MAPS Welcomes New Investors, Name Change for MAPS Public Benefit Corporation

  • Lykos Therapeutics, formerly known as MAPS PBC, announced the close of Series A financing to support regulatory and pre-launch activities for MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD
  • MAPS now shares ownership of Lykos Therapeutics with mission-aligned investors, including philanthropic foundations and donor-advised funds that must dedicate potential future returns to their philanthropic purpose, impact investors, family offices, and institutional firms
  • MAPS retains notable oversight of select activities through ten-to-one voting power and appointing six of the eight members of the Lykos Board of Directors
  • MAPS will continue to advance other psychedelic research, change drug policy, and shape culture

SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 05, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A decade after it was founded as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) has announced the successful close of an oversubscribed Series A financing of more than $100 million, led by Helena, alongside a name change to Lykos Therapeutics and new visual identity. Read more from Lykos Therapeutics here.

“We are profoundly grateful to partner with Protik Basu and the rest of the Helena team of mission-aligned investors who understand our prioritization of public benefit and deeply care about humanitarian causes. Together, we can uphold our commitment to the trial participants, therapists, scientists, other partners and collaborators, and donors who, over nearly four decades, have dedicated themselves to researching novel investigational therapies for PTSD for public benefit. 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.”
Rick Doblin, Ph.D., MAPS Founder and President

MAPS has retained select governance oversight of Lykos, including ten-to-one voting power in certain shareholder votes and collaborating with Lykos on its Impact Advisory Committee, which will recommend and report on Lykos’ public benefit metrics. MAPS will appoint six of the eight members of the Lykos Board of Directors, with four of those members required to be independent; the other seats will be held by Amy Emerson, Lykos Therapeutics’ CEO, and Protik Basu, the investor representative appointed by Helena Special Investments. Among the early outcomes of this governance collaboration, the Lykos Board of Directors has implemented a positive initiative linking a portion of employee performance incentives to the attainment of public benefit metrics.

“For most of MAPS’ existence, the stigma associated with psychedelic compounds made it impossible to fund MAPS’ clinical research through government grants or traditional investment models. Our courageous and generous donors stepped up to advance psychedelic research, change drug policy, and shape culture. 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.

“MAPS will continue to focus on developing not just medical but also legal and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana, domestically and globally, in pursuit of the first of our Seven Principles: Healing For All.”
Fede Menapace, MAPS Deputy Director

In 2024, MAPS will be expanding its education efforts through the development of first responder crisis intervention training, planning Psychedelic Science 2025, and working with allies to bring psychedelic therapist education to communities in need outside the U.S. MAPS’ Policy & Advocacy team will continue to provide technical assistance and support to reformers and will redouble efforts to unlock government funding for psychedelic research and reduce the penalties that harm people who use drugs.

MAPS has incubated the only psychedelic-assisted therapy research program that has completed two successful Phase 3 studies and submitted a New Drug Approval submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). MAPS will support further psychedelic research with a particular focus on conflict resolution, couples therapy, and new culturally relevant treatment models, beginning with non-commercial research of investigational MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD in humanitarian contexts with local healers in group settings in collaboration with entities other than Lykos.

The safety and efficacy of psychedelic-assisted therapies are currently under investigation. Neither MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD, nor any other psychedelic-assisted therapy, has been established for the treatment of any mental health condition. No treatment works for everyone; all treatments, even in clinical settings, carry risks.

Founded in 1986, MAPS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana. MAPS previously sponsored the most advanced psychedelic-assisted therapy research in the world and continues to support psychedelic and marijuana research with a focus on the people and places most impacted by trauma. MAPS incubated Lykos Therapeutics, a drug-development public benefit company, and The Zendo Project, a leader in psychedelic harm reduction. MAPS has earned the Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency and a 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator with philanthropic donors and grantors who have given more than $140 million to advance psychedelic research, change drug policy, and shape culture.