Capsticks has advised South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust on entering a master research collaboration agreement with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London and mental health care company COMPASS Pathways. The multi-year partnership between the three organisations will launch The Centre for Mental Health Research and Innovation, a new facility dedicated to accelerating psychedelic research and developing new models of care for mental health in the UK.

The Capsticks team was led on the property side of the transaction by South London and Maudsley NHS Trust’s relationship partner, Matthew Hunter, supported by senior solicitor Alex Wilson-Jones, and on the commercial side by partner Stephen Tainsh, head of corporate and commercial law, supported by senior solicitor Margarita Petai. Capsticks advised on a multitude of issues including real estate, intellectual property, data protection and clinical trials. The aim of the master research collaboration agreement was to enable the parties to work collaboratively for the duration of the partnership under a clear governance framework, reducing the need to continuously re-negotiate aspects of the relationship to achieve minimum disruption to the actual delivery of The Centre for Mental Health Research and Innovation and the research the parties will be conducting.

The collaboration will create opportunities for cutting-edge research into COMP360 psilocybin therapy, providing faster access and better care to an estimated 650-700 patients over a five-year term. It will also offer novel therapies in multiple areas of unmet need such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anorexia nervosa. The Centre will facilitate specialist training for therapists in psychedelic therapy, generating real-world evidence, prototyping digital solutions, and building state-of-the-art facilities for research as well as for modelling the “mental health care clinic of the future”.

Stephen Tainsh commented: “It was a privilege for our team to work on this leading healthcare project. The Centre is a true example of what innovative public-private partnerships can achieve to broaden everyone’s access to ground-breaking research and specialist treatments. All of our teams at Capsticks work to improve people’s lives, and our advice on this collaboration means that many more patients will benefit from bespoke and highly effective care models.”  

Altaf Kara, Director, Strategy and Commercial of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We appreciate the support and advice provided by Capsticks in helping us to navigate this novel and nuanced collaboration between the public and private sectors. We are now in a position where we can build a new state of the art medical facility to carry this incredibly important research and develop new therapies for treating depression for the benefit of patients. Capsticks provided clear, timely and forward thinking advice and it has been a pleasure working with them.”

About South London and Maudsley NHS Trust

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust is a large and complex multi-site provider of mental health services – providing the widest range of NHS mental health services in the UK and aiming to make a difference to people’s lives by seeking excellence in all areas of mental health and wellbeing. Its 6,000 staff serve a local population of 1.3 million people and offer more than 260 services including inpatient wards, outpatient and community services across Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Croydon. As well as serving the communities of south London, it provides more than 20 specialist services for children and adults across the UK including perinatal services, eating disorders, psychosis and autism. Read the Trust’s press release on this project here.

About Capsticks

Capsticks aims to be the law firm of choice for organisations who work to make a difference. Our purpose is to be the legal advisers that clients want by their side, providing innovative and practical solutions tailored to our sectors’ unique challenges. Our lawyers work together as one team with similar values: putting people first, doing the right thing and always forward thinking.