Are VCs and bankers trying to help traumatised people heal?

Johnson and Johnson were the first big pharma players in the psychedelic market with ketamine-derived medicine, Spravato in March 2019. It makes sense - the anti depressant drug market is $16BN USD and the whole pharmacology market for mental health is $250bn.

The psychedelic drug market is now projected to grow at a CAGR of 16.3% and reach $6.85 billion by 2027. The biggest investors in psychedelic research start ups are not your average healthcare worker, healer, doctor or therapist. They are medical device manufacturers ,life science and technology funds, big pharma and global asset management funds particularly risk hungry high yield and hedge funds (also known as 'fast money funds - get in, win big and get out'). These are the same people that invest in pharmaceuticals including opioids and who fund global agendas and the media. The sole intention for these funds is return on capital, not healing consciousness or the the global mental health epidemic (as the WHO calls it). As a former banker who worked with some of the largest funds in the world and as a tech employee for 7 years, I can assure you that investors don't know or care about global mental health. It's about returns.

There is emphasis on alignment in short term returns vs long term global economic structural change. VC's have roughly a 3-10 year investment horizon and need a 3X rate of return to be considered successful and only 5% of the global VC industry is achieving that. The search for unicorns - Facebooks, Ubers, AirBnBs, Amazons is no different when applied to psychedelic medicine. Compass Pathways' Leads the Way as the First Psychedelics Company To IPO on the Nasdaq. British Magic Mushroom Start-up Compass Pathways Raises $80 Million. The round included PayPal co-founder, Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire investor and early investor in Facebook. CP have developed proprietary, high-purity polymorphic crystalline formulation of psilocybin, that it's calling COMP360.

Mother nature who?...... CP's founder is Mr. Goldsmith whose limited understanding of depression is: “People with depression get caught in negative thought loops. What psilocybin can do is reset the thought loops, in combination with therapy. The medicine creates an openness and a new way of looking at things.” Oh dear. Irving Kirsch, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Hull. Kirsch is well known for his research on the effectiveness of antidepressants. In his book, The Emperor's New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth, Kirsch's research reveals that psychoactive drugs are not nearly as effective as the pharmaceutical industry would lead us to believe. In fact, of the 42 studies cited above, placebos were found to be 82 percent as effective as the drugs being tested. 'Psychedelics are neither a cure for mental disorders nor a quick fix for an unfulfilled life and should not be portrayed as a panacea." - David Yaden, Mary Yaden and Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research on the importance of staying grounded in the midst of progress.

Read my article here on Can the psychedelic renaissance create social change?

Long term consequences? Fundamental structural change?

Is this the way the plant spirits of these medicines invited us to evolve in our unity consciousness and environmental reverence?

I'm not sure, but what I can see is capitalism is here to stay when it comes to psychedelic medicalisation because it is the only way trials, research and treatments can developed and administered at scale - profitably.


P.S. If you’re ready to dive deeper than ever before, here are 5 ways I can help you heal, grow and awaken your inner alchemist

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