Mydecine, Maya team up on digital tools for psychedelic drugs

Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic prodrug compound produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms, collectively known as psilocybin mushrooms.

Psychedelic medicines developer Mydecine has joined forces with digital health company Maya to make digital tools that will be used alongside its drug candidates for mental health and addiction disorders.

The aim is to develop the digital therapeutics (DTx) and new drug therapies in tandem, so that they can be co-prescribed by physicians and – at least in theory – improve the effectiveness of treatment.

Initially the alliance will focus on developing a DTx for use with Mydecine's lead psychedelic programme MYCO-001, a drug based on magic mushroom compound psilocybin that is being developed to help people stop smoking.

MYCO-001 is in a c100-subject trial at Johns Hopkins Medicine which recently reported results showing that people given a single dose Mydecine's drug on top of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) were more likely to quit smoking than those who used a nicotine patch plus CBT.

After 12 months, 59% of the MYCO-001 group remained abstinent, compared to 28% of the nicotine patch group.

Mydecine is planning a phase 2/3 trial of its psychedelic approach which is due to start in the first quarter of 2022, and run concurrently with an investigator-led trial at Johns Hopkins University.

Mydecine already has a DTx programme in development under its Mindleap Health – including a wellness-focused app that also helps people explore psychedelic therapies – but will work with Maya to refine and extend its activities in this area.

Maya working on mental health software specifically directed at psychedelic practitioners, that is used to assess patients, plan and track their treatment, provide patient support and present outcomes data in charts and graphs for ease of review.

Ultimately, the goal of the partnership is to develop FDA-approved DTx software that can improve the efficacy of psychedelic treatments by personalising them to the patient and making them more accessible, according to the partners.

The hope is that the DTx apps will also be suitable for us on their own as standalone therapies.

"The technology integration of the two software platforms is aimed at enhancing Mindleap's medical capabilities to more quickly and efficiently develop a personalised prescription-based digital therapeutic," said Damon Michaels, Mydecine's co-founder and chief operating officer.

"The new platform will provide improved adherence to treatment protocols, patient experience, biometric insights, and post-approval insurance reimbursements," he added.