Awakn CEO on Addiction: ‘The Biggest Unmet Medical Need of Modern Times’
On this episode of The Dales Report, Shadd Dales is joined by Professor David Nutt, Chief Research Officer, and Anthony Tennyson, CEO of Awakn Life Sciences Corp. (NEO: AWKN)(OTCMKTS: AWKNF). We’re discussing the recent announcement of positive data from Awakn clinical trials on ketamine-assisted therapy for alcohol use disorder and learning a little bit more about addiction and the brain.
Awakn is a biotechnology company, researching, developing and delivering psychedelic therapeutics to treat addiction.
Awakn Completed Phase II AB Trial For Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy To Treat Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)
Professor Nutt explains that this trial was a randomized study, which means not only were there patients who received ketamine and no ketamine, it also randomized them within their groups between having psychotherapy or only education.
“The results came out very clearly that ketamine therapy plus psychotherapy was definitely the best. And as you might imagine, placebo plus education was the worst. And that was a very big difference between the interesting outcome and the weak outcome,” says Nutt.
Tennyson Believes Addicts Treated ‘Badly’ By Industry Providing Treatment For Them
As we’ve seen in our years at The Dales Report, many in the industry agree that exploring new treatments for substance abuse disorders and other behavioral issues is long overdue. Awakn hopes to tackle some of these addiction issues.
“What drives us every day is to provide hope for the individuals, families and communities, the hundreds of millions of individuals who are so badly affected by addiction, but also are so poorly treated by the industry that is meant to be providing treatment for these people,” Tennyson says.
“You know, if we look at it, there’s 20% of the planet suffer with a substance addiction, like alcohol, opioids or tobacco, another couple hundred million people suffer with behavioral addictions. And the treatment outcomes are pretty poor, resulting in addiction being the biggest unmet medical need of modern times.”
Professor Nutt agrees. “[Addiction] affects everyone, and it’s no one’s fault, particularly in a society, which actually allows advertising of things like tobacco and alcohol and gambling. If people get addicted, it’s not their fault. There’s just something wrong with their brain. And we have to see that, see if we can set it right.”
Awakn Has An Ambitious Plan To Open Clinics Capable Of Treating Addiction And Other Mental Health Disorders
Earlier this month, Awakn Clinics London received Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) formal approval to begin ketamine treatments for addiction and mental health. This makes London the third such clinic for Awakn, joining Bristol and Oslo, Norway.
But investors might want to note, Awakn has more in the works.
“So as you say, we’ve got three clinics operational right now,” says Tennyson. “The goal is for us to have another 17 clinics by the as we get into calendar year 2025.”
“Each one of our clinics can generate about 3 million Sterling top line, or about four to four US dollars, five Canadian dollars, and about 25 points of margin. So that clinics division, when operating 20 clinics, will enable us to generate about 60 Sterling, 80 US, 100 Canadian, at 25 points of margin, which we can reinvest back into the R&D engine in a non diluted manner on an annual basis.”
Listen to the full interview above to hear more about Awakn’s plans to expand from Europe into North America, and how they’re also exploring treatment modalities in MDMA.