Seattle-area psychedelics startup CaaMTech raises $22M to advance to human testing

CaaMTech aims to take the uncertainty out of psychedelics like magic mushrooms and to provide defined formulations. (BigStock photo)

CaaMTech, a Seattle-area startup developing new psychedelic agents, has raised $ 22 million in funding, the company announced this week.

The company synthesizes a number of new compounds that are similar to those found in “magic mushrooms”. The compounds called tryptamines are also the basis for LSD.

CaaMTech is developing a range of tryptamines with the aim of finding mixtures that “optimize the desired effects while minimizing unwanted side effects,” according to the company’s website. “Our goal is that every user of psychedelic drugs knows exactly which compounds they are consuming and how much.”

Psychedelics have generated increasing interest as potential treatments for mental disorders, depression, and addiction. Johns Hopkins University and Imperial College London opened new research centers in 2019, with pledges of more than $ 20 million from wealthy private donors to screen compounds like LSD and psilocybin for such conditions.

More than 700 startups are developing mental health and emotional wellbeing solutions, with just over $ 4.5 billion invested, according to Hays’ estimates. About a dozen focus on psychedelics and lay the groundwork for removing them from the Schedule 1 category. Just last November, Oregon became the first state to legalize psychedelic mushrooms.

CaaMTech CEO Andrew Chadeayne. (CaaMTech photo)

When asked if it was legal for the Issaquah, Washington-based company to synthesize its agents, CaamTech’s Davis Woulle said most agents were new and therefore out of the law.

“Many of the compounds we work with are new and unplanned in the US, meaning they are entirely new entities that have never been developed before,” said Woulle, a technology and marketing executive for the company, in an email to GeekWire. “These novel compounds are legally synthesized in academic chemistry laboratories, where they are saved and regularly inventoried. Other compounds are obtained as chemical standards from commercial chemical suppliers. When scheduling, we always stay within the framework of the laboratories that are licensed for handling. “

CaaMTech has several partnerships with laboratories in the Designer Drug Research Unit of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research.

The company was founded in 2017 by CEO Andrew Chadeayne, a chemist and attorney who previously worked as a patent attorney for a Washington, DC law firm. The company has four employees and plans to recruit experts in advanced drug development and pharmaceutical approval processes.

The new funding will also serve to support ongoing research and advance its drug candidates through preclinical studies in human studies. Numerous clinical studies are already underway in the United States to investigate psilocybin for depression and other diseases.

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Other companies in the area include Silo Wellness, based in Springfield, Oregon, which developed a nasal spray to microdose psilocybin to help with anxiety, PTSD, and depression.

UK-based Compass Pathways, which is conducting a large-scale clinical trial of psilocybin therapy, raised $ 80 million in a Series B round last year from investors including ATAI Life Sciences, Founders Fund and Able Partners . The company, which holds a US patent for methods of treating drug-resistant depression “with a psilocybin formulation,” is also backed by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, who has invested in other companies focused on psychedelics.

The oversubscribed round of funding for CaaMTech was led by Noetic Fund. The company also raised a small seed round of $ 1.35 million in 2020.

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