Incannex and Monash University will collaborate on ground-breaking research to advance treatment for severe forms of anxiety disorders using virtual reality combined with psychedelics.

Medicinal cannabis and psychedelic clinical development company Incannex Healthcare (ASX:IHL) has joined with Monash University to develop a novel treatment that combines Virtual Reality (VR) and psychedelics.

Incannex has executed an exclusive, global license in perpetuity over an immersive therapeutic VR environment developed by BrainPark, a state-of-the-art clinical research  platform  at Monash University’s Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health.

The license allows Incannex to investigate use of Monash’s VR therapy tool in combination  with  a  psychedelic drug to develop a new treatment for severe forms of one or more anxiety disorders.

The established VR treatment uses an exposure-based approach, providing triggering stimuli in a graded and controlled manner, known as Exposure and Response Prevention or ERP.

By adding specialised clinical support and the administration of a psychedelic drug, the combined approach may allow for the development of a totally new therapy for severe forms of anxiety mental illness.


Cutting-edge research

The research will be led  by Monash’s The Clinical Psychedelic Research Lab, Turner Institute  and Department of Psychiatry Head Dr Paul Liknaitzky and BrainPark, Turner Institute Director Professor Murat Yücel.

Monash’s Department of Psychiatry Head Professor Suresh Sundram and BrainPark Deputy Director Dr Rebecca Segrave will collaborate on the project.

The parties are working towards a research agreement for the first of these trials, which will assess optimal dose, safety, and tolerability of the combination treatment method.

Incannex CEO and Managing Director Joel Latham said the company was delighted to start the project with Monash and further use of combined psychedelics and VR therapy.

“The combination of psychedelic compounds with an evidence-based VR therapy is a  leading edge in the field of mental health treatments,” Latham said.

“We look forward to providing more detail about the project  in due course when clinical trial planning has been finalised.”

This is Incannex’s second psychedelic therapy clinical program. Incannex’s initial psychedelic clinical trial is using psilocybin to treat severe generalised anxiety disorder and has already achieved FDA comments and HREC approval to commence patient recruitment.


Incannex Nasdaq listing

The research deal follows Incannex’s much anticipated Nasdaq listing with the company hoping to attract keen medical cannabis investors as it pursues North American growth.

Incannex commenced trading on the Nasdaq under ticker Code IXHL on February 25.

American Depositary Shares (ADS) representing Incannex ordinary shares started trading following  a declaration  of  effectiveness  by  the  US Securities  and Exchange Commission (SEC) of its registration statement on Form 20-F – and formal approval from Nasdaq upon meeting listing requirements.

Each IXHL ADS represents 25 ordinary shares of Incannex with the company simultaneously  retaining its listing of ordinary shares on the Australian bourse.

The Nasdaq listing is part of the company’s goal to be more  accessible to a wider audience  of  investors  with  sophisticated  understandings  of  medicinal  cannabinoids, psychedelic therapies, and pharmaceutical development.

This article was developed in collaboration with Incannex, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.