UK venture capital fund launches to invest in psychedelic medicines market


A new venture capital fund has launched in the UK to invest solely in psychedelic medicines and capitalise on the mushrooming interest in this segment of the pharmaceuticals market.

Neo Kuma Ventures said it has attracted “millions of pounds in investment” for the fund so far and is looking to draw venture capital through the first half of 2021.

READ: Psychedelic medicines – startups and innovators set the pace on trip to pharmaceutical mainstream

Last year Neo Kuma’s founders, entrepreneur Sean McLintock, solicitor Clara Burtenshaw and Nick David, invested in ATAI Life Sciences AG, a part owner of mental health care company Compass Pathways PLC (NASDAQ:CMPS) that floated in New York in September and has already doubled in value to nearly US$2bn.

Among the steps forward for psychedelics in the past couple of year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2019 approved ketamine to treat depression, making it the first ever psychedelic drug to receive the regulatory green light in the US, with UK authorities giving their approval shortly after.

Earlier this month, the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency gave the green light for the first clinical trial of psychedelic drug DMT to treat depression, while at London’s Imperial College scientists have been carrying out trials comparing the psychoactive found in mushrooms to conventional antidepressants.

Neo Kuma aims to invest in “revolutionary mind-altering medicines to treat illnesses including depression, addiction, anxiety and inflammation”, according to a statement from the company.

“As the medical benefits of psychedelics become more well-known and regulators steadily increase their embrace of these types of drugs, the industry is set for a boom,” said McLintock.

“While much of the conversation on psychedelics is taking place in the US, Europe is the true hub of the burgeoning psychedelic healthcare sector.”

McLintock and co only incorporated Neo Kuma last week, according to Companies House records

But Burtenshaw told the i paper: “We’re not looking to make a quick buck here. This is about healthcare first and foremost.”


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