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Psychedelic Bulletin: MindMed CEO Steps Down; Atai Targets $2.3bn Valuation

This week’s most significant story came in the form of a change at the top for MindMed. On Wednesday, the company announced that JR Rahn is stepping down from his position as CEO, to be replaced by chief development officer Robert Barrow; for now, at least.

Elsewhere, atai Life Sciences inches closer to IPO, with a target valuation of $2.3bn announced today.

Psychedelic Sector News

MindMed CEO JR Rahn Steps Down

Two weeks ago, we reported on insider selling at MindMed:

Most notably, CEO JR Rahn has sold a significant portion of his shares. According to The Deep Dive, JR Rahn’s recent transactions represent a sale of c.38% of his total position.

Three days later, more insider filings emerged. It appears that Board Director Bruce Linton has disposed of around half of his shares in the company.

On Wednesday, the company announced that Rahn is stepping down as CEO. Interestingly, its stock price didn’t react drastically and closed slightly higher on the day’s news.

Chief development officer Robert Barrow assumes the role on an interim basis, while the company carries out a search for a new CEO. Barrow joined MindMed after serving as director of drug development and discovery at Usona Institute, the nonprofit organisation stewarding psilocybin through a Phase 2 clinical trial for major depressive disorder.

The press release announcing Rahn’s stepping down ended by explaining that, as part of the transition, he would be issued 1.5 million subordinate voting shares, valued at over CAD $6.5m.


Atai’s S-1: A Deep Dive

Three members of the Psilocybin Alpha ecosystem joined Business Trip’s Matias Serebrinsky to discuss atai Life Sciences’ S-1 filing in advance of their IPO.

In this podcast episode, we cover:

  • How atai went from idea to IPO in 3 years
  • An overview of atai’s drug development programs and enabling technologies
  • The platform’s strategy and risks

Since the episode aired, further details of the company’s IPO have emerged. Atai’s amended S-1 filing, submitted to the SEC today, reveals a target valuation of around $2.3bn.

The Berlin-based biotech, which has a number of programs that focus on psychedelics, hopes to sell approximately 14.29 million shares. Those shares will be priced between $13 and $15 each.


Other Headlines

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Weekend Reading

Insight Conference: September 2021

Our friends at the MIND Foundation in Berlin are hosting their second bi-annual INSIGHT conference on September 9-12.

INSIGHT 2021 will focus on integrating psychedelic states into basic research, therapies, and human development. Attendees come from all over the world to engage with leading experts from a variety of disciplines and discuss the current state of psychedelic research and its emerging future. 

Learn more, and secure your tickets, via the Insight 2021 website (use the code PSILOALPHA10 to get 10% off tickets). 


Psychedelics for Frontline Healthcare Workers?

Seeking to help improve frontline clinicians’ situations, psychedelics-focused biotech company Cybin and the University of Washington are co-sponsoring a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy with psilocybin for frontline clinicians experiencing Covid-related distress.

The main goal of the study is to evaluate the efficacy of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of symptoms of depression, anxiety, burnout and post- traumatic stress among frontline doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals.

Learn more in the full article: Javier Hasse for Forbes.


Other Mainstream Coverage

  • CBC: A trip to recovery: N.L. patients using psychedelics therapeutically, hoping for legal vindication
  • Good Housekeeping: Are Psychedelics the Next Big Cure?
  • CTV: University of Calgary announces chair in psychedelic research
  • ABC Radio: Psychedelics—the curious journey from medical lab to party drug and back again
  • The Joe Rogan Experience: #1661 – Rick Doblin, Ph.D.


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