By Barbara Kollmeyer
Ingredient found in magic mushrooms showed remission in patients after 18 months
Shares of Compass Pathways PLC climbed on Friday after the U.S.-listed healthcare group announced a successful follow-up study of a psychedelic drug used to treat major depression in cancer patients.
Compass shares (CMPS) rose 3% after the London-based mental-health care group reported that more than half of patients treated with one 25 milligram dose of the COMP360 psilocybin treatment, alongside psychological support, showed remission of depression at 18 months.
COMP360 is a psychoactive substance found in hallucinogenic mushrooms. The study, led by Dr. Manich Agrawal at Sunstone Therapies, which carries out research on psychedelic therapies for cancer and other diseases and disorders, is believed to be the longest-ever conducted of a psilocybin therapy.
"The results show significant improvement in these patients' depression symptoms long-term and, if replicated in larger studies, could open the door to a wider and faster adoption of psilocybin therapy in the future," Agrawal said in a press release announcing the results.
The open-label follow-up study involved 30 patients with curable and incurable cancer and major depressive disorder. Of those, 64.2% showed "sustained clinical response" from baseline to 18 months follow-up, and 57.2% showed depression in remission at 18 months.
An original Phase 2 study of 30 patients, with a follow-up period of eight weeks, was completed in 2021 and published in April 2023, with 28 of those original patients enrolled in the study to track longer-term response.
Read:The promise and the perils of the billion-dollar industry blossoming around psychedelic-assisted therapy
The risk of depression in cancer patients is more than five times higher than within the general population, according to a study published in the European Journal of Cancer in 2017. Their study of more than 5,000 patients found that one in four were depressed.
Compass said the new long-term efficacy data of will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), expected to take place in early June.
Compass stock is down 3.3% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 9%.
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May 26, 2023 10:28 ET (14:28 GMT)
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