A Californian based biomedical research company Bexson Biomedical, who last year announced they had developed a wearable ketamine delivery system, have now said that they intend to repurpose the device to include psychedelic substances such as LSD, DMT and MDMA.
Co-founders Jeffery Becker and Greg Peterson wanted to do something to help tackle the US opioid crisis, which resulted in their development of the ketamine pump device that works along the same principles as an insulin pump.
The device delivers a subcutaneous ketamine injection, where a short needle is used to inject a drug into the top layer of fat between the skin and the muscle, usually in the stomach area. The rationale for this delivery method, and for developing the device in the first place was because, “..a new delivery system is needed to address the limitations of current ketamine preparations to allow control over dosing and reduced need for monitoring”.
“We are actively developing our psychedelic formulations and would like to have them in humans in 2022,” Greg Peterson said. “We’ve got some work to do beforehand, but that would be our target.”
Using the same dosing principles for psychedelic substances, the developers envisage users being able to use the device to administer an amount of a psychedelic substance such as DMT that has been personally tailored to themselves. However, human trials are still ongoing, and there will need to be more trials before these devices are available for doctors to use on their patients, so don’t expect to see them being used recreationally any time soon.
“When you swallow a bolus [single] dose of something that doesn’t come on for an hour it’s very hard to get the dose right, and people’s liver enzymes are so variable that you can get 300 percent differences out of a given dose,” explained Becker. He used an example of how one person could be overwhelmed after a single pill of ecstasy, while another might take three identical pills to feel anything at all. “Why does that happen? A lot of it is liver enzyme stuff, and that doesn’t play well in a medical office.”
The device has been designed to have an adjustable pump that allows the user to control the amount of whichever substance they are using, be that MDMA, LSD, DMT or even mescaline.
“We realized that what we had done was to hack the problems that are associated with a whole host of other molecules, and a whole bunch of other possible repurposing projects came into our awareness,” Becker said.
“We really see [this method of delivery] as substantially increasing the safety and also probably increasing consistency, so that patients can prepare for an event, go in, and it’s going to happen; they know they’re going to get into the space, and it’s not going to be a guessing game about ‘do I drink one cup of this brew or two cups?’ Our goals are to be much more in control of the dosing,” Becker added. “The pump is programmable, so when we’re looking at a different molecule like a psychedelic, where you’re really wanting to get a blood level that’s going to get it into the brain, it’s really just a matter of changing the programming in the pump.”