Toronto, Ontario–(Newsfile Corp. – February 23, 2021) – Aion Therapeutic Inc. (CSE: AION) (“Aion Therapeutic” or the “Company“) announced today the opening of the Aion International Center for Psychedelic Psychiatry in Jamaica. The Center will initially specialize in the use of psilocybin for the treatment of addiction (tobacco, alcohol, and other drug misuse), depression and anxiety associated with life-threatening illnesses, treatment-resistant depression, and major depressive disorder (MDD). In addition, the Center will be studying the effectiveness of psilocybin as a new therapy for opioid addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anorexia nervosa.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently designated psilocybin therapy as a “breakthrough therapy” for the treatment of MDD. “MDD is a substantial public health concern, affecting more than 300 million individuals worldwide. Depression is the number one cause of disability, and the relative risk of all-cause mortality for those with depression is 1.7 times greater than the risk for the general public. In the United States, approximately 10% of the adult population has been diagnosed with MDD in the past 12 months, and the yearly economic burden of MDD is estimated to be $210 billion.” “Across the 36 largest countries in the world, in the absence of scaled-up treatment, it is projected that more than 12 billion days of lost productivity (equivalent to more than 50 million years of work) are attributable to depression and anxiety disorders every year, at an estimated cost of US $925 billion. Assuming the same distribution of costs across lower-income and higher-income countries holds for all other countries (representing 20% of the world’s population), the global cost per year is $1.15 trillion.”
The Medical Director of the Aion International Center for Psychedelic Psychiatry is Winston De La Haye, M.D., M.P.H, D.M., I.C.A.P. Dr. De La Haye is Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Jamaica and a Consultant General and Addiction Psychiatrist at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI). He completed his MD (Cum Laude) at the University of Pecs in Hungary, his Postgraduate Degree in Psychiatry at the UWI, his Masters in Public Health (Cum Laude) and a Fulbright Fellowship in Substance Abuse at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU). He is an Internationally Certified Addiction Professional and a Global Master Trainer of Trainers in the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders.
Dr. De La Haye is a Past Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health and Wellness in Jamaica, Member of the Medical Council of Jamaica, Member of the International Society for Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP), Past President of the Medical Association of Jamaica, Past President of the Jamaica Psychiatric Association, Past President of the Jamaica Fulbright Alumni Association, Past Chairman of the Bellevue Hospital Board of Management, and Past Deputy Chairman of the National Council on Drug Abuse in Jamaica.
Dr. De La Haye established the Medicinal Cannabis Unit in the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) in July 2017, supervising the registration of over 80 medicinal cannabis products in Jamaica. He is also a former Captain in the Jamaica Defense Force.
Dr. De La Haye stated, “We need all available and effective products for the treatment of patients with mental illness. Psychedelic Psychiatry has the potential to change the lives of millions of patients, reducing their disability and improving their quality of life.” Dr. De La Haye continued, “As a Johns Hopkins Alumnus, it is our intention to follow the best treatment protocols like those being established at Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research.”
Aion International Center for Psychedelic Psychiatry, in addition to treating patients, looks forward to collaborating with The UWI and other Tertiary Institutions in Jamaica in the research and development of cutting edge, effective and safe products for treating patients with mental illness. We also recognize the importance of regulating the Psychedelic Industry and look forward to working closely with the MOHW in Jamaica as they move towards setting up this very important regulatory body.
Dr. Stephen Barnhill, Executive Chairman of Aion Therapeutic, stated, “We’re very excited to be opening the first International Center for Psychedelic Psychiatry in Jamaica. The Center is unique in our ability to treat patients with both psilocybin and medical cannabis combination therapies currently being produced at Aion Therapeutic in conjunction with our licensed medical cannabis partner Apollon Therapeutics Jamaica, Ltd. We are establishing treatment protocols and dosing schedules for international expansion and export when and where the legal use of these products continues to expand globally.” Dr. Barnhill continued, “We are honored to have Dr. Winston De La Haye, with his significant expertise in addiction medicine as the Medical Director for the treatment facility.”
Mr. Graham Simmonds, Executive Vice Chair and CEO of Aion Therapeutic, stated, “This is a very exciting time for the Company as we now embark on treating patients and further advancing our science and research with another excellent doctor added to our team.” He added, “Our team, led by Dr. Barnhill, has been working tirelessly over the past six months in advancing our research, developing our formulations, patent protecting these formulations and preparing an operating plan for treating patients with additional medical conditions including cancer, inflammatory conditions, viral disorders and obesity. We will have updates with further details on our approach to expanding our treatment markets and managing our intellectual property portfolio released shortly. I commend them for this important milestone and we look forward to seeing further advancements from this world-class team we now have in place.”
The offices of Aion International Center for Psychedelic Psychiatry will soon be opened for seeing both Jamaican and international patients. In addition, we are planning a grand opening celebration in the very near future. The grand opening date will be based on the lifting of the COVID-19 restrictions.
About Aion Therapeutic Inc.
Aion Therapeutic Inc. (formerly, Osoyoos Cannabis Inc.) has a joint-venture agreement with a private, vertically-integrated licensed producer under the Cannabis Act (Canada) to offer contract tolling extraction services to third-party businesses. Additionally, the Company recently acquired 1196691 B.C. Ltd. d/b/a “PCAI Pharma” (www.pcai.ca) and its wholly-owned subsidiary AI Pharmaceuticals Jamaica Limited, a private corporation incorporated and operating under the laws of Jamaica. The business of AI Pharma involves, research and development, treatment, data mining and state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (machine learning) techniques, focused on the development of combinatorial pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals utilizing compounds from cannabis (cannabinoids), psychedelic mushrooms (psilocybin), fungi (edible mushroom), natural psychedelic formulations (Ayahuasca), and other medicinal plants in a legal environment for this type of discovery. In addition, the Company is creating a strong international intellectual property portfolio related to their discoveries.
For further information, please contact:
Aion Therapeutic Inc.
Executive Vice Chair & CEO
DISCLAIMER & READER ADVISORY
Certain statements contained in this press release constitute forward-looking information. These statements relate to future events or future performance. The use of any of the words “could”, “intend”, “expect”, “believe”, “will”, “may”, “projected”, “estimated” and similar expressions and statements relating to matters that are not historical facts are intended to identify forward-looking information and are based on the Company’s current belief or assumptions as to the outcome and timing of such future events. Actual future results may differ materially. In particular, this release contains forward-looking information relating to the business of the Company. Various assumptions or factors are typically applied in drawing conclusions or making the forecasts or projections set out in forward-looking information. Those assumptions and factors are based on information currently available to the parties. The material factors and assumptions include regulatory and other third-party approvals; licensing and other risks. The forward-looking information contained in this release is made as of the date hereof and the parties are not obligated to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws. Because of the risks, uncertainties and assumptions contained herein, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The foregoing statements expressly qualify any forward-looking information contained herein.
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 Lancet Psychiatry 3: 415-24