A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

Israeli startup bringing psychedelics to your medicine cabinet

Psychedelic+substances+from+psilocybin+%E2%80%9Cmagic%E2%80%9D+mushrooms+may+be+useful+in+pharmaceuticals.+Photo+by+Alan+Rockefeller+via+Wikimedia+Commons

Psychedelic substances from psilocybin “magic” mushrooms may be useful in pharmaceuticals. Photo by Alan Rockefeller via Wikimedia Commons

Abigail Klein Leichman , Israel21c

“The world urgently needs a new way to treat mental health issues, and at PsyRx we believe psychedelics are a big part of the solution,” says Itay Hecht.

Hecht is CEO and cofounder of this Israeli company, which is developing standardized pharma-grade psychedelics from natural sources – not synthetics – as active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Pharma-grade psychedelics

Using an agro-medical bioreactor invented at the Hebrew University Faculty of Agriculture, PsyRx produces psychedelic botanic extracts psilocybin (from “magic” mushrooms) and ibogaine (from the root bark of the iboga shrub).

Psilocybin has been shown to have positive effects in treating depression, anxiety and addiction, and has been suggested as a potential treatment for obesity, PTSD, cluster headaches and more.

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Ibogaine has shown promise as an anti-addiction drug, among other indications. PsyRx is focusing on its potential to improve current SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants.

“SSRIs have some very bad side effects on libido and appetite, and patients often stop using them. We believe adding a micro dose of ibogaine will counter those effects and make a better drug,” Hecht says, emphasizing that micro doses of psychedelic substances do not cause hallucinations.

“We are starting small animal trials soon to check safety and efficacy. Hopefully in a year’s time we can start human trials” to test this ibogaine application, he tells ISRAEL21c.

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A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.