Peter Thiel (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
Investor interest in psychedelic-based medicine has increased over the last several years amid growing support from regulators, clinicians and patients. In the latest move in the space, Atai Life Sciences, a Peter Thiel-backed startup that is developing psychedelic drugs to treat mental health disorders, plans to raise $100 million in an IPO.
- The company has built a pipeline of 10 therapeutics and six enabling technologies. While none of the Atai-supported drugs has received regulatory approval, several of the startup's programs have begun or are about to begin Phase II clinical trials in the US.
- Founded in 2018 and based in Berlin, Atai has raised more than $362 million in private funding from a group of VCs and other investors. Besides Thiel and his firm, Thiel Capital, the company's other notable backers include Steve Jurvetson's Future Ventures.
- Compass Pathways, a biopharmaceutical company that patented the psychedelic compound psilocybin for use in treatment-resistant depression, went public on the Nasdaq last September and currently has a market capitalization of $1.2 billion. Thiel and Atai, through its founder Christian Angermayer, were major private investors in Compass Pathways before its IPO.