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atai Life Sciences Strengthens Leadership Team with Appointment of Dr. Sahil V. Kirpekar as Chief Business Officer

– Dr. Kirpekar joins from Otsuka Pharmaceutical where he was Head of Business Development and Co-chair of the Global Business Development Committee –

– He has spent more than 15 years building and growing organizations and businesses in the life sciences and digital health industries –

– His deal sheet includes transactions totaling more than USD 2.7 billion in CNS and beyond –

NEW YORK and BERLIN, Nov. 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —  atai Life Sciences N.V., (NASDAQ: ATAI) (“atai” or the “Company”), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company aiming to transform the treatment of mental health disorders, announced today its appointment of Dr. Kirpekar to serve as the Company’s Chief Business Officer, effective today.

In this newly created role, Dr. Kirpekar will be responsible for atai’s pipeline strategy, building out its commercial and market access functions and leading its global business development efforts, including in- and out-licensing, M&A, and strategic investments.

Dr. Kirpekar joins atai after more than eight years at Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., most recently as the Head of Business Development and Co-chair of the Global Business Development Committee. During his tenure, Dr. Kirpekar helped build a successful pipeline of assets in CNS and beyond and was responsible for closing transactions with a total value of more than USD 2.7 billion. Notable accomplishments during his time at Otsuka also include the successful commercial launch of two drugs Abilify Maintena (Aripiprazole) and Jinarc (Tolvaptan) and contributing to the organization’s digital strategy and leading their evolving thinking in precision psychiatry. He also collaborated closely with atai on certain strategic investments during this time.

Prior to Otsuka, Dr. Kirpekar built and executed on commercial and market access strategies for biopharmaceutical companies globally as a strategy consultant at Double Helix Consulting. He also served as a market analyst for the World Health Organization and has co-founded a company building a drug delivery device focused on adherence. Dr. Kirpekar is a trained physician and holds an MPhil from the University of Cambridge (where he is subsequently an honorary lecturer).

“Sahil’s expertise in drug development and commercialization, digital therapeutics, and precision psychiatry neatly positions him to lead our business development and portfolio strategy efforts. His deep understanding of our strategy coupled with his experience of bringing therapies to patients will help us remain at the forefront of innovation in mental health,” said atai Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Florian Brand.

“I couldn’t be more excited about taking on this new role to further develop atai’s diverse pipeline, capturing value, while also helping to bring potentially transformative mental health treatments to those who continue to suffer,” said Dr. Kirpekar. “I have long admired the team – having worked closely with them during my time at Otsuka – both for their clear and innovative approach and their palpable dedication and passion for mental health.”

About atai Life Sciences 

atai Life Sciences is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company aiming to transform the treatment of mental health disorders. Founded in 2018 as a response to the significant unmet need and lack of innovation in the mental health treatment landscape, atai is dedicated to acquiring, incubating, and efficiently developing innovative therapeutics to treat depression, anxiety, addiction, and other mental health disorders. 

By pooling resources and best practices, atai aims to responsibly accelerate the development of new medicines across its companies to achieve clinically meaningful and sustained behavioral change in mental health patients. 

atai’s vision is to heal mental health disorders so that everyone, everywhere can live a more fulfilled life. For more information, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. We intend such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). The words “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “initiate,” “could,” “would,” “project,” “plan,” “potentially,” “preliminary,” “likely,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. Forward-looking statements include express or implied statements relating to, among other things: statements regarding our expectations relating to management and our leadership team; our business strategy and plans; the potential, success, cost and timing of development of our product candidates, including the progress of preclinical and clinical trials and related milestones; potential acquisitions; and the plans and objectives of management for future operations and capital expenditures.

Forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, including, without limitation, the important factors described in the section titled “Risk Factors” in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), as updated by our subsequent filings with the SEC, as such factors may be updated from time to time in atai’s other filings with the SEC. atai disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this press release, other than to the extent required by applicable law.

Contact Information
Investor Contact:
Stephen Bardin
Chief Financial Officer  

Media Contact:
Allan Malievsky
Senior Director, External Affairs


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