The mental healthcare system is in desperate need of innovation.
With the intersection of sacred medicines and modern science, we can both scale and improve treatment outcomes in a safe and equitable manner.
An atai Life Sciences company
Revixia Life Sciences is a biotech company developing Salvinorin A (SalA) for substance use disorder, treatment-resistant depression, and pain.
SalA is a substance derived from Salvia divinorum, the strongest naturally occurring psychoactive plant. SalA is a unique non-nitrogenous agonist of the kappa-opioid receptor (KOR) with potential use in treatment-resistant depression (TRD), substance use disorder (SUD) and pain.
- Mechanism of Action: SalA is an atypical KOR agonist with a complex pharmacological profile. Its unique mechanism of action (MoA) shows no interaction at the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor, which is the main molecular target for the classical hallucinogens such as psilocybin and LSD. Instead, it is hypothesised that SalA indirectly influences the cannabinoid system, as well as being an allosteric modulator of the µ opioid receptor.
- Prior evidence in humans: Clinically, there are published reports of the potential benefits of S.divinorum in the treatment of TRD. Karl Hanes reported on 7 patients with TRD who described relief from depressive symptoms with continued oral consumption of salvia leaves three times a week. Most of these patients reported lasting benefits from their use of the herb with significant reduced scores on quantitative measures of depression and several reported benefits such as mood enhancement, increased feelings of relaxation and increased self-awareness. Additionally, a recent study in rhesus monkeys demonstrated that SalA can decrease oxycodone self-administration in rhesus monkeys in a dose-dependent manner, indicating that combinations of oxycodone and the KOR agonists should be further investigated as potential analgesics with reduced abuse liability
Sal A’s unique mechanism of action makes it an interesting compound with a lot of potential. Its short psychedelic effect could be an attractive option for those who would like psychedelic treatment but are unwilling or unable to participate in longer sessions. The shorter experience will allow for more practical administration and monitoring, which may even make it possible to attend psychotherapy sessions on the same day.
- Glenn Short, PhD
, CEO of Revixia Life Sciences