Perception Neuroscience

Perception Neuroscience is a biopharmaceutical company based in New York City. It was founded in 2018 and acquired the following year by Berlin-based ATAI Life Sciences.

The company is developing arketamine (or R-ketamine, one ketamine’s two mirror-image isomers) for mental disorders, with an initial focus on treatment-resistant depression. More about the differences among ketamine formulations and their distinct neurochemistry can be read on Psychedelic Science Review. Perception’s “About Us” webpage explains why the company is focusing on arketamine:

Questions regarding long-term safety and abuse potential persist for both [racemic] ketamine and esketamine…In the social defeat stress and learned helplessness rodent models of depression, the effect of arketamine appeared to be greater in magnitude and longer-lasting compared to esketamine. Other results in animal models suggest that arketamine could have lower abuse potential.1 

Perception’s Phase 1 clinical trials with healthy volunteers showed positive safety results. 

In March 2021, Perception announced a partnership with Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. Together, the companies aim to commercialize the product in Japan as a treatment for depressive symptoms.