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MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Could Save Alcohol-Addicted Canadians Billions Per Year

Awakn Life Sciences Inc. announces results of a clinical trial using MDMA for patients with alcohol use disorder; research moves forward into a Phase IIb study.

Heart disease and cancer are responsible for 46 percent of deaths in the United States. Ethanol, which is pure alcohol, is classified by the World Health Organization as a group one carcinogen. In other words, there is convincing evidence that the agent causes cancer.

The impact of alcoholism isn’t just reflected in obituaries. A report released in 2018 by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction and the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research estimated alcohol costs Canadians almost $15 billion per year.

A new study by Awakn Life Sciences Inc. shows that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy could change that.

Awakn’s CMO Dr. Ben Sessa’s Bristol Imperial MDMA in Alcoholism (BIMA) trial is an open-label safety, tolerability and proof-of-concept study investigating the potential role of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in treating patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD).

The results, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, show no unexpected adverse events, and that psychosocial functioning improved across the cohort.

Over an eight-week course of therapy, participants received two sessions with MDMA (187.5 mg each session). Psychological support was provided before, during, and after each session. At nine months post detox, the average units of alcohol consumption by participants was 18.7 units per week compared to 130.6 units per week before the detox.

“This is the first clinical study into the potential effectiveness of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy as a treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder. It provides preliminary support for the safety and tolerability of MDMA post-detox,” says Dr. Ben Sessa, Awakn’s Chief Medical Officer. “Awakn is now designing further trials to examine better the therapeutic potential of MDMA.”

Awakn will move this research forward into a Phase IIb study in the United Kingdom and will be a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial designed to investigate further, the safety and efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for Alcohol Use Disorder, with the goal being MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy approved as a treatment.

About Awakn Life Sciences Inc.

Awakn Life Sciences is a clinical-biotech company researching, developing, and delivering evidence-based psychedelic medicine to treat Addiction and other mental health conditions. Awakn is integrating psychedelic medicine into mainstream healthcare through Research, Clinics, and Ecosystems.

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