Cybin Inc. announces revolutionary study of ketamine with neuroimaging helmet

Toronto-based Cybin plans to look at real time effects of ketamine on the brain.

Cybin focuses on psychedelic therapies that involve ketamine and other substances. Neurobite/Getty Images


Cybin Inc. wants to accomplish a first in the study of ketamine.

In particular, the Toronto-based company intends to look at how the pyschedelic substance affects the brain on real time.

In order to do this, Cybin plans to employ a wearable neuroimaging device in the form of a helmet.

“We still have much to learn about what is occurring in the brain during a psychedelic experience,” CEO Doug Drysdale said in a media release Tuesday (June 1).

Moreover, the study will use a device developed by California-based company Kernel.

Called Kernel Flow, the headworn apparatus represents a non-invasive neuroimaging system.

“This first-of-its-kind, Cybin-sponsored study, using the Kernel Flow device, aims to expand our physiological understanding of psychedelic pharmacotherapy,” Cybin’s Drysdale said.

Drysdale said that his company shares this “pioneering journey” with Kernel as partner.

Kernel founder and CEO Bryan Johnson noted that pyschedelics present “great promise for mental health and wellness”.

In addition, Johnson stated that Kernel’s collaboration offers possibilities of “increased scientific rigor”.

Online, Health Canada explains that ketamine works as a fast-acting anesthetic.

The country’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act prohibits the sale, possession and production of ketamine.

However, the substance legally qualifies for medical, scientific or industrial purposes.

The federal health agency notes that ketamine acts as a “dissociative drug, producing a sense of mind from body separation”.

Cybin advances work on ketamine

In March 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a ketamine-based nasal spray treatment for depression.

Moreover, the nasal spray treatment secured approval from Health Canada in May 2020.

Cybin works to develop treatments for depression and other mental health issues.

At present, researchers rely on information related to them by people on psychedelics.

With a technology like Kernel Flow, investigators can collect concrete data.

In turn, information will guide the further development of novel treatments.

Further, this may help advance the creation of individual treatment programs.

The June 1, 2021 media release explains that Kernel Flow uses “pulsed light” in order to “increase measured brain information”.

Further, the technology represents a departure from current imaging systems that require a person to lie in a scanner.

“To date, direct neuroimaging research of psychedelic effects, in vivo, has rarely been attempted, and never with a wearable device,” the release states.

Cybin trades in the NEO Exchange in Toronto under the ticker symbol CYBN.

Follow Carlito Pablo on Twitter at @carlitopablo

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