Clerkenwell Health raises £2.1M to test new wave of psychedelic treatments • TechCrunch

Clerkenwell Health, a psychedelic-specialist clinical research firm, has raised £2.1 million in seed funding, bringing the total up to £2.5 million, which will be used to fully operationalize the London-based startup.

Investors include Paolo Pio (former MD Europe at Joyance Partners) and Matt Cooper (former MD of Capital One Bank of America, Lionheart Ventures, Convergence Partners and Special Ventures). Chairman of Tandem Bank and Octopus Capital Group).

Toronto-based life sciences company Psyence will launch its first trial at its London site in Clerkenwell, claiming to be Europe’s first commercial facility following approval from the MHRA.

The clinical trial will evaluate the efficacy and safety of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy and psychotherapy for the treatment of adjustment disorder following an incurable cancer diagnosis. According to data from the UK Office for National Statistics, the risk of suicide is twice that of the general population.

As we’ve mentioned before, drugs previously relegated to underground societies and rum culture—such as ketamine, MDMA (commonly known as ecstasy) and psilocybin—are now being studied to develop treatments for everything from PTSD to cluster headaches.

Tom Macdonald, chief executive of Clerkenwell Health, said in a statement: “The UK is in an excellent position to be a leader in psychedelic research and trials, thanks to a competitive framework for clinical trials at the international level, which is why we chose to start our work in London”

Most of the research related to psychedelics is currently being done in universities and hospitals. Other psychedelic drugs are being developed (Compass Pathways South London and Mawdsley NHS Trust), but they are developed by drug developers so are assigned to one company or compound. Clerkenwell Health, on the other hand, says it works with several drugmakers.

Paolo Pio, co-founder and general partner of Exceptional Ventures, added, “Psychiatrists show great promise in treating mental illness, but it is a complex and highly regulated field. The founders of Clerkenwell Health bring years of experience in this area, and we believe they are the best in the UK and Europe.

Clerkenwell Health is working with North American drug discovery and biotechnology companies, notably Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s Mindset, which focuses on the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

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