Oxford VR closes £10m funding round, eyes US expansion

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Oxford VR is treating patients with mental health conditions and participating in clinical trials to demonstrate the efficacy of its solutions in the UK, US and Asia

Quick read

➨ New investors include Optum Ventures and Luminous Ventures
➨ Ash Patel, principal at Optum Ventures, has joined the spinout’s board of directors
➨ ‘We believe Oxford VR’s solutions will benefit those who need access to high quality, effective cognitive behavioural therapy’

The story

Oxford VR, the developer of immersive therapies for mental health conditions, plans to use £10 million in funding to accelerate its expansion in the US and strengthen its treatment pipeline.

New investors Optum Ventures and Luminous Ventures, along with existing supporters Oxford Sciences Innovation, Oxford University Innovation and GT Healthcare Capital Partners, participated in the recently-closed £10 million series A funding round of the Oxford University Department of Psychiatry spinout.

Ash Patel, principal at Optum Ventures, has also joined the spinout’s board of directors.

Oxford VR, founded in 2017, is already enjoying success in its home market, where it is providing VR therapy to National Health Service (NHS) patients and participating in the gameChange project, a large-scale multi-site trial to use VR therapy to treat patients with serious and complex mental health conditions.

In Asia, Oxford VR has partnered with AXA Hong Kong and The Chinese University of Hong Kong in a pilot to test VR’s potential to support better mental health outcomes in Asia.

In the US, the spinout has established a strategic partnership with the National Mental Health Innovation Center, where it is running multiple pilots using VR therapy treatment programmes.

Commenting on the potential of Oxford VR’s immersive therapies, Patel of Optum Ventures said: “Oxford VR has taken a technology-led approach to create evidence-based solutions that will make treatment more accessible to patients who need it. We believe Oxford VR’s solutions will benefit those who need access to high quality, effective cognitive behavioural therapy.”

Izzy Fox, principal of Luminous Ventures, continued: “Oxford VR has taken world-class science from Oxford University and applied cutting-edge immersive technology to create a transformational mental health solution which can deliver significant value for overloaded healthcare programs globally. Immersive therapy is accessible, engaging and effective, and has demonstrated exceptional clinical outcomes and we are thrilled to be partnering with the Oxford VR team.”

Chief executive officer Barnaby Perks, who spoke to VRWorldTech Magazine for its spotlight on immersive tech applications in healthcare earlier this month, said: “Together with Optum Ventures and Luminous Ventures, and with the continued support from our existing investors, we can expand our clinical leadership footprint and accelerate our pipeline of automated VR therapy treatments.”

Image: Barnaby Perks of Oxford VR and Ash Patel of Optum Partners Oxford VR