Gilgamesh Pharmaceutical: The Next Generation of Psychedelic Therapeutics

Reshaping mental illness treatment with compounds that capture the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics

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Nearly one in six people suffer from neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and substance use disorders. Unfortunately, this global mental health crisis has also resulted in a shortage of counseling and therapy options. By 2030, mental health disorders will cost the global economy nearly $16 trillion. This is primarily attributed to the 12 billion working days lost due to mental illness every year.

Alumni Ventures portfolio company Gilgamesh Pharmaceutical is working to reshape the treatment of mental illness by creating a portfolio of novel compounds that capture the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics. The company’s AI-powered platform accelerates the design and discovery of psychedelic-related medicines that offer improved safety, tolerability, duration, and efficacy.

Leading the Charge

Unlike traditional antidepressants, psychoplastogens produce fast-acting and sustained beneficial behavioral effects after a single administration. Unfortunately, while valuable, current options also come with negative side effects.

For example, first-generation psychedelics were popular in the 1950s-70s in the form of LSD and psilocybin mushrooms. However, these versions were extremely hallucinogenic, limiting how many patients could benefit. While second-generation psychedelics — introduced in the 1980s — proved more promising, they also came with significant adverse side effects.

Gilgamesh is leading the charge for psychoplastogens with the next generation of psychedelic molecules. The company aims to create differentiated and novel psychedelic treatments with improved safety and efficacy that optimize dosing and patient convenience, unlocking the greater opportunity in the psychedelic market. 

What We Liked About Gilgamesh

Addressing an Attractive and Incomplete Market: Psychedelic therapeutics for treating mental illness are receiving increased funding and awareness across the U.S. and international markets. As a result, Gilgamesh is drafting off multiple years of heavy lifting and expensive work by existing companies to educate legislators, the medical community, and the general population on the enormous opportunity of these treatments.

Novel Treatment & Approach: One of the major barriers for psychedelic treatments is the limited ability to integrate into the conventional healthcare system due to unaddressed side effects. Gilgamesh differentiates itself by building its portfolio on novel molecules superior to first- and second-generation psychedelics. The company takes inspiration from classic structures while performing deep medicinal chemistry and preclinical work to find better molecules.

To date, the company has four international patent applications (pending worldwide), two pending “fast track” U.S. patent applications, and six pending provisional patents across multiple new scaffolds/treatment methods.

Experienced Team: The team has the experience to develop industry-leading psychedelic molecules and the relationships and business acumen to take psychedelic drugs to the mass market by partnering with traditional healthcare providers and big pharmas.

How We Are Involved

Ring Ventures (for the Texas A&M community) sponsored Alumni Ventures’ investment in Gilgamesh Pharmaceutical’s $27 million Series A alongside sibling fund Strawberry Creek Ventures (for the UC Berkeley community). Prime Movers Lab led the round.

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Contact [email protected] for additional information. To see additional risk factors and investment considerations, visit av-funds.com/disclosures.