Illegal ecstasy takes step toward becoming legal drug for PTSD

Robert Langreth, Tiffany Kary and Fiona Rutherford | (TNS) Bloomberg News

The first new PTSD drug in over twenty years is up for approval. It will require U.S. regulators to do something they’ve never done before: greenlight the mind-altering — and illegal — party drug known as ecstasy.

The new drug is a version of MDMA, also known as ecstasy, made by Lykos Therapeutics Inc., an unusual drugmaker started by a nonprofit that has for decades advocated to bring psychedelic therapy to the masses.

On June 4, the public will gain the first hint of how regulators are leaning when outside experts on the Food and Drug Administration’s Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee debate the data during a daylong session where both the company and FDA officials are expected to make their case. A decision on whether to approve the drug is likely by August.