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Monday, Apr 15, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.


MAPS subsidiary raises over US$100M to support MDMA regulation

The funding was led by the non-profit Helena, a diverse organization that aims to solve global problems

MAPS subsidiary raises over US$100M to support MDMA regulation, changes name to Lykos Therapeutics
Lykos COO Michael Mullette (red tie, centre left) speaks at a congressional hearing regarding psychedelic therapy for Veterans in the U.S. last month. Photo via Lykos Therapeutics

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has raised over US$100 million to help forward its mission of bringing regulated MDMA therapy to the United States.

The renowned organization’s subsidiary, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation, announced raising the funds Friday with leadership from the non-profit Helena. MAPS PBC also revealed that it was changing its name to Lykos Therapeutics.

Helena is an organization dedicated to solving the world’s foremost problems. It was founded by Henry Elkus, an individual who dropped out of Yale University to focus on leading the non-profit. Helena’s diverse leadership roster includes former CIA directors, a hedge fund manager and the executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Others that contributed to the fundraising included Vine Ventures, Satori Neuro and the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation. Steven and his wife’s philanthropic organization donated US$5 million to MAPS for MDMA research last June.

“Helena is the right partner to help position Lykos in its transition from a research-focused public benefit company, wholly owned by a nonprofit, to a PBC with mission-aligned investors focused on obtaining FDA approval and insurance coverage for prescription use of MDMA-assisted therapy by appropriate patients with PTSD,” MAPS Founder Rick Doblin, said.

Read more: Ron ‘Tater Salad’ White appointed to Rythmia ayahuasca centre’s leadership roster

Read more: Terran Biosciences obtains U.S. patent approval for catalogue of novel psychedelics

FDA approval of new drug application still pending

MAPS submitted a new drug application to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month, the first type of NDA for any variety of psychedelic therapy.

“The filing of our NDA is the culmination of more than 30 years of clinical research, advocacy, collaboration and dedication to bring a potential new option to adults living with PTSD, a patient group that has experienced little innovation in decades,” Amy Emerson, CEO of Lykos, said in December. The name Lykos translates to wolf in Greek, which the company says represents bravery and intelligence.

The FDA published its first draft guidance document on psychedelics research last June. The government department previously designated MDMA and psilocybin as “breakthrough” therapies in 2017.

“In a testament to Lykos’ remarkable progress in its research program, investors joining our cause are making it possible to build the commercial infrastructure required to deliver MDMA-assisted therapy to many in need, if FDA-approved,” Fede Menapace, Deputy Director of MAPS, said.

The drug has shown immense efficacy in the treatment of mental health conditions among Veterans and others in clinical research. A MAPS-sponsored study published in Nature Medicine last September found that MDMA was effective at reducing symptoms in people suffering from PTSD. It was conducted in the U.S. and Israel.


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