Lykos Therapeutics Secures Over $100 Million in Series A Financing

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LOS ANGELES- Lykos Therapeutics, previously known as MAPS Public Benefit Corporation, has achieved a significant milestone in its journey to revolutionize mental healthcare. The company announced an oversubscribed Series A financing, raising over $100 million, including the conversion of previously issued convertible notes. This funding is a crucial step in supporting regulatory and pre-launch activities for its investigational MDMA-assisted therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The financing round was led by Helena, a global problem-solving organization, with contributions from a diverse group of mission-aligned and institutional investors. These include the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, Eir Therapeutics, Vine Ventures, True Ventures, and several others.

Amy Emerson, CEO of Lykos, expressed gratitude towards Helena and the other contributors, acknowledging their pivotal role in the company’s transition from a development-stage company to one poised for commercialization. “To reflect our company evolution, we selected a new name, Lykos, which means wolf in Greek, to represent the qualities—bravery, courage, loyalty, and intelligence—that resonate with our company,” said Emerson.

The completion of this funding round has also led to changes in the Lykos board of directors. The new eight-member board includes six appointees from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), four of whom are independent directors, the CEO of Lykos, and Suprotik (Protik) Basu from Helena. Basu brings over two decades of public health financing experience to the board.

“We are inspired by the mission and work of Lykos and honored to be chosen as their trusted partner,” remarked Protik Basu, managing partner at Helena. “This strong funding round, combined with the Phase 3 results and recent new drug application submission to the FDA, position Lykos to continue its journey to help transform mental health, and to help address the large unmet need for the estimated 13 million Americans who suffer from PTSD1, should this investigational drug used in combination with therapy be approved by the FDA.”

Lykos is rebranding to reflect its transition from a research-stage company to a public benefit corporation focused on integrating new therapies into the healthcare system, pending FDA approval. The new visual identity represents the overlap of innovative science with a focus on the whole person.

MDMA-assisted therapy, an investigational modality, combines MDMA with psychological intervention and other supportive services to treat PTSD. Lykos has completed two Phase 3 trials for PTSD and submitted a new drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for MDMA-assisted therapy. If approved, this would be the first psychedelic-assisted therapy approved for PTSD. The NDA submission included results from the MAPP1 and MAPP2 studies, which were published in Nature Medicine.

With Breakthrough Therapy designation given to MDMA in 2017, Lykos has requested the FDA grant Priority Review of the NDA. The FDA has 60 days to determine whether the NDA will be accepted for review. If approved, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration would need to reschedule MDMA for prescription medical use.

It is important to note that MDMA-assisted therapy is currently not approved by any regulatory agency, and its safety and efficacy for PTSD treatment have not been established.

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