Protecting our communities and our teams during the COVID-19 pandemic

Dear friends

We hope you are keeping safe and well in these difficult times.

Our vision at COMPASS is a world of mental wellbeing and this means prioritising the health and safety of everyone in our community, including patients and the teams running our clinical studies. That’s why, as of Monday 23 March, we have paused the inclusion of new patients into our clinical trials. As agreed with the FDA, patients who have already joined our study will be supported remotely, when possible within the protocol. We believe this is the right thing to do as it reduces risk to patients and clinical teams, and supports the measures for social distancing being introduced around the world.

Despite the pandemic, our contracts with the clinical trial sites continue. We were proud to hear that, wherever possible, our study clinicians, nurses and therapists are being re-deployed to the frontlines of providing care for patients, families and communities affected by COVID-19.

We will focus on the rapid restart of our studies as soon as it is right and safe to do so. Our study site teams will continue pre-screening where possible, identifying patients who might be eligible so that the studies can resume quickly with a large cohort of pre-screened patients.

We took the decision to close our offices in early March, as a precaution to protect colleagues commuting into busy areas of central London and New York.  We are fortunate to have the technology to work remotely, and have set aside some funds to ensure that everyone has the appropriate equipment and furniture to work as comfortably and easily as possible at home. We thank our team for their outstanding efforts in staying connected so we can continue to work together, regardless of distance. Through daily coffee chats, sharing of tips and videos, online quiz nights, company meetings, mentoring programmes, and many other initiatives, we are helping each other to adapt to this temporary new way of life. We have also welcomed back one of our former interns whose travel plans had been cut short by the pandemic – a silver lining for us.

We are continuing with many of our projects remotely, for example: working with the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, a leading US patient advocacy group, on online focus groups; supporting a UK campaign to reschedule psilocybin for research; developing digital health partnerships; and having regular discussions with regulators, payers, partners, researchers, investors, and other stakeholders, on how we can do more to bring desperately needed therapies to patients in need. We will keep you updated on our progress.

Our work in mental health care is rooted in high quality evidence-based intervention. This pandemic will inflict a devastating and huge loss of life, but we are seeing the strength of the scientific and healthcare communities coming together to find solutions, and there will be many important lessons learned about how we can develop new medicines more quickly, improve clinical trial methodology with digital technologies, increase the use of real world evidence, expedite regulatory approvals, and create more innovative healthcare delivery models.

COVID-19 will also have a significant impact on mental health, making today’s mental health care crisis more urgent than ever. We founded COMPASS to accelerate patient access to evidence-based innovation in mental health, and we remain strongly committed to this. The COVID-19 impact is temporary. When it is over, our teams will be ready to progress our clinical trials with even greater determination.

As always, please do get in touch if you have any questions or would like to know more.

Warm regards,

George, Ekaterina and Lars