U.S.-Based Psychedelic Healthcare VC Fund, Palo Santo, Launches with $35 Million Raised to Tackle the Growing Global Mental Health Crisis

Here’s the press release

CHICAGOJuly 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Palo Santo, the leading U.S.-based psychedelic investment fund, announced its launch with an initial $35 million in capital raised and an active portfolio of 20 companies. The diversified venture fund is focused on tackling the growing global mental health crisis by investing in innovative psychedelic-based and adjacent therapies that are poised to shape the future of psychiatry and fields beyond.

In 2020, founders Daniel GoldbergTim Schlidt and Tony Eisenberg partnered to form Palo Santo, and formally launched the venture capital fund in 2021. Having seen the enormous therapeutic potential of psychedelic medicines years ago, the partners have been active as early participants and investors in the emerging industry.

Supported by a rapidly growing body of evidence and strong FDA support, psychedelic-assisted treatments represent a paradigm shift in mental healthcare. Yet, the emerging ecosystem of business opportunities is highly fragmented, and with a lack of institutional capital available, Palo Santo is targeting early-stage, high-growth opportunities within biopharma, drug development, digital therapeutics, healthcare services and tech enabled solutions. These businesses are positioned to have a profound impact on treating a wide range of conditions such as depression, PTSD, anxiety, OCD, addiction, chronic or neuropathic pain, neurodegenerative diseases and a range of inflammatory-related illnesses.

To date, Palo Santo has partnered with and funded more than 20 portfolio companies with notable investments such as atai Life Sciences (NASDAQ: ATAI), Reset PharmaField Trip HealthTactogen, EleusisBexson BiomedicalKsana HealthneuroCareBright MindsDiamond Therapeutics and Gilgamesh, among others.

With a track record of success in backing early-stage enterprises, Palo Santo’s team of investment professionals brings together decades of venture capital, private equity, and healthcare-focused experience. The team is further supported by scientific advisors Charles Nichols, one of the world’s leading psychedelic pharmacologists; Julie Holland, renowned psychiatrist, psychopharmacologist and author; David Sherman, a medicinal chemist and head of the University of Michigan psychedelic collective; and John Greden, chair emeritus, University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry and the founder of the University of Michigan Depression Center. Collectively, the team applies a diligent, in-depth scientific approach to portfolio company selection, evaluation and monitoring.

“We could not be more excited about how our portfolio has shaped up, as well as its trajectory,” said Palo Santo Co-Founder Daniel Goldberg. “This is a moment of validation for our model, and we will continue to support our thesis by backing talented founders who are creating innovative approaches to mental health and addiction treatment. At my first psychedelics conference years ago, it felt as if only the leading researchers and those ‘in the know’ were aware that psychedelics were poised to change psychiatry forever. That’s all changing now, and with these compounds being destigmatized, medicalized, and legalized, I couldn’t think of a more impactful investment for our society.”

Palo Santo Co-Founder Tim Schlidt, added, “Psychedelics represent a paradigm shift in treating a range of illnesses, but a sense of scientific rigor and thoroughness is still required in investing across this ecosystem. Palo Santo applies a meticulous and selective approach to investing and heavily leverages its network of scientific advisors and academicians to evaluate opportunities. We must remember that much of the investment opportunity-set is within biotech, and therefore requires a deep focus on the science, mechanisms of action, and review of the appropriate assays or human data at each phase of drug development. With our background in healthcare and deep network in the space, Palo Santo is well-positioned as a diligent, validating investor. In addition to this, Palo Santo is providing more than just capital. We actively work to support and synergize our portfolio by connecting founders, advisers, and key opinion leaders with a collaborative ethos in mind.”

About Palo Santo
Palo Santo  is the leading U.S.-based psychedelic investment fund focused on increasing the supply of clinically effective and accessible mental health and addiction treatment solutions needed in today’s world. The firm targets a diverse range of companies offering innovative solutions across biopharma, drug development, digital therapeutics, healthcare services, and tech-enabled solutions to address the growing global mental health crisis. From cutting-edge science to commercial application, Palo Santo’s portfolio includes more than 20 companies focused on advancing the field of psychedelic medicines and expanding patient access and affordability. For more information, please visit https://palosanto.vc/ or https://twitter.com/PaloSantoFund.

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