Addiction treatment center Cliffside Malibu has expanded its operations into the San Fernando Valley with an outpatient clinic in Sherman Oaks.

The development is a first for the luxury rehab, which until mid-January had provided its services exclusively through its beachside residential treatment facility. Clients at Cliffside Malibu – Sherman Oaks, a 2,000-square-foot location at 15250 Ventura Blvd., will commute from home to the clinic between two and seven days a week depending on their care plan, Medical Director Dr. Craig V. Smith explained.

“Not everyone needs to be in residential treatment for 30 to 90 days,” Smith said. “This is filling the need for people who need treatment and do well with less intensive programs.”

The clinic is geared primarily toward individuals with a mild to moderate degree of substance dependence, such as those who are struggling to wean off painkillers following recovery from surgery. It offers both on- and off-site drug withdrawal programs monitored by physicians as well as counseling with licensed therapists, according to Smith. He expects addiction to prescription opioids, benzodiazepines such as Xanax and alcohol will constitute the bulk of cases.

“Most doctors aren’t very well-trained in dealing with (prescription drug) addiction and are struggling with what to do with people coming back and needing refills,” Smith explained. “We’re hoping to be a resource for that.”

Cliffside chose Sherman Oaks for its new site on account of its proximity to busy freeways, Chief Executive John Peloquin said. The rehab is exploring other possibilities for another outpatient clinic either in the San Fernando Valley or elsewhere in the region, and the new Sherman Oaks site will likely expand as well, he added.

“We’re trying to offer a full continuum of care in the broader L.A. market, both outpatient and inpatient,” Peloquin said. “The whole concept is to strategically place multiple outpatient service centers that target the opiate epidemic across the broader Los Angeles region.”

Cliffside is considering providing treatments for mental health conditions that commonly precipitate or occur alongside substance addiction. Long-term, the Sherman Oaks location may offer high-tech treatments such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, a noninvasive procedure that works by stimulating brain cells to ease the symptoms of depression.

Cure Pharmaceuticals Hire

Cure Pharmaceuticals in Oxnard has named Boston Consulting Group alum Vered Gigi as vice president of strategy and business development, the biotech firm announced Jan. 23.

The appointment is part of a larger push to build out partnerships within the pharmaceutical industry and test new indications for the company’s primary product, an oral film that delivers medications to the body by dissolving on the tongue. To date, the firm’s technology has been applied or is in the development stage of implementation with medications to treat sleep disorders, erectile dysfunction, vitamin deficiency, tuberculosis and oral abrasions.

“Cure has been on stealth mode for a while, developing the technology and the intellectual property,” Gigi said. “Now we’re really moving into phase two of growth and expansion to bring our product to market.”

Cure’s growth plans include partnering with drug companies on products in clinical trials and converting established commercial products to forms that will work with the company’s product. Not every chemical formulation can be delivered effectively through an oral film, Gigi explained.

“There is a big need on all indications for this kind of product, but for us this is kind of exploratory as far as what kind of indications we want to hone in on,” she said.

At the top of the list are medications built from compounds in cannabis, some of which have been identified as potential treatments for sleep conditions and cancer. Cure announced an expanded contract in early November with Israel-based Therapix Biosciences Ltd. for the development of a cannabis-sourced medication to treat sleep disorders. It is in the process of soliciting partners to work on cancer applications, Gigi said.

“Technology is trying to zoom in on the anti-cancer properties of individual (cannabis compounds),” she explained. Cure’s product can deliver different multiple single compounds on one film, making it ideal for these types of applications, Gigi added.

Staff reporter Helen Floersh can be reached at (818) 316-3121 or hfloersh@sfvbj.com.