COMPASS Pathways

COMPASS Pathways is a publicly listed company (NASDAQ) that is developing psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression (TRD) for which it has completed a successful Phase IIb trial. COMPASS is one of the largest psychedelic companies and has received substantial investment from atai.

Company Overview: A brief description of COMPASS Pathways and their mission

COMPASS Pathways is a leading psychedelic drug development company dedicated to advancing mental health treatment through research and development of innovative therapies. The company’s mission is to improve the lives of those suffering from mental health conditions by developing and providing access to evidence-based, safe and effective psychedelic-assisted therapies.

COMPASS Pathways is focused on developing treatments for depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions using psilocybin (COMP360), the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. The company is committed to advancing scientific understanding of the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. It is working to bring these innovative therapies to patients in need through clinical research and development.

History: A timeline of the COMPASS’ formation and critical milestones

COMPASS Pathways was founded in 2016 by a group of experienced entrepreneurs and scientists passionate about the potential of psychedelics to improve mental health. The company’s founders recognized the need for further research and development to understand the therapeutic potential of psychedelics and to bring these treatments to patients in need.

Note: COMPASS started as a non-profit, but then changed gears to become a for-profit company. This change was driven by the need to raise funding (for the clinical trials), but the sudden shift also alienated the company (partially) from the broader research community.

In the years following its formation, COMPASS Pathways has made significant progress in advancing the field of psychedelic research. In 2018, the company announced the launch of a large-scale Phase IIb clinical trial of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression. The trial is currently ongoing and is one of the largest and most comprehensive studies of its kind.

In 2019, COMPASS Pathways received breakthrough therapy designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its psilocybin therapy for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). This designation recognizes the potential of the therapy to provide significant treatment for a serious or life-threatening condition and expedites the development and review process.

Funding history

The company has raised $80 million for its phase III trials. Previously it raised $31 million for the phase II trials. ATAI is the largest investor in COMPASS.

As of September 2020, it’s listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker CMPS and has raised over $100 million at a $600 million valuation (which jumped to $1.1 billion within days). Following September’s IPO, COMPASS Pathways raised $154.8 million in its May 2021 follow-on offering.

This is in addition to the previous $116 million (estimated) that it raised before September.

Leadership: Information about the company’s leadership team

The company’s co-founders, George Goldsmith and Ekaterina Malievskaia, bring a wealth of experience in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and mental health. George Goldsmith is an experienced entrepreneur with a background in biotechnology and mental health advocacy. Ekaterina Malievskaia is a trained neuroscientist with expertise in psychiatric research and the use of psychedelics in therapy.

The company’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. James Rucker, is a leading expert in the field of psychiatric research and has extensive experience in the development and implementation of clinical trials.

COMPASS Pathways’ leadership team is committed to advancing the field of psychedelic research and bringing new treatments to patients in need. They are dedicated to ensuring that the company’s research is conducted in a safe, ethical, and scientifically rigorous manner, and to providing access to these treatments to as many people as possible. Advisors to COMPASS include Professor David Nutt and Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris.

Research and Development: An overview of the company’s current research and development efforts

The company is currently focused on developing psilocybin-assisted therapies for depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.

One of the company’s key initiatives is a Phase IIb clinical trial of psilocybin for TRD. This trial is one of the largest and most comprehensive studies of its kind and is being conducted in collaboration with leading academic institutions and research centres worldwide. The trial is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of psilocybin in treating TRD and to provide a better understanding of the mechanisms of action of psychedelics in the treatment of mental health conditions.

In addition to its clinical trials, COMPASS Pathways is also actively involved in basic research to better understand the mechanisms of action of psychedelics and to identify new therapeutic targets. The company is also working on the development of new delivery systems for psychedelics to improve safety and efficacy.

COMPASS Pathways is committed to working with regulatory bodies, researchers, and other stakeholders to advance the field of psychedelic research and bring new treatments to patients in need.

Future Outlook: A discussion of the COMPASS’ plans for the future and their potential growth

COMPASS Pathways is at the forefront of the growing field of psychedelic research. It’s well-positioned to continue making significant strides in developing innovative therapies for mental health conditions.

The company’s Phase III trial of psilocybin for TRD is expected to provide valuable insights into the safety and efficacy of this therapy and to pave the way for eventual (fast-tracked) FDA approval.

Company Information

COMPASS Pathways Website

January, 2017


B2B B2C Pharmaceutical Drug Discovery

Topics of Interest
Anxiety Depression

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Related Course(s)

COMPASS Therapist training programme
The COMPASS Therapist Training Programme enhances therapeutic skills through theoretical learning, practical training, & continuous mentoring.

Company News

The Future of Psychedelic Medicine Will Be Drugs You’ve Never Heard Of (Motherboard, 24 January 2022)
This article, by the always excellent Shayla Love, discussed the next generation of novel psychedelics. Starting with the many discoveries of Sasha Shulgin, the article then dives deeper into the wishes and hopes of psychedelic companies.

Drug companies are investing big in psychedelics, but can they engineer out the trip? (Chemical & Engineering News, 06 March 2022)

New partnership launched with SLaM and COMPASS Pathways (King's College London, 24 March 2022)

Kevin O’Leary Predicts These 3 Psychedelic Companies Will Merge, But Should They? (Psychedelic Spotlight, 21 April 2022)

COMPASS Pathways partners with One Mind to fund Rising Star Awards for the next generation of mental health researchers (GlobeNewswire, 20 April 2022)

COMP360 psilocybin therapy shows potential in exploratory open-label studies for anorexia nervosa and severe treatment-resistant depression (GlobeNewswire, 03 May 2022)

COMPASS Pathways to fund study of COMP360 psilocybin in autistic adults (GlobeNewswire, 09 May 2022)

COMPASS Pathways presents the largest ever study of psilocybin therapy, at the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting (GlobeNewswire, 23 May 2022)

Compass Pathways' Phase IIb psilocybin trial shows reduced depression symptoms (, 25 May 2024)

Psychedelic companies say Compass study result validates industry's hope to find alternative treatments for mental health (, 18 November 2021)

COMPASS Pathways granted fifth US patent for crystalline psilocybin (, 23 November 2021)

atai Life Sciences increases its ownership position in COMPASS Pathways (, 29 November 2021)

COMPASS Pathways to participate in upcoming Evercore, H.C. Wainwright & Berenberg investor conferences (, 30 November 2021)

COMPASS Pathways announces positive outcome of 25mg COMP360 psilocybin therapy as adjunct to SSRI antidepressants in open-label treatment-resistant depression study (, 13 December 2021)

COMPASS Selected for Addition to NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (, 17 December 2021)

Guy Goodwin joins COMPASS Pathways as Chief Medical Officer (, 25 May 2024)
COMPASS Pathways announces the appointment of eminent psychiatrist, Professor Guy Goodwin, as Chief Medical Officer.


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