Israeli biopharmaceutical company Madrigal Mental Care will unveil novel nanotechnology to deliver psilocybin via nasal spray for the treatment and prevention of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at Biomed Israel 2022, on May 10-12, 2022, at the David InterContinental Hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel, according to a May 9 press release.
Biomed Israel is a broad celebration of the life science and technology industries. At past events, the event attracted over 6,000 attendees, with 1,000 attending internationally from over 45 countries.
The novel nasal spray system enables nose-to-brain delivery of organic nanoparticles that encapsulate molecules of psychedelic substances—in this case, psilocybin. This nasal spray delivery system can also be used to deliver ketamine, mescaline, MDMA, and other psychedelics.
The nanotechnology was invented by Prof. Amnon Sintov, Department of Biomedical Engineering at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) with licensing from BGN Technologies, the Technology Transfer Company of BGU.
“An increasing number of studies point to the advantages of using psychedelic drugs for the treatment of psychiatric disorders such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and even addiction, with low doses,” Professor Sintov said. “Due to their powerful effect on the human brain, it is imperative to be able to deliver these drugs in a safe manner and in precise doses. Our novel nanotechnology platform enables encapsulation of precise drug doses in nanoparticles that are delivered directly to the brain via an intranasal spray, in a very efficient, fast, and safe manner.”
An increasing number of studies are exploring the use of psilocybin for the treatment of depression, end-of-life care, and PTSD. Since psilocybin is an 5-HT2A agonist, it’s being explored for its usefulness in many of these areas. The brain’s cortex is full of 5-HT2A receptors–notably in areas that control reflection, imagination, and introspection.
“Our technology ensures a focused and fast delivery of accurate doses of psychoactive substances. The nanoparticles are biodegradable and provide a significant advantage over common practices in terms of stability and accuracy,” David Gabay, Co-Founder, and Chairman of Madrigal Mental Care said. “In vitro studies, which were carried out by Prof. Shimon Ben-Shabat from the Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology at BGU, show that the psilocybin doses used in the nanoparticles have a beneficial effect on inflamed brain cell cultures. We are currently beginning preclinical trials with rodents with the aim of achieving efficacy and safety approvals in order to begin first-in-human clinical trials next year. We have great confidence that this novel technology […] will propel forward the field of psychedelic-based treatments, for the benefit of millions of people around the world coping with chronic and acute psychiatric conditions such as PTSD and depression.”
Leadership acknowledged the growing need for alternative therapies that are needed when conventional therapies fall short, for conditions like treatment-resistant depression.
Dr. Galit Mazooz Perlmuter, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Bio-Pharma at BGN Technologies, noted, “There is a vast need for better treatments for PTSD and other mental disorders. We have filed a patent application to protect this unique approach, which is an excellent example of the kind of breakthrough technologies originating from top scientists at the Ben-Gurion University.”
As it turns out, the benefits of microdosing psilocybin to treat depression, PTSD, and other disorders isn’t just a Reddit topic anymore, as we see it being applied in a scientific setting.
Regarding nasal sprays to deliver psychedelics, in the U.S., the FDA approved an esketamine nasal spray for use in approved clinics around the country.
Israel is also home to a proliferation of cannabis-related medical device development as well, thanks to the country’s advanced approach to cannabis research.