Delix Therapeutics, a drug development company in the psychedelics space, has closed a $70 million Series A financing round.
The Boston-based company became known in the medicinal psychedelics space for developing a subset of psychedelic molecules that could have some of the therapeutic effects of psychedelics like LSD or psilocybin, but without producing a hallucinogenic effect.
Dubbed “non-hallucinogenic psychoplastogens,” these molecules are derived from traditional psychedelics, and altered to reduce risk, safety liabilities and other patient access barriers inherent to psychedelic medicine.
The company hopes for these molecules to eventually become available for at-home use, without physician supervision.
Delix’s Non-hallucinogenic Psychoplastogens
Delix’s flagship drug development program, baptized “DLX-1,” sprouted from research done by co-founder David Olson and published in the peer-reviewed journal Cell. Preclinical work has shown that the compound could have the potential to produce some of the antidepressant effects of classic psychedelics without altering one’s perception or producing a mystical experience.
These claims still need to be proven in human clinical trials.
In a past interview with Benzinga, Olson, who is also the company’s chief scientific officer, explained that psychedelics impact the brain in two profound ways: “They induce mystical-type experiences and enhance neuroplasticity. Increasing evidence from both preclinical and clinical studies suggests that these properties can be decoupled.”
With the proceeds, Delix expects to advance DLX-1 and another lead drug candidate, called “DLX-7” through Phase 1 clinical trials, which could commence in 2022. The compounds are currently in pre-IND safety and toxicology studies.
Delix also plans to expand its drug discovery platform and its team with the raised capital.
“We’ve made tremendous progress towards developing efficacious and easily manufactured compounds that have the potential to deliver safe, fast-acting, FDA-approved treatments to help patients in need,” said Mark Rus, Delix's CEO.
The company also stated to have produced nearly 1,000 new chemical entities, “with several potential clinical development candidates identified.”
“The improved safety profile, non-hallucinatory efficacy, and simplified manufacturing process of Delix’s psychoplastogens makes its novel compounds highly scalable and suitable for early use in patients,” according to a Delix press release.
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