Marques described the psychiatric landscape as a desert for the past 20 or so years. The limited range of psychiatric drugs available have been around for decades and don’t always provide consistent relief to all patients. 

The lack of new drug development comes down to how complex the human brain is. “With 100 billion neurons [and] 1 trillion synapses, trying to understand what’s wrong and how to correct it is really, really hard,” Marques said.

“If you look across the spectrum, the majority of disorders are rising in the field of psychiatry, and that’s due to environmental conditions [and] now COVID,” Marques said. “We see an exponential rise in psychiatric diagnosis and we see that a large majority of patients either do not receive the treatment or if they receive it, they experience side effects, or they don’t like [it], or these treatments don’t show efficacy. So we need to better pharmacological alternatives.”

According to the World Health Organization, the pandemic triggered a 25% rise in anxiety and depression cases around the world. Despite rapidly rising cases of mental health disorders, only a handful of pharmacological compounds exist to treat them, and they don’t always work for every patient.

Biotech Companies Are Hoping To Pioneer Novel Treatments

The desert landscape Marques described has been noticed by pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and they’re responding by exploring new compounds and new uses of existing drugs to find psychiatric treatments that can offer better relief for the many patients who don’t respond to existing first-line treatments.

“What you’ve seen in this revolution that is happening in psychiatry is [this] renaissance of substances that we consider … as bad [or] toxic and we’re actually using them again,” Marques said. “We have laughing gas for treatment-resistant depression, we have MDMA for PTSD, you have ketamine for treatment-resistant depression, PTSD. …We’ve been rediscovering these drugs that we thought were lost [to] the dark side, and we’re using them again.”

Pasithea says it is contributing to that revolution, too. In March, for example, the biotech partnered with Glimpse Group Inc. VRAR to develop therapeutic virtual reality environments for use in a range of therapies, including exposure therapy and navigating traumatic experiences in a safe and effective space.

Last October, Pasithea partnered with Evotec SE EVO, a large drug discovery and development company, to begin clinical research on a novel compound for treating schizophrenia that will target neuro-inflammatory pathways that may play a role in both depression and schizophrenia.

Change Is On The Horizon? But Patients Need Relief Now

Even with the renewed and surging interest in psychedelics and other novel therapeutics for treating psychiatric and neurological disorders, the drugs currently under development could be a decade or more away from reaching the market. 

“The biggest advances in medicine need years and years of research before a drug comes out,” Marques noted.

When that happens, patients who’ve struggled to find treatments that work now will finally have new and, hopefully, more effective options to choose from. But until then, “we need to use what we have and try to improve patients’ lives,” Marques said. “That’s the most important thing, to help patients who are suffering currently and if it is with psychedelics or ketamine [so be it] as [long] as we do it safely and wisely.”

That’s why Pasithea states it offers in-home, medically supervised ketamine infusions for the treatment of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health disorders. 

Available in New York, California, Florida, Nevada and a handful of other states, the company reports that these in-home ketamine infusions give patients who are suffering now the opportunity to receive a promising treatment in the comfort of their own home with the care and supervision of a nurse and anesthesiologist. 

In the United Kingdom, patients can come to one of two new Pasithea clinics to receive either ketamine infusions or SPRAVATO, a nasal spray ketamine-derivative manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson JNJ.

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