A portfolio of innovation
Focused on depression, anxiety and addiction
ATAI Life Sciences is dedicated to bringing innovation to mental healthcare, a field that has seen little progress since the development of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) in the 1980s and 1990s, respectively. ATAI focuses on three key indications underlying the mental health epidemic:
- Depression | Today, the World Health Organization World Health Organization estimates that approximately 322 million people live with depression, making it both the most common mental health disorder and the leading cause of disability worldwide. Moreover, rates of depression have been increasing; between 2005 and 2015, diagnoses of depression rose by more than 18 percent, with experts warning that it is on track to become the 2nd most burdensome health condition by 2020. Of the more than 340 million people that suffer from depression worldwide, more than one third do not respond to currently available therapeutics.
- Anxiety | Anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions in the world, with more than 40 million Americans (18% of the population) suffering from an anxiety disorder every year, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA); worldwide, almost 12% of people are affected by anxiety every year, and up to 30% meet the diagnostic criteria for an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. The ADAA also reports that, although anxiety disorders are considered treatable, only 36% of those affected go on to receive treatment. This is concerning because, in the absence of treatment, most anxiety disorders persist indefinitely.
- Addiction | In the United States, the lifetime prevalence of addiction to alcohol and illicit drugs is estimated to be between 12% and 3% respectively; addiction to prescription drugs has been found to occur in 4.7% of the population. Perhaps most concerningly, in 2018, 2-million people misused prescription opioids for the first time, while 47,600 people died from opioid overdose, and a full 2.1 million people qualified for a diagnosis of opioid use disorder. Prognosis is poor, and current treatment options for all types of addiction are scant and produce variable results, with relapse rates across substance use disorders estimated to be between 40 and 60%.