Awakn CEO Anthony Tennyson Predicts 2022 Will Be A Big Year For Institutional Investment In Psychedelics
Awakn Life Sciences Corp. (NEO: AWKN) (OTCMKTS: AWKNF) co-founder and CEO Anthony Tennyson sat down with The Dales Report earlier this week for a discussion on the company’s focus, its recent performance on the stock market, and how it intends to treat substance use disorder through its growing network of clinics.
Moving Forward With Engagement
“We’re focused on driving research to secure marketing authorization and therefore on-label use and reimbursement for the medicines and the therapeutics packages that we’re in the process of developing,” said Tennyson. Those medicines include ketamine, MDMA, and proprietary chemical entities. Currently ketamine is the only drug offered at its operational clinics.
“Where I hope to see this industry going is fully integrated into the existing addiction treatment industry for us, and the existing mental health treatment industry for other firms or companies that are focused on that,” he said.
“That means support from and engagement with the public healthcare system in the primary instance, and the healthcare insurance companies in the secondary instance, because of the pervasiveness of the public healthcare system in Ireland, the UK, and Europe.” In the United States, he said, where healthcare is private, real engagement and support from insurance companies takes precedent.
Institutional Investors Lining Up
Tennyson commented briefly on the stock market and on Awakn’s share price, which he said has been among the better performing psychedelics companies since Labour Day.
“I think some people are still tracking down, but I don’t think that’s an indictment of any individual company,” he said. “I think it’s just people trying to capture losses so they can offset them against their trading portfolio gains for the year. I think we are really going to see the industry take off as we get into next year.”
The CEO said his confidence comes from seeing recent interest from institutional investors, who he says are lining up to invest in psychedelics “in a relatively material way.”
“This is an industry that is ripe for investment by institutional investors, in addition to retail investors. If you look at the cannabis industry, the cannabis industry never really got the institutional investors behind it in a meaningful way,” he said.
New Research Partnership Aims To Increase Access
Awakn recently signed a memorandum of understanding with a division of the UK’s National Health Service and the University of Exeter. Along with Devon Partnership NHS Trust and UoE, Awakn will investigate how to enhance the evidence base for ketamine-assisted psychotherapy as an alternative treatment for alcohol use disorder and treatment-resistant depression.
The partnership will also assess how best to accelerate the on-label use of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy to treat alcohol use disorder at scale.
Tennyson said the NHS has the second-largest budget of any healthcare system on the planet, at about $200 billion per year.
“They recognize that alcohol use disorder is a significant cost to them. Treatment rates are low, success rates are low. You’ve typically got about a 75 percent failure rate for all treatments for alcohol use disorder in the UK. It’s just not good enough,” he said.
Watch the rest of Tennyson’s discussion with TDR in the video above.