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Frankfurt — A healthcare investment firm that’s backing studies of “magic mushrooms” to treat depression raised $25m of capital and may consider an initial public offering (IPO) next year, according to people familiar with the matter.
Atai Life Sciences is close to announcing the fundraising with lead backers Christian Angermayer, a German investor, as well as PayPal co-founder Mike Novogratz and Icelandic entrepreneur Thor Björgólfsson, said the people, who asked not to be named because the matter isn’t public yet.
Atai owns a substantial stake in UK start-up Compass Pathways, which is conducting clinical trials of psilocybin, a psychedelic compound in magic mushrooms, as a treatment for depression. Atai also is the largest shareholder of Innoplexus, which operates a technology platform that uses artificial intelligence to identify tailored treatments for diseases.
Atai is already in talks with banks about a potential listing in Canada next year, a step for which it seeks a valuati...
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