FDA Grants Priority Review of Application for MDMA-Assisted Therapy

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted priority review for an application seeking to use MDMA (commonly known as ecstasy) for the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

MDMA tablets, often called “ecstasy”.

Lykos Therapeutics, a company dedicated to “transforming mental healthcare”, announced recently that the FDA has accepted its new drug application (“NDA”) for midomafetamine capsules (“MDMA”) used in combination with psychological intervention, which includes psychotherapy (talk therapy) and other supportive services provided by a qualified healthcare provider for individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”). The FDA has granted the application priority review and has assigned a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (“PDUFA”) target action date of August 11, 2024.

If approved, this would be the first MDMA-assisted therapy and psychedelic-assisted therapy.

“Securing priority review for our investigational MDMA-assisted therapy is a significant accomplishment and underscores the urgent unmet need for new innovation in the treatment of PTSD,” said Amy Emerson, chief executive officer of Lykos Therapeutics. “We remain focused on working with the FDA through the review process and preparing for a controlled launch with an emphasis on quality should this potential treatment be approved.”

The NDA submission included results from numerous studies including two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 3 studies (MAPP1 and MAPP2) evaluating the efficacy and safety of MDMA used in combination with psychological intervention versus placebo with therapy in participants diagnosed with severe or moderate to severe PTSD, respectively. Both MAPP1 and MAPP2 studies met their primary and secondary endpoints and were published in Nature Medicine. 1, 2 The primary endpoint for both studies was to assess changes in PTSD symptom severity as measured by the change from baseline in Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 (“CAPS-5”). The key secondary endpoint of both studies was to assess improvement in functional impairment associated with PTSD as measured by the change from baseline in the Sheehan Disability Scale (“SDS”). No serious adverse events were reported in the MDMA group in either study.

The FDA grants priority review for drugs that, if approved, would represent significant improvements in the safety or effectiveness of the treatment, diagnosis, or prevention of serious conditions when compared to standard applications.

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