FSD Pharma Launches A New Research and Development Program Targeting Unmet Medical Needs for Alcohol Misuse
FSD Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to building a portfolio of innovative assets and biotech solutions for the treatment of challenging neurodegenerative, inflammatory, and metabolic disorders, today announced the launch of a new research and development program focused on unmet medical needs for alcohol misuse. Inebriated people with high blood alcohol levels often present to hospital emergency rooms in a variety of contexts. Management of these patients often consumes significant staff time and other resources, because their behaviour can be dysregulated, and judgement is impaired.
“Alcohol intoxication is a common presentation in many patients who visit hospital emergency rooms, and I see this during every one of my shifts. These presentations can require substantial time and effort to manage. Anything that could accelerate recovery from alcohol-intoxication would free up valuable healthcare resources and provide additional treatment options for alcohol use disorders,” said FSD Pharma’s Expert Advisory Committee Member Dr. Albert Wong, a psychiatrist who works in the emergency department at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada.
Substance misuse is one of the most pervasive challenges in many countries, including Canada. According to US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (“NSDUH”) alcohol consumption, a ubiquitous part in most societies, is the biggest contributor to substance misuse disorders. Among the estimated 46.3 million people aged 12 or older who met the criteria for having a substance use disorder in 2021 in the United States, 29.5 million people were classified as having an alcohol use disorder.
“FSD Pharma has recently invited Drs. Ashwin Dhanda from the United Kingdom and Anh Lê from Canada to its Scientific and Clinical Expert Committee (SCEC) to strengthen its advisory board including for the treatment of alcohol-related indications,” added Dr. Kotra. “Combined clinical and scientific expertise of our innovation-driven R&D team at Lucid, expanded SCEC, and the expert consultant team, are working to address this challenge to improve the quality of life for those affected by high alcohol consumption and alcohol misuse.”
When alcohol is consumed, it can have a multitude of effects; alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, altering the way the brain functions. The disrupted pathways reduce function of areas of the brain responsible for balance, coordination, memory, speech, and judgment, which can lead to injury and negative outcomes related to poor decision making.
“FSD Pharma’s existing pipelines and research priorities in brain and inflammatory disorders, including mental health, provides a natural extension to investigate the effects of alcohol on the brain. Our clinical and product development teams are exploring how to limit and potentially reverse the negative effects of alcohol on brain function,” said Dr. Lakshmi Kotra, CEO of Lucid Psycheceuticals (“Lucid”), a subsidiary of FSD Pharma. “There is a significant amount of research in this area already conducted by pioneers in the field, and we are bringing together our knowledge in pharmacology, regulatory strategy and product development in our search for solutions to address the effects of alcohol consumption.”
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