Europe’s leading psychedelic specialty company Clerkenwell Health has raised £2.1m in seed funding, bringing the total to date up to £2.5m, which will be used to get it fully operational.
“Building on our team’s deep knowledge and the partnerships we developed so far, we are opening Europe’s first commercial clinical trials facility dedicated to psychedelic-assisted therapies in London,” read a para on their website.
Clerkenwell Health is working with North American drug discovery and biotechnology companies – the Otsuka Pharmaceutical-backed Mindset – focusing on treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders.
The firm announced in May this year that it was opening Europe’s first commercial psychedelic research facility.
Investors for the psychedelic-specialist clinical research organization include Lionheart Ventures, Convergence Partners, Matt Cooper, and Exceptional Ventures, co-founded by Paolo Pio.
Tom McDonald, CEO of Clerkenwell Health, said in a statement: “The UK is extremely well-placed to become the leader in psychedelics research and trials thanks to its globally competitive framework for clinical trials, which is why we chose to launch our operations in London.”
The clinical trial will evaluate the efficacy and safety of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy versus psychotherapy alone for the treatment of adjustment disorder due to a fatal cancer diagnosis.
Paolo Pio, Co-Founder and General Partner of Exceptional Ventures, added: “Psychedelics show great promise in treating mental disorders, but it is a complex and highly regulated field. Clerkenwell Health founders bring together years of experience in this area, and we believe they are the best positioned in the UK and Europe.”
Following its approval from the MHRA, Toronto-based life sciences company Psyence will kick off its first trials at Clerkenwell’s London site.
The CEO of Mindset Pharma, James Lanthier, added, “The UK is an attractive location to undertake psychedelic drug development as the government is opening up innovation pathways and championing clinical research. We are excited to progress our work in the UK with Clerkenwell Health. Our research into how second-generation psychedelic medicines could treat neurological and psychiatric disorders could benefit many patients in the UK.”
To further reinforce the commercial research ecosystem in the UK, CH launched a first-of-its-kind training program for therapists looking to work with psychedelic drugs.
The first trials were supposed to begin in August this year with the life science biotechnology company Psyence, but it was postponed. The trials focus on the use of psilocybin for the treatment of adjustment disorder in patients with terminal diagnoses, using psilocybin-assisted therapy to support patients through their end-of-life care.