Published on
January 26, 2021

atai Life Sciences to Collaborate with Massachusetts General Hospital to Accelerate Discovery of Mechanisms Underlying Therapeutic Effects of Psychedelic Agents

NEW YORK, Jan. 26, 2021  -- atai Life Sciences ("atai"), a global biotech company developing psychedelic and non-psychedelic compounds for various mental health indications, today announced it has entered into a collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital ("MGH") and its new initiative, the Center for Neuroscience of Psychedelics, to advance novel mental health treatments through the study of mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of psychedelic agents.

"It is our privilege to partner with the MGH in collaboration with their newly established Center for Neuroscience of Psychedelics to further research the therapeutic potential of psychedelics to treat mental health disorders," said Srinivas Rao, CSO & Co-Founder of atai. "Together, we can accelerate the study of mechanisms leveraging the MGH's state-of-the-art approaches, tools and some of the greatest minds in neuroscience. This collaboration may lead to the discovery of novel mechanisms of neuroplasticity and development of more targeted treatments for mental illnesses, thereby pioneering the new frontier of precision mental health."

Universally recognized as a leading academic medical center, the MGH is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH recently established its Center for Neuroscience of Psychedelics to better understand how psychedelics enhance the brain's capacity for change to optimize current treatments and create new treatments for mental illness.

The new center integrates and leverages the expertise of the MGH's Department of Psychiatry, the Department of Radiology's Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, and the Center for Genomic Medicine's Chemical Neurobiology Laboratory. The MGH Center for Neuroscience of Psychedelics is led by Jerrold F. Rosenbaum, MD, psychiatrist-in-chief emeritus, director of the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders, and Stanley Cobb Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School; Bruce Rosen, MD, PhD, director of the Martinos Center and professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School; and Stephen J. Haggarty, PhD, director of the Chemical Neurobiology Laboratory in the MGH Center for Genomic Medicine and associate professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School.  

"We are excited about the opportunity to evaluate compounds in atai's pipeline that may prove to be effective in addressing unmet needs of patients with devastating psychiatric disorders," said Dr. Rosenbaum. "There is accumulating evidence that psychedelics have unique disease-modifying potential. Understanding how these medicines enhance the brain's capacity for change could lead to much-needed novel treatments for mental illness."

"The relationship between atai and the MGH's Center for Neuroscience of Psychedelics is built upon our shared goals of advancing the neuroscientific underpinnings of psychedelics on the way to meaningfully improving treatments for patients in need," said Jacob Hooker, PhD, Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport MGH Research Scholar, director of Radiochemistry at the Martinos Center, and professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, who is co-leading, with Dr. Haggarty, the initial scope of the collaboration.

About atai Life Sciences
atai is a biotechnology company that was founded in 2018 as a direct response to the significant and growing unmet needs of mental health patients worldwide. atai is pioneering the development of more effective and potentially-disease modifying mental health treatments for patients sufferings from significant unmet medical needs. atai's business model combines funding, technology, scientific and regulatory expertise with a focus on psychedelic therapy and other drugs with differentiated safety profiles and therapeutic potential. By pooling resources and best practices, atai aims to responsibly accelerate the development of new medicines across its business entities, seeking to effectively treat and ultimately heal mental health disorders. atai's mission is to bridge the gap between what the mental healthcare system currently provides and what patients need. atai is headquartered in Berlin, with offices in New York and San Diego. For more information, please visit

Investor Contact:
Greg Weaver
atai – Chief Financial Officer

Media Contact:
Anne Donohoe
KCSA Strategic Communications
Phone: +1 (212) 896-1265

SOURCE atai Life Sciences

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