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atai Acquires Firm Developing Schizophrenia Treatment, Plans IPO

January 21, 2021

atai Life Sciences, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical firm backed by Peter Thiel and other investors, recently acquired a majority stake in Recognify Life Sciences.

Recognify is developing a treatment for cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia (CIAS). Its lead compound has demonstrated a modulating effect on three mechanisms central to learning and memory. The compound, RL-007, has been evaluated in seven Phase I studies and two Phase II studies thus far. Three of the trials demonstrated improvements in verbal learning and memory.

“Currently, there is a large patient population with unmet medical needs as there are no approved treatments for CIAS,” Srinivas Rao, MD, PhD, co-founder and chief scientific officer of atai Life Sciences, said in a news release. We find the previous studies of RL-007 to be very promising in its modulating effect and look forward to launching our Phase II clinical trial focused on its use as a treatment of CIAS.”

IPO planned

In addition to its acquisition of Recognify, atai Life Sciences has announced plans to go public at a valuation between $1 billion and $2 billion within the next few months, according to a report by CNBC. The company, which is headquartered in Berlin and has offices in New York and San Diego, announced in November that it the closing of a $125 million Series C investment round that was co-led by Apeiron Investment Gropu, the family office of atai founder Christian Angermayer, Thiel and Catalio Capital Management, along with other existing investors.

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