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ASX-listed and WA-based Emyria Limited (ASX:EMD) has announced its successful receipt of commitments for $2.3M in funding to expand its clinical services intended to treat medication-resistant PTSD with MDMA and similar compounds.

Capital raisings of any kind aren’t typically smiled upon by shareholders, reflected in today’s -1.8% decline of the EMD share price to 5.5c in lunchtime trades.

The company highlighted on Tuesday that its Chair, Greg Hutchinson, has subscribed for $0.3M. Total C-suite participation clocked in at $320,000.

All in all, the company seeks to use the funds to expand its clinical services. Those clinical services are, ultimately, the product of a partnership with University of Western Australia (UWA) chemists.

Those chemists have developed a range of ‘MDMA-like compounds’ for use in treating patients with PTSD who have not responded well to traditional methodologies for that condition.

The emerging field of science – if you want to use the word ’emerging’ – has long been of interest to bona fide mental health professionals, as well as more spiritualistic types of individuals.

The basic premise, in layman’s terms, is that pscyhoactive drugs like MDMA may allow one to ‘unlock’ parts of their inner psyche that would otherwise be inaccessible to the participating patient.

Much similar research exists where looking at ‘magic mushroom’ compound psilocybin, and the latter half of the 20th century had no shortage of studies using LSD for similar means.

Overall efficacy of using such drugs for complex mental health conditions remains mixed, with some reports glowing and others finding the premise is, on the whole, unrealistic.

Still, strong interest persists within the medical and mental health academic communities, as well as in the broader community.

The company recently launched its ‘Empax centre’ – a play on the word empathy, which MDMA is supposedly meant to enhance in individuals – and today’s announced funding will go towards this endeavour before operating overhead.

“We are embarking on an exciting phase of growth with our newly opened Empax Centre. I am profoundly optimistic about the impact our work will have on mental health,” Emyria chair Greg Hutchinson said.

“I am confident that the strategic use of these funds will significantly advance our mission, set new standards in care, and ultimately transform lives.”

For those who are enthusiastic about the notion of using MDMA to treat mental health, it can be easy for excitement to cause confusion.

This journalist is aware many people presume MDMA will be prescribed on a take-home basis, but this is far from reality.

Any such trials are conducted in a guided therapy session and dosages are typically conservative. Participation is often expensive and insurance can be a nightmare.

That’s before getting into still-unknown questions about what, exactly, makes some people respond well to the treatments over others.

The long-term efficacy of MDMA treatments are also less widely reported than evidence that initial outcomes may improve, in some people.

EMD shares last traded at 5.5cps.

EMD by the numbers
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