Maps entering the markets… ummmm?
Doblin, MDMA and an investment house in a sector where pharma development companies appear to be dropping like flies at the moment sounds fraught with future pain.
The non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has for the first time offered to sell shares in its for-profit, drug-development subsidiary, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), as it struggles to raise the money needed to bring MDMA to market as a prescription medicine.
Last year, MAPS asked Cowen & Company, a New York investment bank, to seek investors in MAPS PBC, a wholly-owned subsidiary that is closer than ever to gaining FDA approval for its plan to treat PTSD with MDMA-assisted therapy.
Cowen’s bankers brought a proposal to sell equity in MAPS PBC to about 40 investors with an interest in biotech startups, but found no takers, according to Rick Doblin, MAPS founder and president. While no deals have been consummated, MAPS says a variety of investors have expressed interest and are in various stages of discussion with the PBC.
Last fall, MAPS developed a new plan to take bridge loans from well-to-do investors that would be converted into equity if the loans are not repaid, Doblin said. The organization has put that proposal before selected investors.
The willingness to take on outside investors is a turnabout for MAPS, which for decades since has led efforts to bring psychedelic medicines into the mainstream.
It’s also a disappointment for Doblin, who previously said that MAPS PBC would sell shares only as a last resort.
“They don’t have any other option to get to the next level,” says a MAPS ally who has spoken with Doblin, but asked not to be identified because their conversations were private.
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