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Novotech Announces MOU with Experienced Psychedelics Research Center at the 4th Annual Psychedelic Therapeutics and Drug Development Conference in Boston


BOSTON, May 22, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Novotech, the global full-service clinical Contract Research Organization (CRO) that partners with biotech companies to accelerate the development of advanced and novel therapeutics at every phase, has signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with New Zealand Clinical Research (NZCR).

Novotech’s Senior Therapeutic Strategy Manager, Dr. Shawnna Barrett, and Senior Business Development Manager, Lainie Mulvanny, will announce the MOU at the 4th Annual Psychedelic Therapeutics and Drug Development Conference in Boston, MA, on May 23-24, 2024.

NZCR, which has 4 sites across New Zealand, is a leading early phase research center with a strong track-record conducting psychedelics studies.

Novotech has previously collaborated with NZCR on multiple psychedelic studies. This partnership further signals Novotech’s commitment to pioneering research in the field of psychedelic medicines.

For decades, Novotech has been establishing relationships with specialized clinical research sites worldwide, ensuring clients receive priority access to some of the most experienced sites and clinical teams.

The global market for psychedelic drugs, was estimated at US$5.50 Billion in 2023, and is projected to grow 13% from 2024 to 2030, with revenues anticipated to reach close to US$12.94 Billion.

Psychedelic drugs come in three main categories:

  • dissociative pharmaceuticals like phencyclidine (PCP)
  • empathogens like 3,4-Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine (MDMA; ecstacy)
  • serotonergic drugs such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)

The leading drugs being investigated in trials are psilocybin, LSD, ketamine hydrochloride, and mebufotenin.

A Novotech review of current research applications reveals that CNS disorders are the leading therapeutic area in global psychedelic drug trials, with primary indications including depression, anxiety disorders, pain, and substance abuse.

“This MOU signifies a further collaboration with NZCR to support Novotech’s psychedelic therapy biotech clients. With their extensive experience and expertise in conducting clinical trials, coupled with a passionate team of psychiatrists deeply invested in this area, NZCR is an ideal research partner for exploring the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. Together with NZCR, we aim to unlock new insights, drive meaningful progress, and ultimately, make a positive impact on patients' lives,” stated Dr. Barrett.

NZCR CEO, Dr. Christian Schwabe said, “NZCR has a close and long-standing relationship with Novotech, who we have successfully partnered with on previous psychedelic drug trials. We are excited about the opportunities this MOU brings as we continue to lead research in this therapeutic area.”

Novotech research has found that during the period from 2019 to 2023, nearly 75 psychedelic drug trials were initiated and remained ongoing. The trials are predominantly conducted in Europe and North America, accounting for 39% and 38% respectively. The Asia-Pacific region follows with 20%, while the Middle East, Africa, and South and Central America together hold 3% share.

The number of psychedelic drug trials had grown by more than fourfold from 2021 to 2023.

When analysing trials by phase the data shows Phase II dominates with 37 trials, followed by 11 trials each in Phase I and Phase III. Additionally, there were 4 trials in Phase I/II and 2 in Healthy Volunteers. The prominence of Phase II trials suggests a prime focus on assessing efficacy and dosing of psychedelic drugs in the period from 2019 to 2023.

NZCR was formed in 2020 through the merger of Auckland Clinical Studies (ACS) and Christchurch Clinical Studies Trust (CCST) and is New Zealand’s leading early phase clinical research provider. In 2023, NZCR acquired Optimal Clinical Trials, a late phase clinical trials operation, to form the NZCR Group. NZCR Group brings experience in over 850 trials involving over 20,000 participants.

With physician led, world class research sites and six units located in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, and Hamilton, the NZCR Group conducts complex multi-phase clinical research in healthy participant and patient populations.


Founded in 1997, Novotech is a global full-service clinical Contract Research Organization (CRO) focused on partnering with biotech companies to accelerate the development of advanced and novel therapeutics at every phase.

Recognized for its industry-leading contributions, Novotech has received numerous prestigious awards, including the CRO Leadership Award 2023, the Asia Pacific Cell & Gene Therapy Clinical Trials Excellence 2023, the Asia-Pacific Contract Research Organization Company of the Year Award since 2006.

The Company offers a comprehensive suite of services including laboratories, Phase I facilities, drug development consulting, regulatory expertise, and has experience with over 5,000 clinical projects, including Phase I to Phase IV clinical trials and bioequivalence studies. With a presence in 34 office locations and a dedicated team of 3,000+ professionals worldwide, Novotech is a trusted end-to-end strategic partner of choice.

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