USA – AbbVie, a global pharmaceutical giant, has embarked on a significant venture into psychiatric treatments by collaborating with Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals, a US-based biotech company. 

This strategic partnership, bolstered by an option-to-license agreement, aims to develop innovative therapies for psychiatric disorders. 

The collaboration entails AbbVie providing Gilgamesh with an upfront payment of US$65 million, alongside potential milestone payments and royalties totaling up to US$1.95 billion.

The core focus of this collaboration lies in the development of neuroplastogens, compounds that induce rapid and durable neuroplasticity, without the psychoactive side effects often associated with traditional psychedelic compounds. 

Neuroplastogens have emerged as a promising avenue for addressing psychiatric disorders, offering the potential for substantial clinical benefits while minimizing adverse effects.

Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals, established in 2019, specializes in the development of neuroplastogens

With a portfolio that includes Phase II clinical assets such as GM-1020 and GM-2505, Gilgamesh is actively investigating treatments for major depressive disorder.

GM-1020, an oral NMDA receptor antagonist, and GM-2505, a serotonin receptor agonist, represent novel approaches to psychiatric treatment.

In addition to ongoing clinical endeavors, Gilgamesh is pursuing an investigational new drug (IND) application for GM-5022, an oral non-hallucinogenic neuroplastogen

These innovative compounds hold promise for addressing the significant unmet need in psychiatric care, offering potential solutions for mood and anxiety disorders.

Jonathon Sedgwick, AbbVie’s senior vice president and global head of discovery research, emphasized the importance of embracing novel technologies and approaches to address the persistent challenges in psychiatric treatment. 

He underscored the urgent need for innovation in the field and expressed confidence in the collaboration’s potential to advance the development of groundbreaking therapies.

The collaboration between AbbVie and Gilgamesh comes at a time of growing interest and investment in psychedelic medicine for psychiatric disorders. 

While traditional psychedelics have shown promise in clinical trials, their psychoactive effects have posed challenges for widespread adoption. 

Neuroplastogens offer a compelling alternative, harnessing the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics while mitigating unwanted side effects.

The broader landscape of psychedelic medicine is evolving rapidly, with upcoming regulatory reviews signaling potential breakthroughs in the field. 

However, public perception remains a significant factor in shaping the trajectory of psychedelic treatments. 

The outcome of regulatory assessments and public attitudes will play a crucial role in determining the future of these innovative therapies.

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