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Clerkenwell Health raises £2.1M to test psychedelic-assisted therapies

Clerkenwell Health
Image credits; Clerkenwell Health

Clerkenwell Health, a London-based psychedelic-specialist clinical research organisation, has raised £2.1 million in a seed funding round, bringing the total up to £2.5 million. 

Investors participated in the round include Lionheart Ventures, Convergence Partners, and Exceptional Ventures, which was co-founded by Paolo Pio (former MD Europe at Joyance Partners) and Matt Cooper (who was part of the founding team at Capital One Bank in the US, co-founder of Tandem Bank and Chairman of Octopus Capital Group).

In May, the UK research organisation raised over £700K in pre-seed funding.

The funding announcement comes alongside the news that Toronto-based life sciences company Psyence has received approval from the MHRA to kick off the first trials at Clerkenwell’s London site. 

The clinical trial will assess the efficacy and safety of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy versus psychotherapy alone for the treatment of adjustment disorder due to an incurable cancer diagnosis. 

Statistics from the ONS suggest the suicide risk for terminally ill people is twice that of the general population.

Clerkenwell Health is also working with North American drug discovery and biotechnology companies, notably the Otsuka Pharmaceutical-backed Mindset, which focuses on treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders. 

The company hopes future trials will focus on the potential for psychedelic drugs to tackle complex mental health conditions.

Clinical research organisation

Led by Tom McDonald, CEO, Clerkenwell Health is a specialist clinical research organisation, focused on supporting clients with the design and delivery of psychedelic-assisted therapy trials. 

They facilitate psychedelic research at scale through commercial centres of excellence, allowing organisations to run clinical trials, co-develop drugs, and be at the forefront of clinical innovation.

Additionally, they offer companies a full suite of clinical trial support: scientific advisory, trial design, regulatory approvals, provision of suitable trial sites, and the monitoring and management of trials.

Tom McDonald, CEO of Clerkenwell Health, says, “This seed funding and support from major investors who have serious experience in supporting companies to scale, our partnerships with companies in Europe and North America, and getting the green light for the first trial at our London facility, shows that Clerkenwell Health is well and truly open for business. Momentum for psychedelics-assisted therapy is building, and we’re excited to be at the forefront of that charge.”

Paolo Pio, Co-Founder and General Partner of Exceptional Ventures, says, “Our mission at Exceptional Ventures is to help people live healthier, happier, longer lives. Data demonstrates that mental health problems are the number one reason for unhappiness, so tackling this issue is top of mind for us. 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 to make a systemic difference in the development at the scale of psychedelics clinical trials, with the ambition of accelerating their adoption, hugely benefiting mental health patients globally.”

Daniel Koppelkamm at Convergence Partners says, “Plant medicine coupled with patient-empowering psychotherapy will lead to a paradigm shift in mental healthcare over the next years. We believe Clerkenwell will be a key enabler in bringing psychedelic compounds to the market by effectively structuring their highly complex clinical trials.”

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