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2023-11-15| Asia-Pacific

University of Melbourne Invests $4.5 Million in Psychedelic Therapies Startup

by Sinead Huang
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The University of Melbourne has taken a significant step into the realm of psychedelic-assisted therapies, announcing a syndicated investment of $4.5 million by the University’s Genesis Pre-Seed Fund and Tin Alley Ventures into Psychae Therapeutics. This marks the first substantial investment of its kind by the University, signaling a commitment to innovative mental health treatments.

Related article: Revolutionary Technology Aims to Detect and Prevent Dementia and Mental Illness

From Psychedelic Therapy to AI Innovation: Spotlight on Startup Pioneers

Psychae Therapeutics, an Australian startup receiving this $4.5 million investment, is at the forefront of the burgeoning field of psychedelic-assisted therapy. Co-founded by Associate Professor Daniel Perkins and Professor Jerome Sarris, the startup focuses on developing medical-grade, botanically derived treatments to address serious mental health challenges, including PTSD, anxiety, and addiction.

The University also introduced a cohort of six early-stage startups at the Started@Melbourne Showcase. These startups showcase a diverse range of innovations, including Kali Healthcare’s AI-powered pregnancy monitoring system, NIRGenie’s EarGenie for early intervention in hearing loss, Carbon Cybernetics’ transformative treatments for neurological disorders, Melbourne Pollen’s pollen forecasts app, Tiny Bright Things’ light microscopy tools, and Torch Recruit’s recruitment platform for clinical trials.

University’s Commitment to Research Translation and Impact

Professor Duncan Maskell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, emphasized the critical early investment as a demonstration of the institution’s commitment to supporting research translation and enhancing the potential of early-stage ventures. The investment aligns with the University’s broader goal of creating impactful entrepreneurial opportunities for researchers, students, and alumni, fostering research impact in various ways.

The University’s strategic investment reflects the global recognition of the potential of psychedelic therapies in addressing mental health challenges. Tin Alley Ventures’ Managing Partner, Dr. Andrew McLean, highlighted Psychae’s focus on developing high-quality, data-driven medical-grade medicines and innovative therapies, making them an attractive investment for the fund.

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