May 25, 2022

as a company A company that invests in psychedelics receives hundreds of proposals every month from founders who develop psychedelic therapy.

Startups are developing treatments for depression, combining psilocybin with psychotherapy, new delivery methods like dissolving strips and patches, and even creating compounds that rewire neural circuits without hallucinogenic effects.

Once marginal, underground, illegal, or limited to formal use only by local cultures, psychedelics are becoming mainstream in medical form. Psychedelic medicine is spawning new ventures in every part of the health and life sciences ecosystem, including drug development, manufacturing, clinics and retreats, telemedicine and other digital therapies, and consumer products.

Our funds have invested over $15 million in companies developing psychedelic therapy. We believe that advances in psychedelic medicine and digital medicine, precision psychiatry and neurotechnologies will revolutionize mental health treatment approaches. Unlike traditional antidepressants and medications, psychedelic medicine can help people address the root causes of their mental health problems, not just the symptoms.

A key study by Johns Hopkins found that treating major depression with psilocybin was four times more effective than conventional antidepressants. Other benefits include their ability to promote the development of new neural pathways and increase empathy and openness, which may be beneficial in facilitating recovery.

We believe in a future where psychedelic therapy will be as commonplace as going to the dentist, but the path will not be easy.

We believe in a future where psychedelic therapy will become as commonplace as going to the dentist. But the road won’t be easy: many biotech companies dealing with psychedelic compounds will have to conduct multi-year clinical trials that, like any other biotech company, will cost $100 million before they can be approved by the FDA.

So how do we choose which companies to invest in? Here are six key questions we ask when evaluating psychedelic biotech companies:

Does the team have the skills, experience, and values ​​to bring the product to market?

The single most important factor in the creation or failure of a psychedelic biotech company is the team. Psychedelic medicine is an interdisciplinary field, so it is important that the team has a strong base in psychedelics, biotechnology, neuropharmacology, and/or psychiatry.

This means that in biotechnology, unlike traditional tech companies, it is rare for a prodigy to start a successful business for the first time, given the necessary scientific knowledge and network, which can require decades of experience.

It is also important that the team shares our values ​​when it comes to patient safety and wellbeing. We especially like teams that have a psychedelic background and are rooted in psychedelic history through academic research, field work, or personal research. These companies have a competitive edge in areas such as product development, culture, and recruitment.

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