Psilocybin-focused mental health care company COMPASS Pathways plc (NASDAQ:CMPS) and Sermo announced on Wednesday findings from a survey of Sermo physician members that showed two-thirds of doctors surveyed believe psilocybin therapy has potential therapeutic benefit for patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD).
“Severe mental illnesses, such as treatment-resistant depression, have affected too many people in society for too long,” said Murali Doraiswamy MBBS, FRCP, professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at Duke University’s medical school.
“Physicians are looking for new approaches to accelerate the healing process, particularly for patients for whom current therapies have failed,” added Doraiswamy who is a consultant at Sermo.
Sponsored by COMPASS, the survey was conducted in November 2021 with 259 participants from the US, UK, France, Italy, Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands.
Doctors were asked their views on the future of psychiatric therapy and the potential role of psilocybin therapy.
Here are some of the key findings:
- 66% of doctors surveyed said they believe psilocybin therapy has potential benefit for patients with TRD
- 50% would prescribe psilocybin therapy if approved, while 32% are undecided.
- The most significant potential advantages to psilocybin treatment are believed to include: improved efficacy in treatment-resistant conditions (30%), rapid onset of action (26%), and different mechanisms of action from existing therapies (19%)
- The most significant potential barriers to treatment were cited as: needing a dedicated space for six to eight hours (28%), lack of trained therapists in a new model of psychological support (21%) and office infrastructure (15%)
- The optimal setting for psilocybin administration varied by region: 50% of European respondents said hospital, while 42% of US respondents said specialized network of centers.
“These findings underline the fact that physicians need more options in helping patients suffering with treatment-resistant depression,” Dr. Guy Goodwin, CMO at COMPASS Pathways said.
Psilocybin Therapy Combined With SSRI Antidepressants Is Possible
In the meantime, COMPASS Pathways recently revealed that it has achieved positive results from its exploratory study of COMP360 psilocybin therapy in conjunction with SSRI use.
The study revealed that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) – the most commonly prescribed antidepressants – combined with psilocybin treatment do not interfere with psilocybin’s therapeutic effect.
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