• Initiative aims to bring Psychedelic Medicines to Clinical Stage
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News & Views

Initiative aims to bring Psychedelic Medicines to Clinical Stage

May 24 2022

Under an R&D partnership Beckley Psytech, dedicated to addressing neurological and psychiatric disorders through psychedelic medicine, will jointly fund continuing development of Lophora ApS’ pipeline of proprietary NCEs for treatment-resistant depression, and other potential indications such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse. Oxford-based Beckley Psytech has also appointed Dr Laura Trespidi as Chief Development Officer (CDO).

Founded in 2018 by University of Copenhagen’s Medicinal Chemistry Professor, Jesper Kristensen, Lophora, which has previously secured funding from the BioInovation Institute (Novo Nordisk Foundation) in Denmark, continues to characterise its lead candidates, aiming to initiate clinical trials in 2023.

Cosmo Feilding Mellen, CEO, Beckley Psytech, UK said that the partnership represented a significant milestone for the company through access to NCEs that could be taken into Phase 1 studies while deepening experience in the psychedelic drug development space. “Beckley Psytech has been working diligently to build a first-class drug development capability. This partnership is hugely exciting for us as we look to develop a portfolio of clinical assets that provide solutions to the devastating effect of psychiatric and neurological disorders.”

Jesper Langgaard Kristensen, CSO, Lophora added that building on more than a decade's worth of academic drug discovery, had unlocked the door to a countless array of new compounds that could serve as starting points for novel psychedelic medicines. “We share Beckley Psytech’s vision of developing psychedelic compounds to address the significant unmet need in psychiatric and neurological disorders and we look forward to enriching the pipeline with medicines that will make a difference.”

Joining Beckley Psytech’s leadership team, Laura Trespidi (pictured) brings more than 30 years’ of experience across clinical product development and manufacturing of investigational medicines coupled with strategic management.  Having played a pivotal role in over 40 first-in-human clinical trials and pre-clinical trials, she has contributed to four New Drug Applications (NDA) and market approvals and over 40 Investigational New Drug (IND) applications.

With a PhD in Pharmaceutical Science from the University of Milan, Italy and MSc in Medicinal Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of North Carolina, US, in 2008 Dr Trespidi received an MBA from the Open University Business School, UK.  She is a published author and a member of several scientific societies and associations.

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