Nova Mentis looks at potential psilocybin treatment for obesity and diabetes

People with obesity and diabetes may have an alternative way to get better with the psychedelic substance psilocybin.

Nova Mentis Life Science Corp. says its proprietary psilocybin formulation has possible application in treating obesity and diabetes. Dmitriy Protsenko/Getty Images

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People dealing with obesity and diabetes may have an alternative to currently available treatments.

A Vancouver-based biotechnology company announced that it is expanding its research on a psychedelic substance to cure the two ailments.

Nova Mentis Life Science Corp. is currently researching the use of psilocybin on autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a condition associated with developmental disabilities.

Psilocybin is the psychoactive element found in so-called magic mushrooms.

Nova Mentis came upon the potential of psilocybin for obesity and diabetes treatment during the course of its work on rats with ASD symptoms.

In a media release Tuesday (September 7), the company revealed the discovery of “amelioration of anxiety and cognition issues in the ASD rats, as compared to controls, without significant psychedelic side effects”.

In addition, “partners uncovered additional significant findings regarding inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, including their response to certain psilocybin dosing”.

To explain, cytokines and chemokines are proteins involved in the body’s immune response.

“These exciting unsuspected findings strongly suggest that NOVA’s proprietary psilocybin formulation has potential application to treatment of obesity, as well as diabetes related to obesity – ‘diabesity’,” the company stated.

Nova Mentis trades under the ticker symbol NOVA in the Canadian Securities Exchange.

As of this post, NOVA shares were trading at $0.095 each.

Additionally, the company noted that current options to treat obesity and diabetes include bariatric surgery and medical management including “pharmacologic agents”.

However, there “remains no consensus approach as to how to control diabesity”.

“Long term management appears to require varying combinations of anti-diabetic and anti-obesity medications,” Nova Mentis noted.

As well, the company stated that at present, psychedelic compounds are seen to be useful as part of psychotherapy.

However, the company may be able to find another option to “drug-enhanced psychotherapy”.

“NOVA’s recent finding of psilocybin’s effect on specific inflammatory cytokine clinical biomarkers opens the door to a potentially novel approach to control diabesity,” it added.

Dr. Marvin S. Hausman, a medical doctor, chairs Nova Mentis’ scientific advisory board.

“I am particularly excited that the ASD rat model that NOVA has tested in the laboratory of Dr. Viviana Trezza in Rome, Italy, has revealed inflammatory receptor technology that can be utilized in studying the potential role of psilocybin in control of obesity and diabetes,” Hausman stated in the media release.

Hausman explained that the company’s technology has shown that its proprietary psilocybin compound can “influence levels of inflammatory chemokines/cytokines that transmit physiologic messages with the potential to influence responses within the serotonergic system”.

Follow Carlito Pablo on Twitter at @carlitopablo

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