Studies conducted in pioneering academic centers over the last decade have shown signals that psilocybin, a psychoactive substance found in some species of mushrooms, could be a safe and effective medicine for patients with depression, anxiety, addiction and other mental illnesses, when administered with psychological support from specially trained therapists.* (*Ross et al, 2016; Griffiths et al, 2016; Carhart-Harris et al, 2016).
COMPASS Pathways is a mental health care company dedicated to accelerating patient access to evidence-based innovation in mental health. Their focus is on improving the lives of those who are suffering with mental health challenges and who are not helped by current treatments. Their synthetic COMP360 psilocybin has been designated a Breakthrough Therapy by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment-resistant depression (TRD), and they recently completed a successful 233 patient, randomized, controlled, double-blind phase IIb clinical trial of COMP360 psilocybin therapy for TRD in 22 sites across Europe and North America – the largest psilocybin trial ever done.
To find out physicians’ perspectives on psilocybin therapy in general, COMPASS Pathways leveraged Sermo’s RealTime to conduct a survey: Shaping the Future of Psychiatric Therapy
Survey Success Metrics:
- Number of Respondents: 259
- Specialties: Psychiatrists
- Countries: UK, UK, France, Italy, Denmark, Spain and The Netherlands
- Time to Insights: 5 days
- 66% of doctors believe Psilocybin Therapy has potential benefits for patients with TRD
- 50% would prescribe Psilocybin Therapy, if it was approved; 32% are undecided
The greatest potential advantages to Psilocybin treatment are believed to be:
- Improved efficacy in treatment-resistant conditions (30%)
- Rapid onset of action (26%)
- Different mechanism of action from existing therapies (19%)
The greatest potential barriers to treatment were cited as:
- Needing a dedicated space for six to eight hours (28%)
- Lack of trained therapists in a new model of psychological support (21%)
- Office infrastructure (15%)
Opinions on the setting for Psilocybin administration varied by region:
- 50% of European respondents said hospital
- 42% of US respondents said specialized network of centers
Physicians also noted the need to educate healthcare professionals on the potential benefits of Psilocybin Therapy and on how to incorporate the therapy into their practice, if approved.
“Severe mental illnesses, such as treatment-resistant depression, have affected too many people in society for too long. Physicians are looking for new approaches to accelerate the healing process, particularly for patients for whom current therapies have failed them,” said Murali Doraiswamy MBBS, FRCP, Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, and an advisor to Sermo.
Dr. Guy Goodwin, Chief Medical Officer, COMPASS Pathways, said: “These findings underline the fact that physicians need more options in helping patients suffering with treatment-resistant depression.”
To help put these findings into context, Sermo launched an additional poll on our global platform. This provided a deeper level of insights into physician views on TRD and Psilocybin Therapy. We learned that:
- Only 35% said they believe that treatment-resistant depression is well understood/recognized by physicians
- 97% said we need more options for patients suffering TRD
- 56% of physicians had heard of Psilocybin Therapy beforehand
- 83% believe this new therapy could be beneficial for treatment-resistant depression
- 87% are interested in learning more about Psilocybin Therapy
Sermo physicians from around the world shared their professional insights, perspectives, and opinions on this important topic – in their own words:
“There is a LOT of good data on psilocybin, MDMA, and LSD based therapy for TRD, PTSD, and other mental illnesses. We need to: 1. remove stigma, 2. create safe environments, 3. coordinate with qualified and trained psychotherapists who can guide the therapy. Hospitals are not a good place to do this. You need a safe and comfortable environment. There should be networks of certified centers for this therapy.”Anesthesiology, U.S.
“[R]esistant depression is tough for the patient and the doctor. I am open to learning more about anything that can make things easier for the patient and the doctor. Medicine is an Art but Medicine is also an evolving Science”G.P., Canada
“[It] would be a straw for depressed patients to grasp”Obstetrics & Gynecology, U.S.
About COMPASS Pathways
COMPASS Pathways plc (Nasdaq: CMPS) is a mental health care company dedicated to accelerating patient access to evidence-based innovation in mental health. Our focus is on improving the lives of those who are suffering with mental health challenges and who are not helped by current treatments. We are pioneering the development of a new model of psilocybin therapy, in which our proprietary formulation of synthetic psilocybin, COMP360, is administered in conjunction with psychological support. COMP360 has been designated a Breakthrough Therapy by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for treatment-resistant depression (TRD), and we have completed a phase IIb clinical trial of psilocybin therapy for TRD, in 22 sites across Europe and North America. This was the largest randomised, controlled, double-blind psilocybin therapy clinical trial ever conducted, and our topline data showed a statistically significant (p<0.001) and clinically relevant improvement in depressive symptom severity after three weeks for patients who received a single high dose of COMP360 psilocybin with psychological support. We are also running a phase II clinical trial of COMP360 psilocybin therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). COMPASS is headquartered in London, UK, with offices in New York and San Francisco in the US. Our vision is a world of mental wellbeing. www.compasspathways.com
On behalf of Sermo, thank you for checking out our blog post on the topic of Psilocybin Therapy. This is just one of the many examples of insights available with RealTime surveys.
At Sermo, we turn physician experience, expertise and observations into actionable insights for the global healthcare community. Engaging with more than 1 million HCPs across 150 countries, we provide physicians with a social platform that fosters impactful peer-to-peer collaboration & discussions about issues that are important to them and their patients. Sermo offers on-demand access to physicians via a suite of proprietary technology to provide business intelligence that benefits pharmaceutical, healthcare partners and the medical community at large.