Investor states that mental health issues will be the “number one disease of the 21st century.”
Fresh from announcing his involvement in a $200 million biotech SPAC with David Sinclair, Christian Angermayer today announced that he has launched a new $120 million fund focused on investing in mental health ventures, called re.Mind Capital. The fund’s first investment is in neurotech firm Blackrock Neurotech, which today announced having received a $10 million funding round from re.Mind along with Palantir co-founder Peter Thiel, German entrepreneur Tim Sievers, and Sorenson Impact’s University Venture Fund II.
Longevity.Technology: Angermayer’s latest fund may be focused on mental health, but its implication for human longevity is also clear. The World Health Organization indicates there is a 10-25 year life expectancy reduction in patients with severe mental disorders, and a 1.8 times higher risk of dying associated with depression. And an Oxford University study found that many mental illnesses reduce life expectancy more than heavy smoking.
In a wide-ranging post on LinkedIn, the founder of Apeiron Investment Group said that the new fund will make “minority venture investments across the full scope of approaches to improving our mental health, from drug development to digital therapeutics, to clinic models, to brain-computer interfaces (BCI).”
In his LinkedIn post, Angermayer outlines his concern that our current era resembles the time of 1850 – 1914, explaining this is the reason he has decided to “double down on my efforts to improve global mental health.”
Regarding the Blackrock investment, Angermayer said in a post on Twitter that brain computer interfaces have the potential to “change the way we interact with the world around us”.
He goes on to say that he views Blackrock, which operates in a space including Elon Musk’s Neuralink venture, as “the world’s leading BCI company.”
Blackrock claims to have enabled a wide range of “firsts” in human BCI applications, from being the first to provide tetraplegic patients the ability to control robotic limbs directly from and with the brain, to being the first to enable completely locked-in ALS patients to communicate again via auditory spellers directly controlled by their mind.
“Blackrock is at the forefront of making BCI in humans a reality,” said Marcus Gerhardt, CEO and co-founder of Blackrock Neurotech. “Dozens of human patients are currently using our implants and technology to accomplish things directly with their minds that were unimaginable ten years ago.”
“While I applaud all companies making efforts in this space, Blackrock Neurotech is the only company, with 28 humans currently using their BCI implants,” said Angermayer. “While currently focussed on patients with severe physical impairments, the technology can benefit many more people, for instance the 1 billion ppl impacted by a neurological disorder, and then beyond!”
“In the future, I can see BCI devices becoming more common than cardiac pacemakers are today. The ultimate potential of this technology is to be a fundamental input-output device used by large portions of society. We can responsibly unlock truly astonishing use cases and abilities and I believe Blackrock will be the one to take us there.”