Global Neurohealth Ventures (GNV) seeks to address the societal costs of mental illness that underlie the burden of dementia care, homelessness, and the opioid epidemic, to name a few, by attacking the root causes. The global economic burden of mental illnesses is over $3 trillion (WHO estimate), and the extent of human suffering associated with mental illnesses is truly incalculable. Mental health is an area severely underserved by venture capital and social impact funds. GNV seeks to address the major unmet medical and social needs of conditions such as dementia and the aging brain, depression/anxiety disorders, addictions and substance abuse, and PTSD/trauma recovery by focusing on innovative treatments and cures for these devastating mental illnesses. Now more than ever, innovation to address the severe unmet medical needs in mental health is needed.
COVID-19 Pandemic. The stress of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone. However, the magnitude and types of psychological effects vary widely depending on an individual's circumstances and preexisting mental health status. Financial strain, isolation, fear of illness, the loss of loved ones, sheltering-in-place, increases in domestic abuse and child abuse, and other COVID-19-related stressors are resulting in a precipitous climb in substance abuse/addiction, depression, anxiety, suicide risk, overdose, and other psychiatric issues. These effects of COVID-19 are piled on top of a preexisting mental health crisis, and the repercussions are anticipated to be both enormous and sustained over time. As a result, there is an urgent demand for novel mental illness treatments because traditional mental health services are outdated, hard to access, and are overwhelmed. These circumstances open up tremendous opportunities to pursue mental healthcare innovations, and Global Neurohealth Ventures (GNV) is prepared to move quickly to get in front of this need.
A Supply-Demand Mismatch. The surge in demand is coming when the health care system is already suffering from a dramatic shortage of mental health providers and resources. Prior to COVID-19, two-thirds of primary care physicians reported difficulty referring patients for mental healthcare. Last year, 35% of students experienced a mental health-related crisis, and school districts often end up dealing with mental health issues because of the shortage of services. Now, the isolation, loss, grief, anxiety, and stress precipitated by the pandemic is piling on top of the already increasingly high rates of mental health problems. The increased need for mental healthcare will continue long after new cases and deaths due to the coronavirus subside. Given these access and resource issues, there will be a tremendous amount of mental illness that goes undiagnosed and untreated unless alternative mental health delivery methods are deployed.
Opportunities and Solutions. The current seismic changes in the delivery of mental healthcare has created highly fertile ground for the accelerated development and launch of innovative solutions. Federal and State legislation eased many restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic, such as licensing, fee structure modifications, data sharing constraints, and fundamental FDA procedural shifts. The current moment in mental healthcare delivery is unique. We see a magnitude of change that translates to an unprecedented opportunity for those who are ready and agile. There is a major need for scalable and efficacious digital health alternatives. GNV, as an impact venture capital fund focused on mental health, is well-positioned to make investments in promising new therapies, services, and technologies. In the short term, the investment focus will be on companies that have a shorter regulatory pathway for market entry to make an impact sooner. Over the course of the fund, we will continue to look for promising drug therapies with vast markets, e.g., dementia.
Global Neurohealth Ventures. GNV is supported by a team of experienced investment, scientific, mental health, and clinical neuroscience professionals with a demonstrable investment track record and fund management history. Deep and diverse sourcing of cutting-edge companies is made possible through Global Neurohealth Ventures’ extensive international academic, health science center, and early-stage biotech networks. NeuroVector, a proprietary tool, employs extensive empirical data to assist in the selection of the most promising and impactful companies. Portfolio companies are supported by provision of rigorous scientific and healthcare expertise as well as through highly engaged business development, strategy and commercial support.
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