Medical startup Compass Pathways is utilising components of magic mushrooms to develop medicine to help with depression, after obtaining funding from major investors.

The for-profit company said it has now made enough of the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, psilocybin, to make the drug for 20,000 people. Boasting an advisory board of esteemed scientists, the group has attracted funding from big names like Peter Thiel, London-based entrepreneur Christian Angermayer, ex-hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz, and film producer Sam Englebardt.

The group received around £3 million in funding barely a year after its incorporation in June 2016, such was the promise of its medicine and clinical trials. They have the aim of being the first to market the psychedelic substance psilocybin to combat treatment-resistant depression (TRD), which affects some 100 million people worldwide.

Compass Pathways are now set to begin their clinical trials, the largest ever run for that kind of drug, starting in the UK in July and spreading to Europe over the summer, In total, almost 220 patients will be given synthetic psilocybin to measure the effects.