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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Censeo logo and digital interface and Professor Sabine Bahn

Psyomics Ltd, a UK-based healthtech and University of Cambridge spin-out, co-founded by CEB's Professor Sabine Bahn, has closed a £1.5 million  funding round from existing and new investors to bring its mental health assessment and diagnosis platform, Censeo, to market in the UK. University spinout specialists Parkwalk led the round, joined by fellow existing investors Jonathan Milner, Martlet, and Cambridge Enterprise. 

Built on robust clinical foundations, Censeo mirrors the rich process of a face-to-face psychiatric assessment, guiding a user through a series of adaptive questions. Smart algorithms perform a detailed and bespoke analysis, creating a ‘map’ of an individual’s mental health, providing diagnosis where appropriate and enabling a clear treatment pathway. Censeo supports GPs and clinicians in getting patients to the right level of support at the outset and provides patients with a stigma-free way to start addressing their mental health concerns.

Built on 20 years of clinical research—including The Delta Trial and feedback from service user groups, GPs, and clinicians—Censeo has been developed as a medical device from the outset and is fully compliant with the Medical Device Directive 93/42 EEC, ISO 13485 and NHS Toolkit.

The NHS is under increasing pressure to meet the nation’s mental health needs. GPs in particular are struggling to manage their increasing workload, with up to 30% percent of GP appointments in the UK relating to mental health. The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a rise in the severity of cases as individuals initially avoid contacting services for support. Identifying these cases early and referring them to the right treatment is vital.

“Diagnosing mental health issues correctly in primary care can be difficult, due to time constraints and the fact that mental health conditions can be masked by physical symptoms," says Professor Sabine Bahn, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer for Psyomics. Delays in diagnosing – or misdiagnosis – mean that it can take several years for an individual with depression to be correctly diagnosed. For bi-polar disorder the average delay is six to eight years. The consequence of this is that many people suffer unnecessarily from debilitating symptoms that could be successfully treated. It is clear that faster and earlier diagnosis followed by the most appropriate treatment will improve the quality of life of affected individuals, while at the same time relieving pressure on the healthcare system”.

GPs are also seeing more patients entering primary care with mental health concerns that cannot be treated clinically, often related to lifestyle or socioeconomic difficulties. These patients benefit from being triaged to more appropriate support services. By accurately identifying and highlighting the individual’s mental health needs up front, Censeo increases efficiency across the entire mental health system while allowing GPs to focus on treating patients they can help.

This funding will enable Psyomics to support the UK’s plans to improve mental health provisions for the nation," says Psyomics CEO and Co-Founder, Dan Cowell. "Through giving patients, clinicians, and caregivers an earlier and clearer understanding of individual mental health needs, we believe we can make significant improvements in patient experience and clinical capacity, with positive impacts throughout the entire healthcare system. Our investors share our belief in the opportunity to make a genuine impact with Censeo."

Martin Glen, Investment Director at Parkwalk, says: “Covid-19 has accelerated adoption of digital tools for a wide range of applications, and Psyomics’ clinical and tech-led diagnostic tool can transform mental health diagnosis. We have always felt that what sets Psyomics apart is its deep clinical roots/knowledge. We are pleased to be a part of this next funding round and look forward to seeing Psyomics continue to grow with its market-ready product”.

Tom Hall, Senior Investment Manager at Martlet Capital, says: “We’re pleased to again be supporting Psyomics as the company now commercialises Censeo, its mental health diagnostics solution, at a time when mental health and wellbeing is one of society’s most prevalent themes and pressing matters. Censeo’s digital triage and assessment tools enable earlier, accurate and actionable diagnosis of mental health disorders and personalised pathways to the right support. Bringing this product to market can bring real benefit to both clinicians and patients through shorter time to diagnosis and better outcomes.”

About Psyomics

Psyomics is developing unique technology to radically improve the way mental health conditions are assessed and triaged. Built by psychiatrists, their digital diagnostic tools provide every patient access to a complete mental health review up front.

Drawing on twenty years of deep psychiatric and psychological expertise, as well as a significant clinical trial, Psyomics’ digital diagnostic platform, Censeo, mirrors the rich process of a human psychiatric assessment. Sophisticated algorithms guide a patient through a series of adaptive questions to build a holistic view of their whole mental health, providing a diagnosis where appropriate and enabling a clear treatment pathway.

Psyomics was co-founded by Professor Sabine Bahn, head of the Cambridge Centre for Neuropsychiatric Research (CCNR) and Daniel Cowell, former COO of Horizon Discovery, with the goal of improving diagnosis of neuropsychiatric disorders. The company is supported by Cambridge Enterprise, Innovate UK, Parkwalk and European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme.

About Parkwalk

Parkwalk is the largest growth EIS fund manager, backing world-changing technologies emerging from the UK’s leading universities and research institutions. With £300m of assets under management, it has invested in over 120 companies across its flagship Parkwalk Opportunities EIS Fund as well as the award-winning enterprise and innovation funds Parkwalk manages for the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Bristol. Parkwalk invests in businesses creating solutions to real-world challenges, with IP-protected innovations, across a range of sectors including life sciences, AI, quantum computing, advanced materials, genomics, cleantech, future of mobility, MedTech and big data.
www.parkwalkadvisors.com

About Cambridge Enterprise

Part of the University of Cambridge, Cambridge Enterprise supports academics, researchers, staff and students in achieving knowledge transfer and research impact. We do this by helping innovators, experts and entrepreneurs use commercial avenues to develop their ideas and expertise for the benefit of society, the economy, themselves and the University.

Liaising with organisations both locally and globally, we offer expert advice and support in commercialisation and social enterprise, including help with academic consultancy services, the protection, development and licensing of ideas, new company and social enterprise creation, and seed funding.

For more information, please visit: www.enterprise.cam.ac.uk

About Martlet Capital

Martlet Capital is an early-stage investor based in Cambridge, providing patient capital to deep technology and life science startups. Martlet invests across a variety of sectors with a focus on entrepreneurial teams with defensible technology, an identified large market and excellent growth potential. Since its launch in 2011, Martlet has invested in more than 50 companies and experienced several exits from its portfolio, including trade sales to global technology companies and IPOs. The Martlet team is comprised of experienced investors and entrepreneurs, who in addition to capital, offer support, experience and a network of contacts.

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