Coller Foundation grants £100,000 to Pioneer Programme

Funds will support research into new PTSD treatments for veterans

19 January 2022

Supporting Wounded Veterans has been awarded a new grant of £100,000 from The Coller Foundation to support its appeal to bring clinical trials for MDMA-assisted therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to the UK.


The Pioneer Programme is an innovative collaboration between SWV, research sponsors, MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies), and the research delivery team at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London.


The project consists of two clinical trials of MDMA-assisted therapy for veterans with severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The UK study will build on many years of investment and research in the US, where MDMA-assisted therapy has been designated as a ‘Breakthrough Therapy’ by the US Government’s Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The MAPS Phase 3 trials, published in May 2021, have also demonstrated very encouraging clinical outcomes for those with PTSD.


Royal Air Force veteran, Stuart, served for 30 years and was medically discharged in 2015 with PTSD. He hopes the research will give him and his family the chance for a normal life. He explains what this treatment opportunity could mean for veterans with PTSD:


“To be spontaneous and able to live our lives in a natural manner, rather than this stilted, frightened manner. I have to plan everything around how I might react to any situation, like a crowded place, or sudden noises. I avoid social gatherings, which makes for a very considered and planned life. It can be quite insular as I end up avoiding everything.”


Gilly Norton, Chief Executive of Supporting Wounded Veterans said:


“We are incredibly grateful to The Coller Foundation for joining us as a Pioneer and supporting this innovative research. We are now much closer to being able to offer veterans with PTSD an alternative treatment option for managing their symptoms. This is only possible thanks to funders, like the Coller Foundation, who see the potential of psychedelic medicine and the benefits it can bring when used in combination with therapy in a professional clinical setting. This important research into MDMA-assisted therapy is now another step closer to being delivered in the UK.”


Jeremy Coller said:


“We are pleased to support the innovative work of Supporting Wounded Veterans in the UK. We are hopeful that these clinical trials will provide veterans with an alternative method for managing PTSD, as well as advance the UK’s understanding of the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelic medicine.”


To hear further insights into the future for MDMA-assisted therapy, SWV Patron, General Sir Nick Carter, former Chief of the Defence Staff, guest edited a Christmas edition of the Radio 4 Today programme where he spoke to MAPS and highlighted the recent research results in the US.

You can listen to the highlights of this programme on the BBC website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0bdn9gc (listen from 39 minutes).


Launched in December 2020, the Pioneer Programme appeal aimed to raise £1.5m. With thanks to The Coller Foundation, SWV has now raised £1.2m making the trials a reality in 2022.