Dr. Anat Fields has worked in pharmaceutical companies for more than 20 years, yet when she talks about her current work a developing a first-of-its-kind prescription tablet containing synthetic CBD, her excitement is palpable.
“EmpowerPharm is amazing to me, both because it is an innovative company and also because it is small, which means that you can do so many different things,” says Dr. Fields. The trained scientist was drawn to the relatively young company for its ground-breaking work, but also because it is focused on mental health.
A new drug for anxiety
“This is a science-based company and that’s important to me. And the fact that we are working on a treatment for anxiety is incredible. We have not seen new drugs specifically for treating anxiety in almost twenty years and here is a company that is willing to take the risk and create something that has not been attempted before. I see the amazing impact that this is going to have on people with anxiety who will be able to use drugs and won’t have the problematic side effects that can come with current therapies. This is very interesting for me,” explains Dr. Fields.
EmpowerPharm is developing a first-of-its-kind prescription tablet containing synthetic CBD to help Canada fill the gap left by existing therapies. Pending clinical research results, EmpowerCBD™ may help Canadians manage future anxiety and mental health crises. Containing synthetic CBD as the active ingredient (API), the EmpowerCBD™ tablets will be 99.9% pure and contain no THC.
“The whole field of psychiatric disorders as a whole is slowly becoming more prominent. When I was doing my Post-Doctorate and it was time to look for a job, my plan was to work for an innovative company that developed psychiatric drugs. Unfortunately, that was not really an option, particularly not in the GTA,” says Dr. Fields, adding that she felt it was such a neglected field. “Research into anxiety is so needed. It is a quality-of-life issue.”
The pandemic and mental health
Dr. Fields has experienced first-hand in the last year that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse effect on mental health.
As part of her work volunteering for an emotional first aid help line, Dr. Fields says she has seen an increase in the number of calls in the last year, particularly those associated with anxiety. “People are more anxious and people are more willing to talk about it.”
She adds that the increased media attention on mental health has also helped reduce stigma surrounding people with different mental issues. The pandemic and the focus on mental health almost legitimizes talking about anxiety, which is a really good change in the way people talk,” says Dr. Fields.
A pharmaceutical approach to CBD
One of the things that excites Dr. Fields about the work is the rigorous research work being done at EmpowerPharm. “I am a scientist by training, so every time something is done logically and scientifically it gives me confidence that we’re doing the right thing and that is very important to me. Believing in what I’m doing is so important.”
She adds, “I believe we are going the right way. We are doing the research very logically; we are testing the right things; we are talking with the leading researchers and doctors in the field of anxiety to help guide us in our work. I think that is amazing. This whole approach is about doing it right.”