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Reportedly, 4.5-6.0 million people use psychedelics worldwide. Psychedelics are psychoactive substances that trigger the release of neurochemicals: dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine. Psychedelics can be isolated from plants or synthesized. They can modulate the brain’s limbic system that contains the reward circuit and signaling pathways associated with mood, body movement, and pain perception.

The most recognized psychedelics are ketamine, dimenthyltryptamine (DMT), Dimethoxybromoamphetamine (DOB), LSD, MDMA, mescaline, psilocin, and psilocybin. The most common treatment indications for psychedelics are psychiatric disorders and chronic pain.

For centuries, psychedelics were used ritualistically by numerous cultures worldwide. However, a resurgence of psychedelics assisted psychotherapy has brought hallucinogens to the forefront of drug development with many developed for the treatment of psychiatric and pain disorders.

The Global Psychedelic Drug Market

Since 2018, the Global Psychedelic Drug Market experienced considerable growth with the approval of psilocybin as a therapeutic for the treatment-resistant depression. Esketamine was first published for its use as general anesthesic in 2003. The first in vivo study was published in 2004 characterizing its used as a low-dose anesthetic in mice. Since this time, over 600 articles on esketamine have been published describing its mechanisms of action and novel uses in preclinical and clinical trials.

AniLocus Premiere Preclinical CRO Solutions for Psychedelic Drug Development

At AniLocus, our scientists will work with your team to develop translational preclinical studies in animal models to validate your psychedelic product.

We provide consultation with psychedelic experts, experimental design, IACUC protocols, model selection, model induction, stereotaxic surgery approach, targeting studies, osmotic drug infusion, behavioral assessments, histopathology, immunohistochemistry, serology, toxicity, tolerability, data analysis, acute and long-term efficacy and safety, and toxicology dosing studies for translational drug delivery/administration routes.

Contact us to learn more about our preclinical solutions for your product development.

Multiple animal models are used in preclinical psychedelic drug/device development including:

  • Wildtype, naive/ normal animals
  • Transgenic rodents
  • Gene knockout/knockin
  • Stress-induced models
  • Drug-Induced models
  • Acute/Chronic Pain Models
  • Metabolically-induced models (Diet-induced, Metabolic disorder, micronutrient deficient)
  • And more…

We conduct translational animal studies (in vivo and in vitro) collecting detailed, comprehensive results with rapid turnaround.

Using animal and human cells and tissue we can perform multiple interrogative assays depending on therapeutic area and sample type:

  • DNA: Extraction, PCR, ddPCR, qPCR, sequencing, genotyping
  • RNA: Gene expression profiling, RT-PCR, miRNA, Next-generation sequencing (Nanostring, Illumina), spatial transcriptomics, In situ hybridization (ISH), Multiplex ISH
  • Protein: Immunoassays (ELISA, EIA, Luminex), proteomics, ligand binding assays, protein expression, immunohistochemistry (IHC), immunocytochemistry (ICC), and  immunofluorescence (IF)
  • And more!
  1. Jaster, A.M., Elder, H., Marsh, S.A. et al. Effects of the 5-HT2A receptor antagonist volinanserin on head-twitch response and intracranial self-stimulation depression induced by different structural classes of psychedelics in rodents. Psychopharmacology 239, 1665–1677 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-022-06092-x.
  2. Fadahunsi, N., Lund, J., Breum, A. W., Mathiesen, C. V., Larsen, I. B., Knudsen, G. M., Klein, A. B., & Clemmensen, C. (2022). Acute and long-term effects of psilocybin on energy balance and feeding behavior in mice. Translational psychiatry, 12(1), 330. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-022-02103-9.
  3. Vejmola, Č., Tylš, F., Piorecká, V. et al. Psilocin, LSD, mescaline, and DOB all induce broadband desynchronization of EEG and disconnection in rats with robust translational validity. Transl Psychiatry 11, 506 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-021-01603-4.
  4. Thomas, C.W., Blanco-Duque, C., Bréant, B.J. et al. Psilocin acutely alters sleep-wake architecture and cortical brain activity in laboratory mice. Transl Psychiatry 12, 77 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-022-01846-9.
  5. López-Giménez, J. F., & González-Maeso, J. (2018). Hallucinogens and Serotonin 5-HT2A Receptor-Mediated Signaling Pathways. Current topics in behavioral neurosciences, 36, 45–73. https://doi.org/10.1007/7854_2017_478.
  6. Willyard, C. (2022, August 24). Psychedelic drugs take on depression. Nature News. Retrieved October 16, 2022, from https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-02205-w.
  7. Wood, L. (2022, August 8). Psychedelic drugs global market to reach $7.03 billion by 2026. Psychedelic Drugs Global Market to Reach $7.03 Billion by 2026. Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  8. Matzopoulos R, Morlock R, Morlock A, Lerer B and Lerer L (2022) Psychedelic Mushrooms in the USA: Knowledge, Patterns of Use, and Association With Health Outcomes. Front. Psychiatry 12:780696. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.780696. < https://frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.780696/full >
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