U.S. Government To Test Ibogaine As An Addiction Treatment……  “But it remains very speculative and a possibility, not a reality.”

Forbes is reporting the following…

Massachusetts-based Delix Therapeutics, a startup trying to turn non-psychedelic analogs of powerful hallucinogens into medicines to treat psychiatric and neurological conditions, will be working with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to test its patented version of ibogaine as a potential treatment for a range of substance-use disorders.

“The therapeutic potential for ibogaine is huge,” says David Olson, the co-founder of Delix. “There are some indications that a single dose can keep people with opioid use disorder drug-free for months.”

Ibogaine is a powerful psychedelic substance. Derived from the iboga shrub native to West Africa, it has a history as a spiritual sacrament in the Bwiti religion in the country of Gabon. But it has also been found—anecdotally and through a slate of studies—to help people get off heroin and other opioids. Ibogaine is not the ideal addiction-treatment drug; it can cause cardiac arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat) and its intense psychedelic experience is not for everyone.

Olson, who is a professor and runs his own lab at the University of California at Davis, modified the ibogaine molecule and patented it. His ibogaine analog, which he has dubbed Delix-7, is not psychedelic. Delix-7 also does not cause cardiac arrhythmia like its psychedelic version does.

“We started with the ibogaine structure because of its fantastic efficacy, and we whittled it down to its essential feature,” says Olson, describing how he modified ibogaine to remove the psychedelic-inducing properties. “By cutting it down, we got rid of these undesired side effects.”

A lab contracted by Nida’s Addiction Treatment Discovery Program will conduct preclinical tests on Delix’s compound to evaluate its pharmacological, pharmacokinetic and toxicological properties. If the preclinical data and animal studies shows that the experimental drug could be a safe and potentially effective treatment for people with substance abuse disorders, Delix will apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to launch human clinical trials.

Nida would not comment on the preclinical testing of Delix-7, but a spokesperson said that the federal agency is interested in the therapeutic potential for psychedelics in general. Research into these substances is being conducted across the National Institutes of Health, including Nida, in a range of projects to identify potential medicines. All testing is conducted under blinded conditions and all data is confidential.

“Our focus historically has, of course, been the misuse and problems associated with these substances,” says Dr. Wilson Compton, the deputy director of Nida. “But we’re very aware of the potential therapeutic advantages of many abusable substances.”

Right now, Compton says that the therapeutic potential of psychedelics is “theoretical” as there have been no proven treatments yet. But Nida is funding studies and giving grants to researchers in the space because “we will take advances wherever they come from” if based on rigorous science.

“We’re particularly excited about this as a possibility,” says Compton.  “But it remains very speculative and a possibility, not a reality.”

Source:    https://www.forbes.com/sites/willyakowicz/2021/12/07/us-government-will-test-ibogaine-as-an-addiction-treatment/?sh=705acd954c4e

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