The Peter Thiel-backed psychedelic biopharmaceutical company Atai Life Sciences has announced plans to IPO with a launch on Nasdaq under the symbol “ATAI.” The IPO, valued at more than $2 billion, is expected to launch with more than 14 million common shares, with a 30-day option for underwriters to purchase an additional 2.1 million shares. It should raise more than $214 million. Credit Suisse, Citigroup, Cowen, and Berenberg led the underwriters for the offering.
The Berlin-based startup is one of a number of life sciences companies working with psychedelics to treat mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders. The company, which was founded by Christian Angermayer, Florian Brand, Lars Wilde, and Srinivas Rao, launched in 2018. The aim was to tackle a lack of innovation in mental health treatment.
Atai has raised more than $157 million to date, including $12 million from the billionaire PayPal co-founder last November.
“ATAI’s great virtue is to take mental illness as seriously as we should have been taking all illness all along,” Thiel said last year. “The company’s most valuable asset is its sense of urgency.”
With ten development programs and six enabling technologies in its current portfolio, Atai is now also conducting Phase 2 trials with one of its companies, Recognify Life Sciences. It’s also expecting to launch more Phase 2 trials in 2022 to further explore the benefits of psychedelics in mental health treatment.
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