Small Pharma raises £830,000 from angel investors to develop ketamine-based drug as severe depression treatment

The firm, a London-based start-up, said the funds raised will be supplemented by a £140,000 grant from Innovate UK to support the development of a rapid-acting drug

A firm which is developing a drug for patients experiencing severe depression using a derivative of horse tranquiliser ketamine has raised £830,000 from noted pharma sector investors and via an angel investing platform.

Small Pharma, a London-based pharmaceutical start-up, said the funds raised will be supplemented by a £140,000 grant from Innovate UK to support the development of a rapid-acting drug.

The funding round was led by Chris Torrance, co-founder of AIM-listed Horizon Discovery Group PLC (LON:HZD) and PhoreMost, with the Angel Co-Fund, pharma sector experts and investors Steve Harris, David Ebsworth and Peter Keen, and Secret Escapes co-founder, Tom Valentine, also participating.

Torrance has also joined the board of Small Pharma, alongside Harris who has sat on the board since November 2015, and will become chairman of the two year-old pre-clinical biotech firm.

Harris’ wealth of board experience includes Skyephama, now merged with Vectura PLC (LON:VEC), and Cyprotex, recently acquired by German biotech group Evotec AG.

The investors were also joined by 63 additional angels, following a successful campaign on investing platform, SyndicateRoom.

Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, CEO and co-founder of SyndicateRoom, said: “We are delighted to share in SmallPharma’s success. Our aim is to work with businesses that make the world a better place, and it is immensely encouraging to see a high level of support for medical research and development aimed at changing people’s lives.”

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