The University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) is financing a study into the psychedelic psilocybin with the help of decentralized fundraising platform Molecule Catalyst, in the first attempt to fund a clinical trial into psychedelics using decentralized finance.
According to a recent post on the Molecule blog, the effort will be a joint collaboration between Molecule Catalyst, Rotem Petranker and Thomas Anderson, directors at the University of Toronto Mississauga Psychedelic Studies Research Program (PSRP).
Fundraising with blockchain
Through its partnership with Molecule Catalyst, UTM hope to raise an undisclosed sum to fund its planned psilocybin clinical trials.
Molecule uses blockchain technology to provide an incentive-based market for scientific research. Through Molecule Catalyst, research groups will be able to raise funds for the study of rare diseases, ageing & longevity and psychedelics, among other fields.
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To provide an incentive to investors, Molecule uses smart contracts to make the chemical intellectual property resulting from successful products easily tradeable on the Ethereum blockchain. In this way, funders receive a stake in the projects they support—allowing investors of all sizes to help fund potentially pioneering research and benefit from its success. Molecule uses the dollar-backed stablecoin DAI to overcome market instability.
UTM's psilocybin study is the first fund-raising project to be hosted by Molecule Catalyst, which ultimately aims to create a Web 3.0 marketplace and exchange for chemical IP.
The UTM study will investigate the effects of microdosing a psychedelic compound known as psilocybin on a variety of cognitive indicators.
Besides examining psilocybin's effect on creativity, mood and focus, the study will also measure its influence on social connection, self-efficacy and mindfulness.
Overall, UTM hopes that the data produced will help to guide global psychedelics research, by setting a new precedent that can be used to direct impactful psychedelics research.
Previously, psilocybin has been shown to effective in treating a wide variety of mental disorders, ranging from anxiety and depression, to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, due to its potential to be abused as a psychedelic drug, the psychoactive substance has been shelved as a potential therapeutic by most pharmaceutical research groups.