MDMA research group collects $30M in donations for clinical trial of PTSD drug

Hand handing out some pills in a lab environment

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) managed to secure $30 million in donations as part of its effort to complete the phase 3 trials for an MDMA-based drug that could be used in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

According to a press release, MAPS raised $30 million over the past six months as part of the Capstone campaign, which was launched by the non-profit research organization in order to gain approval for the drug from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

Donors to the campaign include GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons, who gave $2 million, and Silicon Valley investor Joby Pritzker, who donated over $1 million, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, podcaster Tim Ferriss, who has positioned himself at the forefront of the battle to utilize MDMA for the treatment of PTSD, donated $1 million as well. 

MAPS was founded in 1986 by Rick Doblin. The group’s primary focus has been research into the potential of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) psychotherapy for treating various types of trauma – ranging from sexual assault to violent crimes and war. At the moment, MAPS is engaged with the FDA on developing an MDMA-psychotherapy for PTSD. 

Phase 2 of the MDMA psychotherapy included 107 participants, 56% of which no longer qualified for PTSD following treatment. In the second, 12-month follow-up of participants, a total of 68% no longer had PTSD. The phase 3 clinical trial is expected to be completed in 2022, while the FDA could approve the drug by 2023. 

If successful, it would be the first-ever psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy to get the greenlight from the FDA.

“Interim analysis of the MAPS-sponsored Phase 3 trials indicates a very high likelihood that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy will prove effective in treating PTSD for many sufferers,” according to MAPS

“Winning FDA approval of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD could ultimately help millions of people, and that alone is a world-changing impact,” Joe Green, a partner in the Capstone Campaign, said.

Green added he believes gaining FDA approval for a drug like this could prove to be a watershed moment for psychedelic medicines in general, which advocates claim has shown significant potential for the treatment of various mental health issues

About the author
Jelena Cikes

Writer and journalist specialized in financial markets and American politics. Pop culture aficionado, travel junkie, YouTube devotee.

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