Since the inception of The Conscious Fund we’ve always understood that sometimes it’s best to lead by example. With a global footprint and connections to some of the brightest minds around the world we thought it best to take the bull by its horns and tackle one of the biggest problems in the industry: access. Our aim is to set the golden standard for therapeutic care within psychedelic medicine.
Introducing HIVE, a global network of next generation mental health centres specializing in psychedelic assisted psychotherapy. Today we dive deep with cofounders, Alex Latyshev (CEO) and Natalia Vorobyeva (CSO) to discuss HIVE, their current plans, and what they have in mind for the future.
Alex (A) and Natalia (N), please introduce yourselves.
A(N)1: Thanks. I am a co-founder and Chief Science officer of Hive.
I am a PhD in neurobiology. I studied the molecular mechanisms of associative memory and worked for a Swiss company where I was the head of the R&D department. We studied the mechanisms of age-related diseases and aging itself. In parallel, I was an advisor to several biotech companies. So my experience is in molecular genetic and neuroscience in Academia, profit and non-profit organizations. For myself, I realized that there is nothing more interesting than the work of our brain, and therefore my passion is still the biological mechanisms of the brain and the basis of mental diseases.
A(A)1: First, thanks for inviting me and Natalia today. I am the CEO and co-founder of Hive.
My background is purely entrepreneurial. I held co-founding and executive positions in companies in FinTech and IT services. I was introduced to healthcare by a friend of mine — who is one of the leading European plastic surgeons. We collaborated on creating a seamless concierge platform for medical tourists coming to his clinics in Moscow and LA. This is how I learned the healthcare craft. And around a year ago, we decided to team up with Natalia to create Hive.
Thanks, guys. But what inspired you to create Hive?
A(N)2: I will tell you what has been my inspiration here. Mental health has for too long been neglected, our best current treatments, antidepressants are ineffective and the side effects are crippling. The incidence and impact of mental health is growing at a worrying rate and a solution is needed now more than ever. I was curious to learn more about revolutionizing treatments and the psychedelics assisted therapy is probably The Answer/ The Solution to the crisis. So the inspiration to create Hive was the idea of solving the mental health crisis with the robust clinic infrastructure and a holistic, 360 degree approach to treating patients. Alex?
A(A)2: Absolutely agree with Natalia here, I would love to say that my main driving inspiration and force here was to create the best chain of mental health and addiction clinics, the benchmark in the emerging industry.
You are a luxury clinic player, the so called Soho House of clinics I would say, how do you mix luxury with science?
A(A)3: A great question, thanks. Luxury is mixed greatly with science actually. Our core approach is what we call The Hive Method — a personalized combination of several therapies such as psychotherapy with psychedelics, mindfulness techniques, personalized dietary choices, wellness, lifestyle counselling and aftercare psychotherapy sessions. We take into consideration genetics, medical parameters and lifestyle patterns.
A(N)3: The Hive Method is really what makes us different. It is a five block approach with psychedelics assisted therapy, genetics and medical parameters, nutrition, wellness and mindfulness techniques and lifestyle counselling. Also we are collaborating with UCL (University College London) on a review article due to be published soon and working on a number of exciting scientific initiatives.
It all sounds very exciting. Tell us more about Hive locations.
A(A)4: Thanks. Actually we have come up with two Hive concepts. The first one is a retreat, so the patient can come for a 7/14/21 day programme to fully recharge or treat a certain condition. Here we have Hive Portugal and Hive Malta. Hive Portugal is based in the north of the country, in a small town called Caminha. Here we have a seven day ketamine programme helping people with depression and anxiety. We are launching it in the summer 2021.
Hive Malta is based in Gozo, an idyllic island where the famous movie By The Sea was shot with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Hive Malta is a lovely five-bedroom villa overlooking the Mediterranean. The whole clinic is an addiction centre with a two medical personnel per one patient ratio. We have 7/14/21 Ibogaine programs at Hive Malta. The doors will open in the autumn 2021.
The second Hive concept is what we call Hive Urban, a day care clinic in cosmopolitan cities. The first one to open is Hive London which is a partnership between Hive and Dr Balu Pitchiah. We are expecting to open it by the end of this year. The clinic will be centered around preventive mental health solutions, Ketamine infusions and psychotherapy. Also, it will have a membership component where people can learn more about psychedelics, indigenous cultures and psychedelics tourism.
We are planning to have six Hive locations fully operational within the next 2 years. Also, it is important to note that all Hive locations will be insured and medically licensed.
Can you pls tell us more about the therapies that are going to be offered in these locations?
So Hive Portugal is providing a seven day retreat program following The Hive Method which has five blocks:
- Ketamine assisted psychotherapy
- Genetics and molecular biomarkers and medical parameters testing
- Wellness and Mindfulness where the patients can enjoy yoga, horse riding, hikes, SPA and massages
- Nutrition which is local and detox and based on individual parameters
- Lifestyle counseling
A(A)5: The same can be said at Hive Malta but there we have Ibogaine anti-addiction programmes for 7, 14 and 21 days. We stress the importance of after care in our addiction programs so when the patient leaves the clinic we are with them for the next three-four months.
As I understand from your corporate structure you have Hive Hub and Hive Colonies. Hive Colonies are the clinics but what is the Hive Hub?
A(A)6: Yes, you are absolutely right. We have Hive Hub and Hive Colonies. Hive Hub centrally manages all key aspects of the business. The Hive Hub is responsible for:
- Treatment protocol co-design
- Marketing and PR
- Medical compliance and legal frameworks
- Government Relations
- Key people hiring
- Financial modelling
- Go to market strategies
- University relations and science community relations
- Development of biomarkers panel
- Creation of all programs
Q7: Thanks, Alex. So when you scale, I mean open new clinics in other locations you are looking for local partners?
A(A)7: Yes, you are absolutely right. We are open to conversations with people who are interested in opening luxury psychedelics retreats or clinics around the globe. Feel free to reach us.
Q8: You mention luxury and premium several times here. We understand your niche, touch and feeling but are you worried about only looking after the premium market?
A(A)8: We clearly see our niche and target market. We pay attention to every detail from medical, safety to the patient experience making ourselves not only a medical but a hospitality player. But we are committed to a compassionate access program in every location. This means helping patients from the community at zero cost or low cost depending on their financial status. For example at Hive London a percentage of our monthly patients will be NHS frontline workers affected by COVID and we provide our services for free for this group.
Q9: Thanks, Alex. Sounds incredible. What’s your favourite psychedelic and why Natalia?
A(N)9: I prefer MDMA. Rave girl.
A(A)9: My favorite one is Ayahuasca, it’s always helped me towards immense clarity.
Q10: And the last question. Can I invest into Hive Hub ?