New York-based biotech startup Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals raises $27M Series A to develop psychedelic medicines to treat mental illness
Between 2009 and 2019, spending on mental health care in the United States increased by more than 50%, reaching $225 billion, and a Lancet Commission report estimates the global economic cost will reach $16 trillion by 2030.
Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals is a New York-based mental health science-focused biotechnology startup utilizing psychedelic-related medicines for the treatment of neuropsychiatric conditions. Gilgamesh is focused on developing innovative new chemical entities (NCE’s) leveraging a unique combination of medicinal chemistry, intellectual property strategy, neuroscience and neurobiology, and drug development expertise.
Today, Gilgamesh announced it has closed a $27 million Series A round of funding led by Prime Movers Lab, an investor in breakthrough scientific startups working to revolutionize the world’s most important industries and transform billions of lives. Other backers include the Noetic Psychedelic Fund LP, Gron Ventures, Route 66 Ventures, JLS Fund, and Palo Santo Investors.
With the new investment, Gilgamesh will expand its team with a number of additional hires, including a COO and Head of R&D & Chief Business Officer, continue to rapidly advance its multiple programs toward clinical candidate selection, and further expand its IP portfolio.
“We are happy to partner with our new investors to help position Gilgamesh at the forefront of creating the next generation of medicines,” said CEO and co-founder Dr. Jonathan Sporn. “There is a lot of exciting work being done around the research of psychedelic drugs right now. But what differentiates Gilgamesh is that we were founded by individuals who have had previous success and know that the knowledge base and methods that we have are the strongest path forward to develop new drugs.”
Founded in 2019, Gilgamesh is a cutting-edge science company focused on using the pharmacology related to psychedelic drugs to make the compounds safe and broadly applicable to treating and curing conditions including depression, anxiety, substance use, and stress-related disorders in an efficient way. The company is the first Y Combinator startup in this space and was founded by Jonathan Sporn, MD; Dalibor Sames, Ph.D.; Andrew Kruegel, Ph.D.; Jeff Witkin, Ph.D.; and, Mike Cunningham, Ph.D. Dr. Sporn had previously founded Perception Neuroscience for the first exit in the psychedelic space to ATAI Life Sciences.
“We are truly in the era of a psychedelic renaissance with clinicians and researchers finding that psychedelic substances are not just treatments, they can be curative,” said Amy Kruse, Partner at Prime Movers Lab. “We’re excited to partner with Gilgamesh and their industry-leading research around medicinal chemistry and neuropharmacology to develop transformative medicines that will make it into the lives of the people who need them most.”