UK-based biomedicine company, Beckley Psytech, with its deep ties to drug policy think tank Beckley Foundation, has raised £14M (approx €15.5M) in an equity round. The company has raised this round to develop psychedelic drugs into licensed pharmaceutical medicines for treating psychiatric and neurological diseases.
The round saw participation from new investors including Noetic Psychedelic Fund LP, a venture fund specialising in the psychedelic ecosystem, and Bail Capital, a private equity firm and early investor in the emerging psychedelic industry.
In addition, existing investors Jim Mellon, the visionary British entrepreneur, and Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent Drinks, also participated in this round.
Use of the raised capital
The raised funds will help the startup to scale up its drug development pipeline exploring the use of synthetic 5-MeO-DMT, a unique psychedelic agent with a short duration of action, in the treatment of neuropsychiatric diseases.
The funds will also be used to progress in other areas of the startup’s research programme including
- the exploration of psychedelic agents with the potential to treat orphan diseases
- the discovery of new psychedelic compounds with improved clinical profiles
Cosmo Feilding Mellen, co-founder, and CEO of Beckley Psytech says, “Our mission is to help patients in need by developing psychedelic medicines into licensed pharmaceuticals. This fundraising shows that our investors see the transformative potential of psychedelics as a new class of treatment for mental health and will enable us to accelerate our research and development programmes, as we prepare for our first clinical trial involving synthetic 5-MeO-DMT.”
About Beckley Psytech
The company was founded in 2019 by long-time psychedelic researcher Lady Amanda Feilding and Cosmo Feilding Mellen. Beckley Psytech is a for-profit company with a mission to help patients suffering from neurological and psychiatric disorders by developing a pipeline of psychedelic compounds into licensed pharmaceutical medicines.
Beckley Psytech is borne out of a strategic partnership with the Beckley Foundation, a non-profit NGO with over 20 years of a track record of advancing scientific research into psychedelic medicine. The foundation claims to have initiated the first-ever brain-imaging study of psilocybin, the active ingredient in ‘magic mushrooms’, and, subsequently, the first clinical trial of the drug for treatment-resistant depression (TRD) at Imperial College London.
The company also announced that it is making preparations to begin its Phase 1 clinical trial – which it claims to be is a ground-breaking regulatory standard clinical trial on 5-MeO-DMT.
The company recently appointed psychiatric and psychedelic experts to its Scientific Advisory Board. Prominent names in this sector including Dr Robin Carhart-Harris from Imperial College London, Prof Matthew Johnson from John Hopkins University, and Prof Guy Goodwin from the University of Oxford, are advising on the company’s drug development activity.
In August 2020, the company had announced that it raised £3M (approx €3.3M) in its Series A round of funding. Investors in the round included British businessmen Jim Mellon and Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent Drinks.
About Beckley Foundation
Founded in 1998 by Amanda Feilding, the Beckley Foundation collaborates with scientific and political institutions worldwide to design and develop ground-breaking research and global policy initiatives.
The Beckley Foundation’s purpose is two-fold:
- To scientifically investigate the effects of psychoactive substances on the brain and consciousness to harness their potential benefits and minimise their potential harms; learn more about consciousness and brain function; discover and explore new avenues for treating illnesses.
- To achieve evidence-based changes in global drug policies to reduce the harms brought about by the unintended negative consequences of current drug policies; develop improved policies based on health, harm reduction, cost-effectiveness, and human rights.