Lykos Therapeutics Secures $100M in Series A Funding, Rebrands from MAPS PBC

The move marks a departure from the firm's previous reliance on philanthropic funding.

MAPS Public Benefit Corp. closed a $100 million Series A funding round and rebranded as Lykos Therapeutics, the company announced Thursday.

The funding, which will support the company’s development of MDMA-assisted therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, comes from a range of new investors, alongside the conversion of an undisclosed sum of convertible notes issued earlier.

Originally a subsidiary of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a nonprofit research organization, the rebranding and new funding represent a shift towards a more commercial focus. The company has been preparing for the potential market launch of its MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD, pending FDA approval.

The financing round was led by Helena, a self-described decentralized “global problem solving organization” focused on identifying “solutions to critical global problems and directly implement them through individual projects.”

“We are incredibly grateful for Helena’s tremendous support and leadership as well as the contributions from other mission-aligned investors, which comes at this critical time as we are transitioning from a development-stage company to one focused on commercialization of the potential first psychedelic-assisted therapy,” Lykos CEO Amy Emerson said in a statement.

According to the announcement, other contributions streamed from a variety of investors, including:

  • Philanthropic foundations
  • Donor-advised funds
  • Impact investors
  • Family offices
  • Institutional firms that tout allegiance toward promoting public benefit and humanitarian causes.

In a separate memo, Emerson wrote, “We selected a new name, Lykos or wolf in Greek, to represent the qualities – bravery, courage, loyalty and intelligence – that resonate with our company. Along with the name change, the new visual identity represents the overlap of innovative science combined with focus on the whole person.”

MAPS retains significant control over the company and the appointment six of the eight members of Lykos’ board of directors.

The capital raised in this round is earmarked for “regulatory and pre-launch activities” for MDMA-assisted therapy, which is currently undergoing the process for FDA approval. Lykos said it wants to make this therapy available for prescription use in treating PTSD after approval.

MAPS, alongside its work with Lykos, said it would continue to engage in other psychedelic research initiatives, drug policy reform, and cultural development regarding the use of psychedelics and cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

Adam Jackson

Adam Jackson writes about the cannabis industry for the Green Market Report. He previously covered the Missouri Statehouse for the Columbia Missourian and has written for the Missouri Independent. He most recently covered retail, restaurants and other consumer companies for Bloomberg Business News. You can find him on Twitter at @adam_sjackson and email him at adam.jackson@crain.com.


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