News Release - Queen’s and KHSC launch clinical trial of psilocybin therapy to treat alcohol use disorder

News Release - Queen’s and KHSC launch clinical trial of psilocybin therapy to treat alcohol use disorder

April 25, 2023


KINGSTON, ON. – Researchers at Queen’s University and Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) will soon begin recruiting patients to study the efficacy of psychedelic-assisted therapy for the treatment of alcohol use disorder (AUD). The Phase 2b clinical trial, sponsored by Clairvoyant Therapeutics, will assess whether motivational enhancement therapy and the use of psilocybin can help those living with the disorder.

“One in five Canadian adults will suffer from alcohol use disorder at one point during their lifetimes, and we still struggle to find the best way to help them with the resources we currently have in the health care system,” said Queen’s psychiatry professor Dr. Claudio Soares, the lead researcher for the study in Kingston and the chair of the Psychedelic Science Advisory Committee for the Dimensions Health Research Collaborative. “As clinicians and researchers, we have a responsibility to stretch the boundaries in the pursuit of new and better ways to treat this medical disorder, and psychedelics are part of the emerging treatment options.”

Psilocybin is a naturally-occurring molecule found in some species of mushrooms that can induce an altered state of consciousness. Psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy is currently being studied as a novel form of treatment for a range of medical conditions, including depression and AUD. Researchers want to know whether this form of therapy can help change the negative patterns and behaviours associated with mental health and addictions.

“The opportunity for KHSC to be a clinical site for this study is very exciting as psychedelic- assisted therapy has tremendous potential but requires a critical, evidence-based scientific approach to truly assess the positive impacts and any adverse consequences,” said Dr. Steven Smith, Vice President, Health Sciences Research at KHSC and President and CEO of the Kingston General Health Research Institute (KGHRI). “This study is another example of the outstanding collaborative research eco-system involving KHSC, the KGHRI, and Queen’s University. We look forward to making significant research contributions in psychedelic medicine.”

Kingston will join six other sites in Canada and Europe that are already recruiting patients for the clinical trial, which will take place at KHSC. The initial goal is to recruit 10 patients from Kingston and surrounding communities. Patient recruitment will take place this spring with the clinical trial expected to launch by May 2023. Those interested in learning more about the study and its eligibility criteria may contact Dr. Soares’s research group via email –

“The Clairvoyant team is excited to have Queen’s University and KHSC as a key clinical site for our psilocybin AUD trial,” said Damian Kettlewell, CEO of Clairvoyant. “Recently reported data from a related psilocybin trial for AUD has demonstrated a significant response to treatment. Our goal is to build on this research in Clairvoyant’s Phase 2 randomized controlled trial which we hope will support clinical approval of psilocybin for the treatment of AUD in Canada and other countries.”

“Queen’s University is working hard to build partnerships to help advance global knowledge about whether psychedelic-assisted therapies can offer advantages in the treatment of various health conditions,” said David Clements, Executive Director, Dimensions Health Research Collaborative. “Our mission is to support high-quality, well-designed research that could lead to significant breakthroughs.”


Media Contacts:
Julie Brown
Manager, Media Relations
Queen's University


John Pereira
Strategic Communications Advisor
Kingston Health Sciences Centre


About The Dimensions Health Collaborative

The Dimensions Health  Research Collaborative is enabled by the Dimensions Health Fund established by Dimensions Health Centres. The collaborative serves as a space to connect expertise across campus and stakeholders and partners in the broader community. 


About Clairvoyant Therapeutics

Clairvoyant Therapeutics is a Canadian biotechnology company trailblazing a path to global mental health through psilocybin therapy. Clairvoyant's speed-to-market clinical strategy is designed to enable psilocybin therapy in the EU, UK & Canada to treat patients living with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) beginning in 2026.The company's exceptional team, with a proven clinical track record and deep drug development experience, has made Clairvoyant the most advanced company globally developing psilocybin therapy for the treatment of AUD. Clairvoyant is committed to meeting the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. Clairvoyant is a member of Life Sciences BC and Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).

About KHSC

KHSC is Southeastern Ontario’s largest acute-care academic hospital. Consisting of our Hotel Dieu Hospital site, Kingston General Hospital site and the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario, as well as two research institutes, we care for more than 500,000 patients and families from across our region. As one of the region’s largest employers, we are home to almost 6,000 staff, more than 2,000 health-care learners and 1,000 volunteers who are committed to partnering with patients and families to ensure that we continually provide high quality, compassionate care. Fully affiliated with Queen’s University, we are ranked as one of Canada’s top research hospitals.


About Queen’s University

Queen’s University has a long history of scholarship, discovery, and innovation that has shaped our collective knowledge and helped address some of the world’s most pressing concerns. Home to more than 25,000 students, the university offers a comprehensive research-intensive environment with prominent strengths in physics, cancer research, geoengineering, data analytics, surveillance studies, art conservation, and mental health research. Welcoming and supporting students from all countries and backgrounds to a vibrant, safe, and supportive community is an important part of the Queen’s experience. Diverse perspectives and a wealth of experience enrich our campus and our community. A core part of our mission is to engage our students, staff, and faculty in international learning and research, both at home and abroad.

Queen’s University has ranked in the top 10 globally in the 2021 and 2022 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings. The rankings measured over 1,500 post-secondary institutions on their work to advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).