On January 17th, the company Algernon Pharmaceuticals (CSE: AGN, OTCQB: AGNPF) announced that they had dosed the first patient in their Phase 1 safety trial of the psychedelic drug DMT. The company eventually hopes to use small, non-hallucinogenic doses of DMT — DMT microdoses in other words — to treat stroke patients.
Known for its extremely powerful psychedelic effects — a common experience is having your consciousness transported to another “realm” where you interact with alien-like beings — DMT is one of the least scientifically studied hallucinogenic drugs. While psilocybin — the active psychedelic ingredient in magic mushrooms and a chemical cousin to DMT — has been studied in dozens of clinical trials, only a handful of companies or research institutions have begun studying the more powerful, but shorter-acting, DMT.
The company with the furthest progressed DMT research is Small Pharma (TSXV: DMT, OTCQB: DMTTF), which recently completed a Phase 2a trial attempting to treat Major Depressive Disorder with DMT-assisted therapy. The company expects to unveil results as early as this month — stay tuned for an article.
But while Small Pharma is ahead of Algernon in terms of clinical trial progress, Algernon’s goal of treating stroke patients makes the company’s program one to keep a close eye on.
This is the case for two key reasons. First, strokes are incredibly damaging, there are no good treatments for them, and they are astoundingly common. In the USA alone, it is estimated that just under 800,000 people each year have a stroke. That comes out to an American stroke every 40 seconds, with a stroke-related death every 3.5 minutes. Those who survive, often have reduced mobility or mental functions. In short, having a stroke can be a life-changing — if not ending — medical event.
And while we do have treatments, such as a medicine called alteplase, which is only effective if administered in the immediate…