Perth-based biotech Emyria (ASX: EMD) has launched a new solution for tackling depression via a ketamine-assisted therapy (KAT) program based at the Pax Centre in the city’s inner north.
The program is being supported by scientific advisor Dr Ben Sessa, one of the UK's foremost figures in psychedelic research and clinical medicine, who was recently appointed to the centre.
Emyria says Australian research has highlighted the potential of ketamine to treat severe depression, with many participants in studies showing remissions or notable reductions in symptoms after a month-long regimen of ketamine injections. However, the benefits appear to fade when treatment is stopped.
According to Emyria, the results show that while more work needs to be done, the results highlight the potential of the treatment.
Emyria’s KAT program will be run within the Pax Centre under the supervision by Sessa, who has overseen more than 100 KAT sessions.
The company expects the program is to become a set of protocols that it can license to other providers looking to provide the same service to patients.
“Australia has an incredible opportunity to lead the world in this promising new field and I’m pleased to be supporting Emyria and the clinicians of the Pax Centre develop leading programs for their patients," Sessa says.
Emyria is utilising the Pax Centre after recently acquiring the facility, with the company saying the centre has the ‘multi-disciplinary staff, fit-for-purpose facilities and a suitable patient population’ needed to integrate KAT alongside its MDMA-assisted therapy program.
With the protocol development under way, Emyria expects to treat its first patients by the end of the September quarter.
Emyria, an alternative medicine company that also has developed CBD treatments for seizures, partnered with the University of Western Australia in 2021 to study how 100 MDMA-like compounds could help treat patients suffering from PTSD and Parkinson's disease.
Last year, the company said t was ‘uniquely positioned’ to advance and help commercialise MDMA-assisted therapies once new TGA regulations came into effect from 1 July 2023. The changes now allow psychiatrists to prescribe psychedelic drugs MDMA and psilocybin to treat patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
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