University-Industry Engagement Week

McGill U enters research deal to study low-dose LSD

By David Schwartz
Published: February 9th, 2021

McGill University in Montreal has entered a research agreement with Diamond Therapeutics Inc., a psychedelic drug development company focused on low-dose therapies for mental health. The company will get exclusive use of Dr. Gabriella Gobbi’s groundbreaking studies with LSD, including its mechanism of action on the brain and its potential for use at low doses in the treatment of mental health disorders. 

The agreement provides Diamond with access to the technology, data and intellectual property developed by Dr. Gobbi and postdoc Danilo De Gregorio, PharmD, PhD, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The pair completed the first study of the mechanism of action behind LSD’s effect on social interactions. The findings suggest that psychedelics could play a role in treating diseases characterized by social impairment, such as autism spectrum disorder and social anxiety disorder. 

“The studies we are conducting bring us closer to a fundamental understanding of how psychedelic compounds affect mood, cognition and social behaviour, providing a foundation that is crucial to drug development,” Gobbi explained. “I’m thrilled to initiate this collaboration with Diamond, which promises to pave the way towards the translation of our discoveries into innovative clinical strategies.”

“We’re honored to be working together and view this as the starting point for a long and productive partnership,” said Judith Blumstock, Diamond’s CEO. “Dr. Gobbi’s work is expected to provide valuable preclinical and clinical data and intellectual property. Advancing this research could further Diamond’s pursuit of low-dose, sub-perceptual, psychedelic-derived medicines that are safer and more effective for patients than the current first-line treatments.”

Gobbi will act as a consultant for Diamond, providing input into the company’s preclinical and clinical programs.

“Working with commercial partners such as Diamond Therapeutics is an important step in realizing the benefits of research for society,” said Mark Weber, director of McGill’s Office of Innovation and Partnerships. “Our team is proud to play an important role in facilitating these relationships, and we look forward to more of them.”

The Office of Innovation and Partnerships and McGill’s neuroscience accelerator, NeuroSphere, were instrumental in forming the partnership.

Source: Cision

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week