On March 8, 2012, the protocol for our planned intern study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD received conditional approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) pending a few minor modifications to study documents. The protocol was submitted to the FDA on February 27, and is now awaiting review. This study will take place in Boulder, CO, and will explore the effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy when one member of the male/female co-therapist team is an experienced therapist and the other is an intern working under supervision for credit towards licensure. This approach will help train a new generation of therapists as well as help reduce study costs. The key question is whether outcomes will be similar to when the male/female co-therapist team is composed of two trained therapists.
The protocol was submitted to the IRB on March 1 and reviewed on March 8, the same day conditional approval was granted. This study will take place in Boulder, Colorado, and will be our second U.S. trial site. The study will explore the effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD using two different doses of MDMA (125 mg followed by a 62.5 mg supplemental dose, and 40 mg followed by a 20 mg supplemental dose). We are evaluating whether a slightly larger low dose (40 mg) than in our previous studies will be a way to create an effective double blind with just two treatment groups. The study will also enable us to make formal comparisons of the effectiveness of the therapy between different therapeutic teams. The Boulder team will participate in our therapist training program in Charleston, SC, from April 8-11, 2012, before beginning the study.
We have already received pledges of $125,000 for this study—about half the total cost—and are seeking the remaining $125,000.