Psychedelic Research in Science and Medicine Australian Mid-Year Research Update


MDMA Research Update

The Perth MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trial has received ethics approval. With the support of PRISM donations, the Perth site has installed a Schedule 9 safe for secure storage and hopes to import Australia’s first “pharmaceutical grade” MDMA very soon. We would like to thank MAPS for their ongoing support, including providing the MDMA free of charge. PRISM also congratulates MAPS for the success of their first Phase 3 results recently published in Nature.

Psilocybin Research Update

The St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne Phase 2 placebo-controlled trial of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for depression and anxiety associated with terminal illness started recruiting in January 2020 and recommenced in February this year, just under one year after being interrupted by COVID-19. The number of participants treated to date is now eight of a projected 40, and recruitment is set to continue steadily for the coming two years.

The Phase 2 trial of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for treatment-resistant depression, based at Swinburne University with the involvement of a multi-institutional team, is close to commencing. Therapist training has been underway over the past month and recruitment will start in the coming weeks.

Several other clinical trials of psilocybin-assisted therapy are in the pipeline in Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide, which are planning to treat a range of conditions from generalized anxiety disorder to body dysmorphic disorder. Some of these planned trials will be funded independently or through collaboration with partners, while others are expected to seek funding through the Australian federal government’s Medical Research Future Fund. PRISM is involved to varying degrees in several of these studies.

An invaluable supporter of all current and most of the planned Australian psilocybin trials so far is the Usona Institute, based in Wisconsin, USA. PRISM and our collaborators are indebted to Usona for its generosity in providing psilocybin free of charge for our research, and especially its unerring commitment to the principles of Open Science at this rather dynamic and uncertain time in the history of psychedelic science.  PRISM and Usona have more collaborations in the pipeline to announce soon.

The research work we are conducting has been made possible by our partnership with the Vasudhara Foundation, a pioneering organisation for the future of Australia’s mental health. Vasudhara ‘has supported projects relating to disabilities, female entrepreneurship, women and girls, meditation and yoga, and ageing well and dying well.’

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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Innovative psychedelic research

The re-emergence of psychedelic research places a crucial emphasis on a holistic approach to mental health from pharmacology, neurobiological process, ecological connection, and therapeutic support.  PRISM supports research and clinical development of therapies where current options provide limited relief.

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We are a DGR-1 non-profit research charity developing medical and legal processes for the application of psychedelic medicines for improved wellbeing.


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