Beckley Psytech announced the completion of its oversubscribed Series B funding round, with US$80 million raised to develop psilocybin and 5-MeO-DMT treatments.
The company has commenced a Phase Ib clinical trial with sub-hallucinogenic doses of psilocybin to treat neurological disorders. Adopting an outpatient model, Beckley Psytech hopes the drug can be self-administered, to reduce the cost of the intervention and increase its accessibility. The results of the study are expected in the coming months, with Beckley Psytech also launching a Phase I clinical trial into its proprietary formulation of intranasal 5-MeO-DMT.
The financing round was led by venture capitalist Integrated and was supported by a number of institutional investors. In the run-up to the funding announcement, PSYCH spoke with the UK-based organisation’s CEO Cosmo Feilding Mellen.
We sought to raise US$50 million to support our development programmes, and the response was incredibly positive. Due to enormous demand, we upsized the funding round to US$80 million and have now raised over US$100 million to date.
It helped that we previously had a very successful company that made investors significant returns, but we also attracted new, well-respected institutional investors from healthcare, breakthrough science and psychedelic-focused funds.
Beckley Psytech was founded to extend the impact of the Beckley Foundation’s research, by creating licensed pharmaceutical treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders. Feilding Mellen outlined how the non-profit laid the foundations for the psychedelics industry.
My co-founder and mother, Amanda Feilding, is one of the best-known figures in psychedelic research globally. In 1998 she set up the Beckley Foundation, which she continues to run, with the focus of reigniting and conducting scientific research into psychedelics and their medical potential.
Back in the nineties this subject was not nearly as fashionable as it is now. In fact, there was a huge amount of stigma around the subject. Beckley was one of the few institutes supporting psychedelic research and became a centre of gravity for researchers looking into this area of science. Consequently, the foundation became a major driver in the research that has taken place over the last couple of decades.
As the Beckley Foundation has been researching psychedelic compounds for twenty years, PSYCH asked Feilding why interest in the field has recently intensified.
There has been a huge amount of foundational research needed to get the industry to where it is now,’ contemplated Feilding. ‘We are at a very exciting inflection point with compelling clinical evidence that psychedelics represent a new class of treatments for psychiatric and neurological disorders.
This coincides with a growing recognition that we need to treat mental health disorders in new ways, because current treatments are not working and there has been very little innovation. Additionally, the proof of concept is now there, with companies like GW Pharma demonstrating you can turn a controversial and controlled drug into a series of successful pharmaceutical products.
With substantial investment, the future looks bright for the industry and Beckley Psytech. Feilding spoke about the ambitions of the company and the importance of its financiers.
As we embark on our next phase of growth, our strong syndicate of expert investors will support us in bringing much-needed innovative treatments to patients suffering from neurological and psychiatric conditions.
If we can now replicate the results of early-stage research in larger-scale clinical trials, there will be a transformational potential with these drugs. There is a huge unmet need around the world and addressing it will be very valuable.
Beckley Psytech is partnering with PSYCH on its flagship Psychedelics as Medicines Report, which will be released later this year. More information on the company and investor opportunities can be found on the website.