Mental Health Drug Company Prepares for IPO
ATAI Plans to Raise $100 Million
ATAI Life Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company developing psychedelic drugs to treat mental health conditions, is going public on the Nasdaq.
Backed by billionaire investor Peter Thiel, ATAI Life Sciences is planning to raise $100 million from the IPO. Since its inception the company has raised a total of $362.2 million from private investors. Thiel is one of the startup’s major backers.
ATAI was created to acquire and develop psychedelics to treat mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, and addiction. The firm takes a majority stake in the drugs and helps the scientists raise money, conduct clinical trials, and meet regulatory requirements. Regulators have yet to approve any of ATAI’s drugs.
Bringing Tech into Mental Health Treatment
Earlier this month, ATAI acquired a majority stake in Psyber, a US company which is developing a system to treat mental health conditions with computer interfaces. The technology is still in the early stages of development but could help patients understand how drugs interact with their brains, improving efficacy and safety.
ATAI plans to combine Psyber technology with its psychedelics in order to record brain activity and interpret emotions, behavior, and mental states in real-time. This will enable the company to tailor treatments to individual patients. ATAI has partnerships with 14 companies which are developing drugs or technologies to treat mental illness.
ATAI Life Sciences was founded in 2018 and has offices in Berlin, New York, and San Diego. Thiel led a $125 million investment round in the company in November and another $157 million fundraising round in March.
Thiel and ATAI Co-Founder Christian Angermayer have teamed up on several previous investments. Thiel is also an investor in Compass Pathways (CMPS), a mental health company with a roughly $1.3 billion valuation. It is not clear if Thiel plans to play a bigger role in ATAI beyond being a major investor. Either way, investors will be closely following ATAI’s journey to the public markets and analyzing the company’s impact on the mental health industry.
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