DemeRx IB, Inc., a company developing psychedelic ibogaine for the treatment of opioid use disorder, has begun a phase 1/2a clinical trial on healthy volunteers and recreational drug users.
The trial is expected to shed light on ibogaine’s ability to treat opioid addiction, a malady affecting at least one million Americans each year.
Ibogaine is a dissociative psychoactive compound naturally found in the iboga tree, which is a shrub native to Central and West Africa. Emerging evidence has shown the efficacy of ibogaine in treating substance addiction disorders.
“The CDC tallied 93,000 drug overdose deaths in 2020, 70,000 of which involved opioids,” said Srinivas Rao, chief scientific officer of Atai Life Sciences ATAI.
DemeRx is a subsidiary of Atai Life Sciences, a company with a platform of programs looking into various psychedelics for mental health indications.
“By launching the Phase1/2a trial, we look forward to bringing important data from carefully designed, controlled studies to the existing literature on ibogaine, a compound with substantial history,” said Dr. Deborah Mash, CEO and president of DemeRx.
The company announced on Tuesday that the initial subjects of the trial had received their first doses of DMX-1002, the company’s proprietary oral formulation of ibogaine at the Manchester clinical unit of MAC Clinical Research in the UK.
The trial is expected to assess safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and efficacy of the drug. The company expects to obtain safety data from the first segment of the study by early 2022.
Photo: Iboga plant by DMTrott at Wikimedia Commons.
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