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This Original Psychedelic-Based Obesity Treatment Set To First-In-Human Trials

Benzinga · 01/06/2023 13:45

Psychedelics biopharma company Clearmind Medicine Inc. (NASDAQ:CMND) and clinical-stage firm SciSparc Ltd. (NASDAQ:SPRC) shared the initial positive pre-clinical results of Clearmind’s novel psychedelic molecule, MEAI, for the treatment of obesity and potential treatment of metabolic syndromes.

Clearmind CEO Dr. Adi Zuloff-Shani stated that the company is excited about the results, which “suggest that MEAI may be effective in treating obesity, one of the world's most pressing problems.” 

The outcomes link to the partnership’s provisional patent application for treating metabolic syndromes (including obesity) combining Clearmind’s MEAI and SciSparc’s CannAmide’s active ingredient palmitoylethanolamide.

Dr. Zuloff-Shani ensured that these outcomes add to positive results in the company’s addictions treatment -see alcohol and cocaine use disorders- and reinforce MEAI’s potential of becoming a viable treatment for a variety of disorders.

“According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1 billion people worldwide -more than 30% of the global population- are overweight or obese, and we believe obesity treatment could quickly become a top-12 global therapy, growing from a $2.4 billion category in 2022 to $54 billion by 2030," added Scisparc’s CEO Oz Adler. "We believe that this virtually untapped multibillion-dollar market creates significant opportunities for our joined collaboration with Clearmind by developing a unique drug candidate for the market to treat obesity."

The Results

The study was conducted at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and performed multi-parameter metabolic assessments: body weight, fat mass, glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, liver enzymes and fat accumulation and food consumption patterns.

It included three groups of rodents, one fed with a standard diet, another with a high-fat diet, and the third with a high-fat diet along with MEAI treatment. 

The rodents in this third group showed increased energy spending, better fat use and weight loss of 20%, reducing overall fat mass and preserving their lean body mass while motivation and well-being were not seen affected. Moreover, MEAI consumption brought about the normalization of insulin levels, improved glucose tolerance and reduced fat and triglycerides accumulation in the liver. 

After two days of MEAI dosing, the animals showed a significant reduction in sucrose preference, which means the compound may actually dampen the rewarding stimuli cycle as seen in compulsive/reward-seeking behavior or excessive consumption of sweets.

“While there is some evidence suggesting that psychedelic drugs, such as LSD and psilocybin, may be effective in treating obesity and other eating disorders, no solid experimental proof really exists, until now. We show for the first time that MEAI’s obesity effect works by altering various metabolic processes in the body, such as energy expenditure, fat storage and glucose utilization to promote weight loss,” stated Dr. Joseph Tam, the study’s PI and university professor. 

“These findings suggest that MEAI may be beneficial for reducing the risk of obesity-related complications, such as type 2 diabetes and fatty liver diseases,” Dr. Tam concluded. 

Photo: Benzinga edit with photo by Olia Danilevich on Pexels.