MAPS Raises $30 Million for Psychedelic Research
Posted by Nancy Moraa on 08/25/2020 in News
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies was happy to announce the successful completion of the capstone campaign. They managed to raise $30 million to fund Psychedelic research. MAPS acquired the amount in six months with the help of notable business leaders. The funding of Psychedelic research would help complete a study on using MDMA for PTSD treatment.
MAPS had already done phase one and two trials. The two trials designated MDMA as a breakthrough therapy for PTSD. They were looking for funds to complete the stage three trial hoping to gain approval from the FDA.
“Gaining approval of using MDMA for PTSD patients would help millions of people,” Joe Green, the co-founder of PSFC, said. He also added that “the research could be a tipping point for Psychedelic medicine.”
The MAPS Capstone Campaign Contributors
The campaign raised $30 million by drawing more than 2500 individual contributors. Different donors came from various industries and had different motivations. But, the leading contributors had something in common. They had a personal connection to the difficult task of conquering traumatic experiences.
Some of the leading contributors who had PTSD backgrounds included:
- Bob Parsons and his wife Renee Parsons closed the campaign by contributing $2 million. Bob Parson, the founder of GoDaddy and PXG and a Marine Corps Vietnam War veteran, continues to battle PTSD. The couple channeled most of the contribution to helping veterans and their families. Parsons believed that those who have PTSD deserve better and more effective treatment than the one they are receiving. He thought that the success of the research would give them a more effective treatment.
- Alan Fournier, the founder of Pennant Investors, contributed $1 million from the Fournier Family Foundation to honor his father, who struggled with undiagnosed PTSD.
- John Griffin, the founder of Blue Ridge Capital, was a contributor. His father’s experience as a tail gunner in World War Two motivated him to contribute $1million. His father experienced PTSD after the war.
- George Sarlo, the founder of Walden Vulture Capital, contributed $1 million. He was a Holocaust survivor who suffered trauma attacks.
The Role of Tim Ferris in the Success of the Capstone Campaign
A small group of PSFC members kicked off the campaign in March 2020 by raising $10 million. In May, PSFC, MAPS, and Tim Ferris shifted the campaign into high gear. They did this by launching the $10 million Capstone challenge. Tim Ferris played a crucial role in the success of the campaign. He used his influential podcast to raise $10 million through a challenge grant.
The challenge grant was unlocked only if a matching $10 million could be acquired in 90 days.
Ferris was the first one to commit to the challenge grant by contributing $1 million. Within a week from the day the challenge started, the contribution had reached $10 million. It was made possible with the help of other contributors. Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation ($5 million), James Bailey ($1 million), John Griffin ($1 million), Blake Mycoskie ($1million), and Peter Rahal ($1million) who joined the challenge.
Ferris announced the challenge on ‘The Tim Ferris Show,’ calling on his listeners to help the campaign succeed. His idea was a success because he inspired many other donors to contribute. It made the funding reach $30 million.
The Role of the Localized Psychedelics Reform Movement in the Fundraising Campaign
The movement’s purpose was to change the laws that criminalized people using natural substances to fight PTSD. The activists had collected enough signatures to qualify the measure. More than 35,000 signatures were collected, which were more than the required minimum of 24835 names. The activists’ movement objectives and that of MAPS complemented each other. Both goals were to boost the fundraising campaign.
Rick Doblin, the founder of MAPS, said,” the two objectives complemented each other. He also added that the decrim[inalization] efforts made the research more comfortable by helping in destigmatization. Most people were now comfortable to seek out therapy with Psychedelics.” Attitudes changed, leading to many donors offering support for the fundraising campaign’s efforts.
MDMA can treat PTSD patients and can help in many other mental health crises. The MAPS will be waiting for the approval of MDMA as early as 2022.