We all know someone affected by depression.

Major Depressive Disorder is a mental health condition characterized by pervasive low mood, low self-esteem, and a loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities. It is a leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. [1]

Despite existing treatments and forms of therapy on offer, depression remains a global health crisis. We believe that too many people fail to experience sufficient benefit from current treatments.

suffer with depression globally [2]

global economic cost of depression each year [3]

of the US population currently taking antidepressants [4]

Existing treatments

The primary treatment for depression, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), have played a positive role in helping patients overcome their mental health challenges. But like all treatments, there are pros and cons that patients must weigh up. Antidepressants like SSRIs are commonly prescribed, but many patients are challenged with considerable side effects. 

They don’t work for everyone

Roughly 30% of people with depression do not respond to current SSRI treatment. [5]

Symptom relief can take some time

It typically takes a number of weeks for individuals to experience symptom relief. [6]

Symptom relapse is common

Half of patients relapse within six months if the treatment is discontinued. [7] 

Side effects can be unpleasant

Three in five patients discontinue or switch SSRI within 12 weeks due to side effects that include nausea, sexual dysfunction and weight gain. [8] 

At Small Pharma, we’re rapidly exploring new treatment possibilities for mental health conditions using short-duration psychedelics.

"We believe that these novel therapies may have the potential to offer patients a much-needed alternative approach to mental health care. Too many people put up with their struggle because they simply don’t have another option. We’re working to change that."

Dr Carol Routledge

CMSO Small Pharma

Potential benefits of short-acting psychedelic therapies

Short treatment session
ability to treat more patients per day


Near immediate antidepressant relief
compared with up to a 6-8 week delay in symptom relief with current antidepressants [9].

Long-lasting effects
with durability identified as a key target outcome [10].


Few doses per year
compared to daily long term dosing with current antidepressants [11].

Dr David Erritzoe
Play Video about Dr David Erritzoe

Short-duration psychedelics for depression

We are evaluating short-duration psychedelics, like SPL026, with supportive therapy as a potential new approach to the treatment of depression.

“It needs to be competitive in public health systems; it needs to be kind of cost-effective. If a more condensed, powerful experience could have therapeutic effects... then it's totally worth exploring.” Dr David Erritzoe, Psychiatrist at Imperial College London

About Small Pharma

We’re a biotechnology company researching and developing short-acting psychedelics with supportive therapy for mental health conditions.

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