Late last week we received news that Compass Pathways’ psilocybin compound COMP360 produced extremely positive results in alleviating depression results in cancer patients.
On Friday, May 26th Sunstone Therapies presented data at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) showing positive long-term follow-up results from psilocybin therapy in cancer patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Founded by oncologists, Sunstone Therapies is developing psychedelic therapies and building healing centers treat emotional and psychological impact of cancer and other diseases.
Sunstone’s announced additional data was from a long-term, 18-month follow-up study of psilocybin therapy in cancer patients with MDD (using COMP360). According to Sunstone, this is believed to be the longest-term follow-up study of psilocybin therapy with cancer patients ever completed. The original phase 2 study was completed in 2021 (published in JAMA Oncology last month) and long-term follow-up results were announced last week.
The open-label phase 2 study tested 30 patients with both curable and incurable cancer, treating them with a 25mg dose of synthesized COMP360 psilocybin. There was a 1:1 therapist-to-patient ratio and the patients cohorts received group therapy in 1 preparation and 2 integration sessions, plus individual therapy. After treatment, the patient’s results were evaluated at 8 weeks and again at 18 months.
From the published results:
Results indicated that a single dose of psilocybin therapy, combined with psychological support, induced remission from depression in patients with cancer and MDD. This was measured by the sustained clinical response, defined as ≥ 50% decrease in scores on the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) scale from baseline and week 8 (study termination) to 18 months.
The long-term follow-up gave very promising results: 28 of the 30 patients from the original study were enrolled in the 18-month follow-up study, and a “sustained clinical response was demonstrated in 18 patients (64%) with 16 patients (57%) demonstrating remission of depression at 18 months”.
Despite being a relatively small sample size, these are impressive results for long-term remission (or remission at any point for that matter) and are significant supporting data for psilocybin’s long-term healing potential. Keep in mind, this is from just a single dose of psilocybin.
Another item of note: These results were for Major Depressive Disorder while Compass Pathways’ primary clinical trial using COMP360 is for Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD) — a category of patients with a harder-to-treat form of depression. This could explain the big difference in results between this study and Compass’ Phase 2b results, which were positive but caused some disappointment at the lack of blockbuster headline numbers.
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