Wondermed pulls $4,600,000 out of a hole to supply you with ketamine – TechCrunch
For those of us who have been a little hesitant on the mental health front over the past couple of years, there are a bunch of options starting to appear. On-demand chat-based therapy options are one, and at-home ketamine-assisted treatments are another. We’ve seen Mindbloom and Fieldtrip Health take pole position, and recently Wondermed announced they’ve raised $4.6 million to join the ketamine-fueled bandwagon.
The services are all minor variations on a very similar theme. You sign up and give them money, and you go through a telemedicine protocol to figure out if ketamine is a reasonable treatment option for you. If so, a small package comes to the door and you are invited, with varying degrees of supervision, to come in, dissociate, and confront your inner demons.
I write lightly about this, but the ketamine treatment completely changed my life, for reasons I’m not entirely comfortable writing in a place where everyone can read it. Suffice it to say; I’m a little wary of the ‘ease’ of getting approval for a home ketamine treatment – my experience with Mindbloom reminded me of the early days of the medical marijuana process, where you basically had to try enough strong not to be endorsed – but the mental health breakthroughs I have experienced in treatments are undeniable.
Wonder Sciences joins the fast-filling market with its Wondermed product, and what it calls “the most accessible ketamine solution on the market”, which, as far as I can tell, is primarily based on price. It claims it is available at an introductory rate of $249 per month. Mindbloom is slightly more expensive (about $1,000 for the first 3 months, which equates to about $333 per month. For returning customers, Mindbloom costs about $230 per month), and Field Trip comes in at $1,250 for a comparable home package. (about $410 per month).
On the one hand, I’m wholeheartedly delighted that these treatments are becoming more available, and I’m curious if this is the start of a race to the bottom from a price point of view, with the inevitable FDA/DEA intervention must follow.
While ketamine clinics often cost upwards of $1,500 per treatment and are administered intramuscularly or intravenously (i.e. injected into your muscles via a drip directly into your bloodstream), home ketamine is usually made by way of a pressed powder capsule that users hold in their mouth for a period of time to allow it to be absorbed sublingually (under the tongue).
Recent clinical studies prove the effectiveness of ketamine as a fast-acting therapeutic treatment option for anxiety and depression, especially when compared to more traditional treatment methods. Originally used as a painkiller, ketamine improves neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to adapt and be open to change. By stimulating the growth of new neural pathways, ketamine disrupts thought loops that can contribute to anxiety. A ketamine treatment typically takes about an hour, with a 2-3 hour recovery period afterward, and has minimal side effects compared to traditional anti-anxiety pharmaceuticals.
“While the medical community has widely agreed that ketamine is an effective treatment option for people struggling with anxiety and mental health issues, the treatments available to date are limited and often require a significant investment of time. and financial resources,” said Ryan Magnussen, Founder. and CEO of Wonder Sciences. “Wondermed is the most accessible ketamine-assisted protocol available. We are honored to play a part in impacting countless lives by helping people unlock their self-healing potential through a safe, scientifically proven protocol.
Wondermed is currently accepting patients in California, New York, Florida and Texas, and will expand to Illinois, Arizona and Connecticut later this quarter. The company told me that it plans to be available in 19 states by the end of the year.
The company just announced that it has raised a total of $4.6 million to date, largely from angel investors, with a view to raising additional funds from angels and institutional investors.