× Medicines Discovery Catapult

The Psychiatry Consortium is a partnership to accelerate early drug discovery in psychiatric diseases. The Consortium is managed by Medicines Discovery Catapult, and members include:


Pharmaceutical companies

The Psychiatry Consortium is supported by the Wellcome Trust.

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The Psychiatry Consortium will focus on the identification and validation of novel drug targets for psychiatric diseases, including the psychiatric symptoms associated with dementia.

It will fund academic-led projects and work collaboratively with the successful academic researcher to deliver the projects successfully and in a timely manner. This will be achieved by providing access to:

  • Drug discovery expertise and capabilities
  • Commercial know-how
  • Project management resources

The first call for proposals will be announced after the summer, and more information will be made available on this website over the coming weeks.

The need

The scale and impact of mental illness across society is huge. One in ten children, and one in four adults (approx. 15 million people) experience mental illness each year, affecting their wellbeing, relationships, and potential ability to work. The economic and social cost has been estimated as £105bn a year in England alone.

New treatments are needed urgently. However, the lack of novel drug targets combined with the challenge of validating them pre-clinically, and the high failure rate in clinical trials have led to a reduced investment in drug discovery and development in the last decade. There have been no new effective types of treatment for over 30 years.

However, there is good news too:

  • Advances in the understanding of disease biology combined with the emerging genetic data can inform new efforts in drug discovery
  • Recent renewed interest from Pharma means there are opportunities for re-investment
  • World-leading academic centres and initiatives are already generating new targets

The Psychiatry Consortium partners will share the high risks inherent in drug discovery and, as a collective, will aim to:

  • Engage the psychiatry academic community globally by providing opportunities for funding, collaboration & access to industry and commercialisation know-how
  • Work collaboratively with academia to identify and validate novel therapeutic targets and strategies to treat psychiatric diseases
  • Increase the number of new targets and screening assays, validated to industry standards, to support the discovery and development of new drugs


  • Up to 10 academic-led industry-funded projects over 3 years
  • Transfer and exchange of knowledge and skills between academia and industry
  • Advanced understanding of new approaches to target validation in psychiatry disease drug discovery leading to faster translation to the clinic