Today, with a net worth of roughly $400 million accrued through various enterprises, [German financier Christian] Angermayer is one of the driving forces behind the movement to turn long-shunned psychoactive substances, like the psilocybin derived from so-called magic mushrooms, into approved medications for depression and other mental illnesses. Though he still resolutely won’t touch even a drop of alcohol, he has banded together a team of like-minded entrepreneurs — including Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel — to invest in a handful of startups focused on developing psychedelics.
Perhaps the most closely watched is Compass Pathways, which has patented a method to develop psilocybin in a laboratory, so it doesn’t need to be extracted from mushrooms. The company has quietly gobbled up intellectual property related to psychedelic manufacturing. And, importantly, it has won Food and Drug Administration approval to run clinical trials testing psilocybin in patients with treatment-resistant depression.
“Even if it takes just a single dose of psilocybin to treat depression — and I’d be very, very happy if that’s the case — the medical unmet need is huge,” Angermayer said. “The market is growing, for better or for worse.”
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