Peter Thiel-Backed Psychedelics Company Rings Nasdaq Bell: Atai Life Sciences Goes Public

Atai Life Sciences ATAI, a biotech company in the psychedelic space, had its Nasdaq debut on Friday.

The Berlin-based company is joining an exclusive group of start-ups in the psychedelics sector to IPO this year on the Nasdaq, including MindMed MNMD and Compass Pathways CMPS.

Initially founded as a holding group that later became involved in operations, Atai handles a growing portfolio of about 12 companies, all focused on bringing novel mental health treatments through the use of various disruptive technologies and molecules including psychedelic medicines.

Its portfolio includes Perception Neurosciences, a company putting ketamine through clinical trials for the treatment of depression, as well as other companies developing psychedelics like  MDMA, ibogaine and DMT for mental health purposes.

Atai is also a major shareholder in Compass Pathways, a company developing psilocybin products for psychedelics-assisted psychotherapy, which was the first psychedelics company to debut on Wall Street in September 2020.

Largely focused on drug development, Atai’s revenue stream is still dependent on the regulatory approval of the compounds and treatments in its pipeline. As of now, molecules and treatments under Atai’s wing are still going through different stages of development from discovery to Phase II clinical trials.

Backed by PayPal PYPL founder Peter Thiel, the company had raised over $362 million since its inception in 2018. Atai raised an additional $225 million from its upsized initial public offering on Thursday, selling 15 million shares at a price of $15.

Price Action: Atai stock opened trading at $21, giving the company a market valuation of about $3.19 billion.

The stock peaked at about $22 before noon and reached a low-end point of $16.50 to close its first day of trading at $19.45.

Photo by lo lo on Unsplash

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