Clerkenwell Health, a British specialist clinical research startup, is eyeing a seed funding and has raised over £700K in pre-seed funding. The investors in the company include NYC-based Vine Ventures, and San Francisco-based Lionheart Ventures in addition to a number of high-profile UK angels.
They are in discussions with drug developers looking at mood disorders, trauma related conditions, and addictions, and are exploring mental health conditions that have not been previously targeted with psychedelic assisted therapies.
Europe’s first psychedelic facility in London
Besides the investment, Clerkenwell Health has just announced that it is opening Europe’s first commercial facility dedicated to psychedelic assisted therapies in London this summer.
The company intends to begin trials in the Central London facility in August, and prove effective, thereby adding to the growing body of evidence supporting treatment of complex conditions, such as PTSD and addiction, using new and innovative treatment methods. Notably, these are conditions that the NHS is struggling to cope with.
Last year saw a shifting policy landscape and some major positive developments for drug developers looking to bring psychedelic drugs to market. The startup is using this trend with its psychedelic clinical research.
The first trials with life science biotechnology company Psyence will 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.
Also, Clerkenwell Health is working with North American drug discovery and biotechnology companies – Mindset and Mydecine. These companies focus on treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders, and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for depression and nicotine dependency respectively.
The clinical trials will explore the potential for psychedelic-assisted therapies and help people affected by a range of mental health issues.
Tom McDonald, Chief Executive Officer at Clerkenwell Health, said: “Psychedelic assisted therapy could be ground-breaking for mental health treatment, and the UK is well-placed to be at the vanguard of that as a global leader in clinical trials post-Brexit. Clerkenwell Health’s aim is to establish the UK as the heart of the commercial psychedelic research ecosystem, working closely with mental health experts and drug developers around the world to tackle some of the most complex mental health conditions.”
First-of-its-kind training programme
Founded in 2021 by Sam Lewis, Dr Henry Fisher and Tom McDonald, Clerkenwell Health’s senior leadership team includes experts in psychiatry, psychedelics, clinical research and drugs development, and is advised by experts in mental health and psychedelics.
It has launched a first-of-its-kind training programme for therapists looking to work with psychedelic drugs. The programme is designed and led by leading experts in the field, including Dr Sarah Bateup, the former Head of Therapy Research and Training at Compass Pathways.
It makes it evident that psychedelic drugs need to be delivered under the watchful eye of specialist therapists to effectively prepare patients for a potentially transformative experience. Also, it can support them effectively in the following weeks.