Psychedelic medicine biotech company MindMed and NYU Langone Health have partnered to launch a new research training program for psychedelic therapies and medicines, with a special focus on behavioral health.
Based in New York City, NYU Langone Health is an academic medical center affiliated with New York University. It has long been a pioneer in the area of psychedelic-assisted therapies and medicines for substance use disorders (SUDs) and mental illnesses.
The NYU Langone Health Psychedelic Medicine Research Training Program represents the next step in that journey. Meanwhile, MindMed — which develops drug treatments based on psychedelic substances and has worked with NYU for years — is essential to helping make it happen.
The company has committed $5 million dollars over the next five years to help establish and launch the program, which will train psychiatrists and clinical investigators on psychedelic-assisted therapies and medicines.
“What we want to do with them is ultimately figure out how we’re going to end up deploying all these medicines to patients in the future,” MindMed co-founder and co-CEO JR Rahn told Behavioral Health Business. “How do you train a healthcare community and a psychiatric community that has never really worked with these medicines before?”
Before the answer to that question becomes clear, more research is needed, Rahn said. Right now, the goal is to get psychedelic substances in front of clinical researchers and give them the resources they need to help clarify the path forward.
Charles R. Marmar — chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine — stressed the importance of that research and training in a press release announcing the news.
“MindMed’s funding meets an important need for recruiting more clinical investigators and psychiatrists to the expanding and promising areas of psychedelic assisted therapies and psychedelic inspired medicines, which can help so many people suffering from addiction and other mental illnesses,” Marmar said.
While the program is new, MindMed’s relationship with NYU is not. The company has been working with the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Grossman School of Medicine since 2009, and the company soon plans to enter Phase 2 clinical trial for a psychoactive-derived opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment.
The NYU Langone Health Psychedelic Medicine Research Training Program will do similar work. Initially, for example, it will focus on SUDs.
“The grander vision here is to scale this, but we need to start somewhere,” Rahn said. “And then I think there’s going to be a lot of ways that we can train therapists and psychiatrists to ultimately deliver these medicines in the comfort of one’s home, as long as we can prove that is safe.”
Eventually, the goal is to also establish a Center for Psychedelic Medicine at NYU Langone Health, though more funding is still needed to make it happen.