Mar 28, 2019

German biotech startup raises $43 million for psychedelic medicines

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

ATAI Life Sciences, a German biotech startup focused on depression and other mental health disorders, raised $43 million in Series B funding. Subversive Capital led, and was joined by return backers like Apeiron Investment Group and Bail Capital.

Why it matters: This is the largest-ever venture round for a developer of psychedelic medicines, and comes after the FDA approved Johnson & Johnson's use of a different psychedelic agent for treating depression.

The bottom line: "After recreational use of psychedelics became popular in the 1960s, the U.S. government classified most of them "drugs of abuse" with no real medical value. However, recent clinical studies show mounting evidence that some psychedelics can help patients with certain mental illnesses." — Christina Farr, CNBC

Go deeper: Marijuana, psychedelics get a second look from Big Pharma

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Your best defense against coronavirus

Photo: Adrian Greeman/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Washing your hands is the best way to protect against the novel coronavirus, according to doctors and health officials, as the virus continues to spread around the globe.

Why it matters: Clean hands can stop germs from spreading in a community, a known characteristic in COVID-19 and influenza.

Go deeperArrow20 mins ago - Health

Major League Soccer embarks on its 25th season

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As Major League Soccer begins its 25th season, the league is financially stable and surging in popularity, and its 26 teams have gorgeous facilities and rapidly increasing valuations.

  • It also continues to expand, with David Beckham's Inter Miami and Nashville SC set to debut this season as the 25th and 26th teams. Plans are in place to reach 30 franchises by 2022 — triple the number from 2004.

Wall Street falls 3% as coronavirus correction worsens

raders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images

Stocks fell more than 3% on Friday morning, pushing stocks further into correction territory.

Why it matters: It continues the ugly stretch for Wall Street that began after a spike in coronavirus cases around the world. The S&P is 15% below its recent peak, edging closer to the mark that would technically end the market’s decade-long rally.

Go deeper: The growing coronavirus recession threat