Recruitment Has Commenced for the First-Of-Its-Kind, U.K. - based Study, Led by Renowned Ketamine Researcher
Toronto, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - August 24, 2021) - Awakn Life Sciences Corp. (NEO: AWKN) (OTCQB: AWKNF) (FSE: 954) (Awakn), a biotechnology company developing and delivering psychedelic medicine to better treat Addiction, announced today that it has received ethical committee approval and has initiated recruitment for the first-ever study investigating ketamine in gambling addiction.
The study will be led by Celia Morgan, Ph.D., Professor of Psychopharmacology at the University of Exeter, U.K., Awakn's Head of Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy for Addiction and an internationally respected expert in the therapeutic use of ketamine.
Gambling disorder is a serious issue globally with rates of addiction increasing. In the U.S. alone it is estimated that there are 10 million gambling addicts1, which is more than 2.5% of the population.
There are no licensed pharmacological treatments of gambling disorder available and the need to find a new treatment has never been more important.
The study will investigate a new treatment approach for gambling addiction, tackling both the urge to gamble and the "superstitious thinking" that accompanies gambling. The study will explore whether ketamine administration can modify the reward memories associated with gambling.
This study forms part of Awakn's strategy to develop and deliver proprietary psychedelic therapeutics (medicine and therapy) to better treat both substance addiction, which affects 15% to 20%2 of global adult population, and behavioral addiction which affects up to another 27%3 of the American adult population.
In addition to this study, Awakn has an extensive preclinical and clinical IP portfolio focused on substance and behavioural Addiction treatment, including: 10 patent filings covering multiple chemical series and clinical targets, a completed Phase II ab trial for Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy to treat Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), a planned Phase IIb trial for MDMA as a treatment for AUD with ethics approval forecast for Q4 2021, a two stage pre-clinical drug discovery program developing the next generation psychedelic medicines to treat Addiction, with the first stage due to be completed and reported in early Q4 2021.
Professor Morgan commented, "This study is an exciting first step toward a new treatment for gambling disorder, and one which will give new insights into the neurobiology of this damaging and often overlooked addiction, we are delighted that Awakn is able to take the lead in developing solutions to address this growing unmet treatment need."
Awakn's ambition for this study is to provide a new treatment hope for people whose lives have been destroyed by gambling. This is part of the pipeline of next-generation therapeutics to treat addiction that the Company is developing.
About Awakn Life Sciences Corp.
Awakn Life Sciences is a biotechnology company with clinical operations, developing and delivering psychedelic medicine to better treat addiction. Awakn's team consists of world leading chemists, scientists, psychiatrists, and psychologists who are developing and advancing the next generation of psychedelic drugs, therapies, and enabling technologies to treat addiction. Awakn will also deliver evidence backed psychedelic therapies for addiction in clinics in the U.K. and Europe and through licencing partnerships globally.
Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This news release contains certain forward-looking information and forward-looking statements, as defined in applicable securities laws (collectively referred to herein as "forward-looking statements"). Forward-looking statements reflect current expectations or beliefs regarding future events or the Company's future performance. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "continues", "forecasts", "projects", "predicts", "intends", "anticipates", "targets" or "believes", or variations of, or the negatives of, such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "should", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved, including statements relating to the proposed NEO listing, and the business of the Company. All forward-looking statements, including those herein are qualified by this cautionary statement.
Although the Company believes that the expectations expressed in such statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the statements. There are certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking information. These include: whether conditions to the listing on NEO will be satisfied; the business plans and strategies of the Company, the ability of the Company to comply with all applicable governmental regulations in a highly regulated business; the inherent risks in investing in target companies or projects which have limited or no operating history and are engaged in activities currently considered illegal in some jurisdictions; changes in laws; limited operating history; reliance on management; requirements for additional financing; competition; inconsistent public opinion and perception regarding the medical-use of psychedelic drugs; and regulatory or political change. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect forward-looking statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this news release speak only as of the date of this news release or as of the date or dates specified in such statements.
Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. For more information on the Company, investors are encouraged to review the Company's public filings on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than as required by law.
This news release does not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities in the United States. The Company's and Awakn's securities have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "U.S. Securities Act") or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold within the United States or to U.S. Persons unless registered under the U.S. Securities Act and applicable state securities laws or an exemption from such registration is available.
KCSA Strategic Communications
Valter Pinto / Tim Regan
Phone: +1 (212) 896-1254
America and Canada: KCSA Strategic Communications
Rest of World: ROAD Communications
Paul Jarman / Anna Ramsey
1. Source: North American Foundation for Gambling Addiction Help.
2. Awakn's estimate is based on WHO's report (Percentage of people aged 15 years and older with harmful alcohol use or dependence globally in 2016), North American Foundation for Gambling Addiction Help statistics, and World Cancer Report: Cancer Research for Cancer Prevention.
3. Source: NIH - Prevalence of the Addictions: A Problem of the Majority or the Minority? Steve Sussman1, Nadra Lisha, and Mark Griffiths.