Podcast: The British start-up taking psychedelic therapy mainstream

This content item was originally published on www.biopharma-reporter.com, a William Reed online publication.

By Isabel Cameron

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags Psychedelic mental health depression Clinical trials

In our first podcast interview of 2023, BioPharma Reporter spoke with Dr Sarah Bateup, therapy lead at Clerkenwell Health, about the potential of psychedelic medicine and her work within the psychedelic therapy training space.

While most research related to psychedelics happens in universities and hospitals, last year Clerkenwell became the first company in Europe to open a commercial facility for psychedelic drug trials, located just off Harley Street in London.

In a pioneering move for the industry, the company is now working with a range of drug developers on a suite of new psychedelics trials for conditions including PTSD, treatment-resistant depression and anxiety.

In July, the start-up also announced​ it was sponsoring this year's Psych Symposium​, Europe’s flagship event for psychedelic healthcare, with CEO Tom McDonald calling on the NHS to embrace psychedelics. 

"More than eight million people in England alone are on antidepressants, rising by over a million people in just five years, and only 50% of psychological therapies are moved to recovery. With the Mental Health Foundation estimating that poor mental health costs the UK a staggering £118bn a year, it’s clear the status quo isn’t working," he said. 

sarahb (1)
Dr Sarah Bateup. © Clerkenwell Health 

"A growing body of research suggests that psychedelic drugs could have a ground-breaking impact on the treatment of complex mental health conditions. The Government cannot and should not accept the stasis permeating mental health treatment in the UK. Now is the time for bold thinking.”

As the former head of therapy research and training at COMPASS and chief clinical officer at ieso Digital Health – Dr Bateman has been working in the space for many years and has witnessed many key developments in the burgeoning industry.  

An experienced therapist and teacher, having taught at Kings College London and Exeter University, she was drawn to the field of psychedelic-assisted therapy in 2019 following her passion for exploring new ways of amplifying the efficacy of mental health treatments.

Dr Bateman has also been recognised for her clinical leadership in transforming mental healthcare, being named as one of the top 50 female leaders in healthcare​ in 2018 and top 100 business leaders​ in 2019.

We discussed her varied role at Clerkenwell, the current state of psychedelic therapy training in the UK and the promising future of the psychedelics market.

Related topics Clinical Development

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