Harbouring more MDMA than music festival goers, the University of Western Australia (UWA) is leading the way in research around the use of MDMA as a psychedelic medication.
Clinical drug development and care delivery company Emyria (ASX: EMD) has today announced a partnership with UWA, confirming access to their library of MDMA- like compounds developed by medicinal chemist, Dr. Matt Piggott.
With more than 23 years of experience, Dr. Piggott is the lead researcher investigating MDMA analogues and is considered to be a world expert in the field.
Emyria has secured an exclusive licensing agreement wherein they will have access to the UWA compound library. The Company will pay UWA $491,000 over the next 12 months. These funds will support further screening and analysis of over 100 new MDMA analogues as well as synthesis of new compounds to expand the existing library.
The analogues are akin to MDMA but designed to engage different neurological targets, opening up options for potential clinical use in mental health disorders, specifically Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There is also evidence to support use in other diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease as the analogues can be engineered to select for specific neurological receptors.
UWA’s Associate Prof. Matt Piggott said: “I am delighted to be working with Emyria and their team of clinicians and partners to investigate the therapeutic potential of our MDMA analogues. Emyria has the resources to accelerate the development of drug candidates and demonstrated capacity to register neurological treatments that improve patient wellbeing.”
Managing Director of Emyria, Dr. Michael Winlo said: “MDMA-assisted psychotherapy has demonstrated huge potential in treating severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Emyria is actively working to develop a safe and scalable delivery model for this treatment.”
“Emerging treatments like psychedelic-assisted therapy have great potential but require further investment and innovation into new drugs, digital technologies and care models in order to improve efficacy, safety and access for patients.
“With this exclusive agreement, Emyria has now added a unique drug discovery pipeline, which complements our existing programs, and which leverages years of research and development by Dr. Matt Piggott and his team. This agreement creates an opportunity for Emyria to lead the development of the next generation of MDMA-like compounds so they may become registered treatments for patients with major psychiatric and neurological disorders.
“This agreement prepares Emyria to be an Australian leader in the development of novel psychedelic assisted therapies and also has the potential to identify and develop novel therapeutic agents for other neurological disorders where there are large unmet needs, potentially expanding the range of disorders we can treat.”
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