Atai Life Sciences hits unicorn status with its IPO on Friday.
Ringing the Nasdaq Opening Bell on Friday was Berlin-based psychedelic biopharmaceutical company Atai Life Sciences. It began trading Friday under the ticker symbol “ATAI”. The company's 15 million shares opened at $15 and peaked at $22 before dropping to $16.50 at the close of trading Friday. Atai's co-founder and CEO Florian Brand rang the Opening Bell alongside Founder and Chairman Christian Angermayer, and Srinivas Rao, Co-Founder and CSO.
Atai has raised more than $360 million since it launched in 2018, with funding from PayPal founder Peter Thiel. It raised more than $225 million on its first day of trading. It's now valued at more than $3 billion.
One of a growing roster of psychedelic lifestyle brands to go public, Atai's Nasdaq listing joins MindMed (MNMD) and Compass Pathways (CMPS), among others. (Read more: 21 publicly traded psychedelic companies.)
Included in Atai's portfolio are a dozen companies working with psychedelic substances such as ketamine, MDMA, ibogaine, and DMT for mental health treatments. One of its drugs that contain psilocybin, the psychedelic component in a number of mushrooms, was found to be as effective as the widely used antidepressant drug escitalopram, marketed as Cipralex and Lexapro.
According to Angermayer, Atai's work with psychedelics aims to treat psychiatric problems created by modern life. “The world we are building is a bad place for our brains,” he said.
Image courtesy of Nasdaq