Incannex’s Clarion Clinics ready to open its doors for Australia’s first psychedelic treatment clinic
Incannex Healthcare’s (ASX: IHL) subsidiary, Clarion Clinics Group, has begun accepting registrations of interest from potential patients for two new psychedelic-assisted therapy (PAT) treatments at its website clarionclinics.com.
The PAT treatments are intended to assist patients with treatment resistant depression (TRD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) using psilocybin and MDMA in an Australian first clinic comprising experienced psychiatrists and psychologists, who in many cases have strong academic backgrounds.
Initial steps and expectations
“This is the first step in the process towards receiving treatment and we anticipate that there will be a high level of interest in our leading-edge treatments,” said Incannex’s director responsible for Clarion, Peter Widdows.
Treatments will be conducted in Clarion’s purpose-designed clinic, which is currently in the final fit-out stage at its location close to Melbourne’s city centre.
The clinic features seven treatment rooms and other facilities conducive to psychedelic-assisted therapy.
“A lot of thought went into the design of the clinic, as both practical and aesthetic considerations are very important for this type of treatment. It’s imperative that clients feel welcome, comfortable and safe. We wanted the design of the space to support a sense of calm and a positive mindset, as we know these things contribute to better treatment outcomes,” Mr Widdows said.
Treatment program and team
As well as taking advantage of this specially designed facility, the company’s clinical leadership of Dr Paul Liknaitzky, Professor Suresh Sundram and Sean O’Carroll have developed a bespoke nine-month long treatment program.
“Our evidence-informed treatment protocols, professional team, and experience within research trials will soon be in service of our clients and the best possible treatment we can provide,” Dr Liknaitzky said.
Due to the nature of the psychedelic compounds to be used in Clarion’s PAT protocol, the team’s psychiatrists must be approved under the TGA’s Authorised Prescriber Scheme.
“The recent guidance from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in regards to PAT are part of the process towards the safe and effective provision of clinical psychedelic care to the many people who are without adequate treatment options for serious mental health conditions,” said professor Suresh Sundram, Clarion director and head of psychiatry.
Understanding PTSD and other mental health issues
According to Australian health authorities, an estimated 12% of Australians will suffer from PTSD at some point in their lifetime, and 1.5% of the population (390,000 people) have a PTSD diagnosis at any given time.
Studies have identified that certain groups such as people who serve in the defence force, military veterans, first responders, and certain minority groups make up a disproportionate share of people who experience this debilitating mental health disorder.
A new approach to treatment-resistant cases
Dr Liknaitzky said that along with many PTSD sufferers, it is estimated that 26.5% of Australians who suffer from depression do not adequately respond to standard treatments.
“The term ‘treatment-resistant’ has misleading connotations, implying that all avenues have been exhausted and that front-line treatments work well for everyone else.”
“In reality, neither are typically true. For people who have suffered with certain conditions that have not responded to available treatments, psychedelic-assisted therapies may provide substantial improvements to negative symptoms and quality of life,” Dr Liknaitzky added.
The first ‘model clinic’ in Abbotsford, Melbourne, is nearing fit out completion.
Clarion Clinics has planned to open many more clinics in major cities across Australia.
Clarion’s bespoke protocol involves a thorough pre-treatment assessment process, including psychiatric evaluation and diagnosis, medical assessment, and psychological assessment.
If accepted for treatment, the client will be treated over a period of 9 months of psychotherapy, including certain psychotherapy sessions that include dosing with psychedelics.