CQDM FUNDS A PROJECT AIMING TO ELUCIDATE THE EFFECTS OF PSILOCYBIN ON NEURONAL CIRCUITS IN ORDER TO TREAT DEPRESSION
Montreal (Quebec), September 28, 2022 – CQDM is proud to announce the funding of a research project led by Rosemary Bagot, Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology at McGill University. The project will be funded in collaboration with McGill University, Cubed Biotech Inc. (“Cubed Biotech”), as well as McGill University’s Healthy Brains, Healthy Lives (HBHL) initiative and the Irving Ludmer Family Foundation.
The research project aims to clarify, at the molecular level, the mechanism of action of psilocybin, an agonist of serotonin receptors, in order to better understand its effects on neuronal circuits and the way in which it could reduce symptoms of depression. Funding for this project was made possible by a grant of $274 494 from the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation du Québec.
According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and affects more than 280 million people of all ages. The mechanisms of this illness remain poorly understood, and the available treatments remain ineffective for a significant number of people. Recent clinical trials suggest psilocybin is effective in treating depression in some people. This study will refine the basic understanding of the how psilocybin, a molecule found in “magic mushrooms,” regulates cellular activity in neuronal circuits to treat depression. This research project will pave the way for major scientific advances, which will contribute to efforts in identifying more effective treatments for patients suffering from depression. In addition, the results obtained from the study could enable Cubed Biotech, the partner company, to develop this promising substance for clinical use.
“CQDM is thrilled to support this ground-breaking project. The funding will give Professor Bagot and her team the opportunity to explore the recently recognized potential of psilocybin in the context of depression. This collaborative research represents a first stage in the demonstration of that substance’s effects, which could lead to new therapeutic options enabling us to meet crucial needs in mental health,” said Véronique Dugas, Vice President of Scientific Affairs at CQDM.
“There is a lot of excitement about the potential of psychedelic drugs, including psilocybin, to treat a range of psychiatric conditions but there are still many questions about why and how these drugs work. We have established preclinical models that we can apply to understand how psilocybin changes brain and behaviour to treat depression. This is an exceptional opportunity to team up with our partners to accelerate the advances in basic science that are essential for developing new treatments for depression,” said Rosemary Bagot, Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology at McGill University.
“Cubed Biotech is proud to support Dr. Rosemary Bagot’s research into the fundamental nature of how psilocybin affects serotonin receptors. We expect that Dr. Bagot’s focus on the fundamental circuits and networks in the brain will allow us to better understand why psilocybin therapy appears to be providing years of relief. In addition, we anticipate that this critical data will assist with informing our drug development programs, advancing our ability to manufacture mental health medications.” states Adam B. Coape-Arnold, Chief Executive Officer & Founder of Cubed Biotech. “Receiving this significant amount of research funding from CQDM represents public recognition of the power of psychedelic medicine as well as Quebec’s devotion to funding innovative life science initiatives. We are grateful to the CQDM and the MEI (Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation du Québec) for their support in this ground-breaking research that we believe will position Québec at the forefront of public psychedelic research. We are equally grateful to our sponsorship partners, McGill University’s Healthy Brains, Healthy Lives (HBHL) and the Irving Ludmer Family Foundation.”
“Healthy Brains, Healthy Lives (HBHL) is pleased to support this collaborative project through our Neuro Partnerships program. This project aligns with research priorities from HBHL’s Research Theme 3 (Applied Cognitive Neuroscience of Brain Plasticity), notably to characterize changes in the brain associated with plasticity, promote patient recovery and resilience, and protect against the impacts of behavioural and mental health disorders. We are enthusiastic to support researchers working collaboratively with industry to identify and develop novel treatment approaches in an effort to bring these into the hands of patients and clinicians,” said Adrienne Crampton, Business Development Advisor at Healthy Brains, Healthy Lives.
CQDM is a biopharmaceutical research consortium whose mission is to fund the development of innovative technologies and tools to accelerate the discovery and development of safer and more effective drugs. It provides a hub where major global pharmaceutical companies, several Canadian biotechnology companies, the best researchers from the public and private sectors, as well as the governments of Quebec and Canada converge. CQDM’s collaborative approach allows it to meet the needs for innovation funding in the academic and private sectors, particularly in the early stages of research. Information - Website: cqdm.org, LinkedIn and Twitter. About Cubed Biotech In
About HBHL (Healthy Brains, Healthy Lives)
The Healthy Brains, Healthy Lives (HBHL) initiative aims to accelerate translational discoveries and create a global center for neuroinformatics at McGill University. Funded by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation and the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQS, FRQSC and FRQNT), the initiative builds on McGill’s scientific excellence and global leadership in the areas of neuroscience that hold the greatest promise for achieving clinically effective and actionable outcomes in brain and mental health.
About the Irving Ludmer Family Foundation
The Irving Ludmer Family Foundation is a registered private charitable foundation that seeks to support the advancement of education, fine arts and scientific research primarily through gifts to other charitable organizations. The Foundation was established by the president, Mr. Irving Ludmer, in 1989 to further his commitment to philanthropy. The Foundation supports a diverse portfolio of activities including social services, organizations, health agencies, education initiatives and research. The Foundation is committed to supporting initiatives to improve the quality and efficiency of treatment for mental illness and neuro-degenerative diseases.