Psychedelics Developer Secures $100M In Series A Funding, Will Support MDMA Approval To Treat PTSD – Compass Pathways (NASDAQ:CMPS), ATAI Life Sciences (NASDAQ:ATAI)

MAPS Public Benefit Corporation, a subsidiary of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), has recently raised over $100 million in a Series A private stock sale. The funds will be used to support the final stages of its application for regulatory approval to sell MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

MAPS has been at the forefront of research into psychedelic-assisted therapy and has successfully completed two Phase 3 studies. The organization has also submitted a New Drug Application to the FDA, making it the only psychedelic-assisted therapy research program to reach this stage.

The Series A financing round was led by Helena, a foundation funded by hedge-fund manager Joe Samberg. As part of this investment, MAPS will undergo a name change and become Lykos Therapeutics.

Rick Doblin, Ph.D., MAPS founder and president, expressed his gratitude for the partnership with Helena and the mission-aligned investors. He emphasized their commitment to the trial participants, therapists, scientists, partners, collaborators, and donors who have dedicated themselves to researching novel therapies for PTSD over the past four decades.

Doblin also highlighted that the partnership with Helena will enable Lykos to transition from a research-focused nonprofit company to a public benefit corporation. The focus will be on obtaining FDA approval and insurance coverage for MDMA-assisted therapy for patients with PTSD.

This investment comes at a time when there is increasing interest in psychedelic treatments for mental illnesses that have proven challenging to address with traditional medication. Other companies, such as Atai Life Sciences, Small Pharma, and Compass Pathways, are also actively involved in developing psychedelic therapies for various mental health conditions.

Atai recently announced a $50 million investment in Beckley Psytech, a U.K.-based firm developing a fast-acting psychedelic medication for depression. Small Pharma, another U.K.-based company specializing in rapid-acting psychedelics, was acquired by Canadian biotech company Cybin Inc. in an all-stock deal. Compass Pathways, a major player in the field, raised up to $285 million through a stock-and-warrant sale to fund clinical trials using psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, for treating depression.

Despite the optimism surrounding the potential of psychedelics to help patients, developers in this field face the challenges of navigating the expensive and lengthy regulatory approval process. This often leads startups to sell stock when biopharmaceutical valuations are generally low.

The investment in MAPS/Lykos Therapeutics is a significant milestone for the field of psychedelic-assisted therapy. It demonstrates growing recognition and support for these novel treatments and brings hope for individuals suffering from mental health conditions such as PTSD. As more research and development progress, it is likely that psychedelic therapies will become an integral part of mental health treatment in the future.

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