The pharmaceutical company Incannex Healthcare Inc (Nasdaq: IXHL) and a group of mental health experts announced the grand opening of Australia’s first legal psychedelic therapy clinic on Thursday.
The Clarion Clinics location in Victoria is the country’s first medical facility providing psilocybin and MDMA-assisted therapy to individuals diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Clarion’s Head of Psychiatry Suresh Sundram received approval from Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration to prescribe the two substances to individuals with the aforementioned mental health conditions. He has been approved to administer them in conjunction with extensive psychotherapy.
“I’m grateful to the TGA for their endorsement of my experience and qualifications to deliver this ground-breaking treatment,” Sundram said.
The country implemented its controversial Authorized Prescriber Scheme (APS) for psychedelic therapies last July. The APS enables certified health practitioners to prescribe psilocybin for depression and MDMA for PTSD specifically.
“This treatment is potentially life-changing for many people in Australia,” Inncanex Director Peter Widdows said. He estimated in 2023 that the country’s psychedelic therapy market would be worth over C$2 billion annually in the coming years.
Clarion and Incannex will begin screening potential patients right away. The clinic’s opening represents a significant milestone in the establishment of the country’s new framework for the treatments.
Inncanex and Clarion collaborated on multiple clinical trials at Melbourne’s Monash University before opening the facility.
“People have been able to turn their lives around in remarkable ways, often following decades of suffering with severe symptoms and disability,” Paul Liknaitzky, Co-Founder of Clarion Clinics, said last year.
Clinic to treat hundreds of patients per year
The facility expects to be capable of treating well over 600 patients annually. Clarion and Incannex plan on opening several more clinics throughout the country and abroad.
Canadian biotech companies like Filament Health Corp. (OTCQB: FLHLF), PharmAla Biotech Holdings Inc. (CSE: MDMA) (OTC: PMBHF) and Optimi Health Corp. (CSE: OPTI) (OTCQX: OPTHF) have been sending their psilocybin and MDMA to Australia in recent days.
The charity Mind Medicine Australia (MMA) is actively working to ensure a steady supply of those psychedelics in the country. Last month, the organization legally administered them to patients outside of clinical trials for the first time in over half a century.
“It is so gratifying to see patients who are suffering immensely being able to be treated with these transformational therapies for the first time in over 50 years,” MMA Executive Director Tania do Jong said.
MMA agreed to supply the psychedelics for clinical trials in Australia at no cost last May prior to the APS being implemented.
“We believe regulations regarding the use of psychedelic-assisted therapies will change in other countries too, following Australia’s lead and as new drugs receive regulatory approval,” Incannex CEO Joel Latham said.
Clarion will charge a substantial C$21,100 for its nine month treatment package. Treatment includes psychiatry, psychotherapy, psychedelic medicines and aftercare. However, the company says that amount may be potentially reduced with Medicare insurance.