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Imperial Innovations Investment in PsychologyOnline

25 June 2013

Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM: IVO, ‘Innovations’, or ‘the Group’) a leading technology commercialisation and investment company, has invested £0.5m in new portfolio company, PsychologyOnline, a Cambridge-based provider of clinically-proven online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for the treatment of depression.

Launched in 2010, PsychologyOnline delivers real time therapy to NHS and private patients with a live therapist via the internet, allowing them to attend sessions in their own home, at times that suit them. Waiting times are reduced to a few days, compared with up to several months for NHS face-to-face services. All PsychologyOnline therapists are experienced Chartered Psychologists or accredited Psychotherapists and are UK trained and accredited.

The Company was founded by two Chartered Psychologists who recognised the scarcity of easily available psychological support to patients. The service is already available to NHS customers in some areas in the UK and the additional funding will enable PsychologyOnline to offer its service to a broader range of both NHS and private patients.

Despite being considered both preventable and treatable, depression costs the UK up to £9 billion a year in lost earnings and there are thought to be around 350m people suffering from depression worldwide. CBT is used widely within NHS mental health services as a NICE-recommended treatment for anxiety and depression. However, high demand can mean a long wait for patients and it is estimated that only a quarter of those with mental illness are currently receiving treatment.

The effectiveness of PsychologyOnline’s service was demonstrated in a 300 patient clinical trial undertaken at three universities and NHS Trusts, including UCL, which was published in The Lancet in 2009. An average of just six sessions of online therapy was needed for recovery from moderate to severe depression compared to between 16 and 20 for NHS face to face services. Follow up client assessments at four and eight months confirmed that the benefits were maintained.

PsychologyOnline has raised a total of £1.6m from investors so far. Innovations has a 19.6% stake and other investors include Cambridge Angels. Dr Rebecca Todd, Director of Healthcare Investments at Innovations, will join the board of PsychologyOnline.

Susan Searle, Chief Executive Officer at Imperial Innovations, said:

“PsychologyOnline is a great example of how digital and online technologies can improve patient access to healthcare services. We are pleased to back this exciting company at a key time in its development and look forward to a time when all patients can easily access the kind of rapid and convenient healthcare service that PsychologyOnline offers.”

Barnaby Perks, CEO of PsychologyOnline, said:

“Our service is already making a difference to NHS patients in areas such as Surrey. This investment will help us to increase the roll out of our service and offer it more widely to patients across the UK. We are also developing our private offering to support those who want a more discreet and confidential service without going via their GP.”


Imperial Innovations

020 7581 4949

Susan Searle, Chief Executive Officer

Terry Nicklin, Director of Communications

College Hill

020 7457 2020

Rozi Morris/Tim Watson

PsychologyOnline (PR Consultants, Holdsworth Associates)

019 5420 2789

Nina Beadle/Rachel Holdsworth (

Notes to editors

Imperial Innovations -

Innovations creates, builds and invests in pioneering university technologies addressing global problems in healthcare, energy, engineering and the environment. It combines deep understanding of science and technology with commercial acumen and strong investment expertise.

Innovations supports scientist-entrepreneurs in the commercialisation of their ideas by:

· leading the formation of new companies and providing facilities in the early stages

· providing significant investment and encouraging co-investment to accelerate the transition from R&D to products

· providing operational expertise

· helping to recruit high-calibre industry figures and experienced entrepreneurs as executive management and Board members

Innovations invests in companies based on technologies from or associated with four universities: Imperial College London; and Cambridge University, Oxford University, and UCL supported by its collaborations with Cambridge Enterprise, OSEM and UCL Business. These are the UK’s leading research intensive universities, measured by research income.

By raising £140 million in January 2011, Innovations has been able to accelerate the making of, and increase the size of its investments. In the year to 31 July 2012, Innovations invested £37.9 million (2011: £35.1 million) in 29 ventures, and made 11 investments in new companies.

In its current portfolio of 78 companies, Innovations’ most advanced assets include Circassia, which develops innovative treatments for a wide range of allergies; and Nexeon, a battery materials and licensing company which develops silicon anodes which extend the life and increase the capacity of lithium-ion batteries.

PsychologyOnline -

PsychologyOnline is the UK’s leading provider of live online one-to-one therapy with an experienced Chartered Psychologist or accredited Psychotherapists. All are UK trained and accredited.

It was founded by two Chartered Psychologists who worked for the UK National Health Service. Recognising the scarcity of available psychological support they developed PsychologyOnline to provide a top quality psychological therapy service that is easily accessible to all. It uses text-based therapy within a secure online environment.

PsychologyOnline was used in a 300 patient clinical trial at Bristol University with excellent results. An average of just six sessions of online therapy was needed for recovery. Follow up client assessments at four and eight months confirmed that the benefits were maintained. The results of the trial were published in the Lancet in 2009.

The Cambridge-based company operates to the code of conduct, ethical principles and guidelines of the British Psychological Society and adheres strictly to NHS standards of clinical and information governance.

Publisher Contact Information:

Imperial College Innovations Limited
020 7581 4949

Company profile of Touchstone Innovations (formerly Imperial Innovations)
Past press releases of Touchstone Innovations (formerly Imperial Innovations).


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