February 23, 2023
Transcend Therapeutics, a biotechnology company that develops medicines to treat neuropsychiatric diseases, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), today announced that it closed its Series A funding round of $40 million. Led by Alpha Wave Global and Integrated Investment Partners, this funding round will enable Transcend to launch multiple clinical trials, including a phase II study, with its next-generation psychoactive compound. Transcend has raised nearly $42 million to date.
Transcend Therapeutics, which was founded in 2021 and incubated by leading early-stage venture studio AlleyCorp, develops next-generation psychoactive drugs aiming to benefit the more than 50 million Americans who suffer from neuropsychiatric diseases. While various psychedelics have demonstrated promise for the treatment of PTSD, Transcend focuses on a psychoactive compound that may be more accessible for the tens of millions of patients in need. Its lead compound, methylone (TSND-201), has short-acting and mild psychological effects, and thus likely requires less clinician time than other psychedelic compounds. Methylone has the potential to be used as an adjunctive treatment to existing pharmacotherapies (e.g. SSRIs), making it better suited to integrate into the existing psychiatric paradigm and healthcare infrastructure.
The Transcend leadership team has extensive experience across the full drug development lifecycle, leading to pivotal contributions on 13 FDA-approved drugs totaling $7 billion dollars in M&A and public company value. The leadership team includes:
- Kevin Ryan, Co-Founder and Chairman of Transcend, and founder and CEO of AlleyCorp, where he was co-founder and chairman of MongoDB, Business Insider, Gilt Groupe, Zola, and also previously served as CEO of DoubleClick;
- Blake Mandell, Co-Founder and CEO of Transcend, has spent most of his career working in venture capital – leading AlleyCorp’s frontier technology practice, where he helped incubate Pearl Health – and prior to that was a consultant at BCG;
- Ben Kelmendi, MD, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Advisor at Transcend, co-director of the Yale Program for Psychedelic Science and the first scientist to receive federal funding for clinical psychedelic research in more than 50 years;
- Martin Stogniew, PhD, Chief Development Officer at Transcend, who holds 40 patents, has led development at six biotech startups leading to nine New Drug Applications and five biopharma exits valued at more than $3.5 billion; and,
- Amanda Jones, PharmD, Senior Vice President of Clinical Development at Transcend, who most recently led clinical development at Axsome Therapeutics, where she led two compounds from IND to NDA, including the first and only oral NMDA receptor antagonist approved for treating major depressive disorder in adults (Auvelity).
“Mental health diseases are one of the leading causes of disability in the United States and globally, yet available treatments are ineffective for many patients, can take weeks to kick in, and frequently have chronic side effects. At Transcend, we’re working to change that, starting by bringing a next-generation compound, methylone, to market as a potential rapid-acting, disease-modifying, non-hallucinogenic treatment for neuropsychiatric conditions like PTSD,” Transcend Therapeutics Co-Founder and CEO Blake Mandell said. “In a published clinical case series, methylone has demonstrated robust responses in patients with PTSD. This funding will enable us to more rapidly enter clinical trials, and ultimately make this – and other – life-changing medicine available to those in need.”
“The advancements being made right now around mental healthcare, and at Transcend in particular, reminds me of the internet in 1996; even the most hopeful people underestimate its impact on the world. The work that Transcend is doing has the potential to completely change how people are treated for PTSD and depression,” Transcend Co-Founder and Chairman, and AlleyCorp Founder and CEO Kevin Ryan said. “We’ve brought together the world’s leaders in drug development and psychiatric research, and together we’re pushing this industry into new, highly promising territory.”
“We need new and innovative approaches to dealing with the mental health crisis, and Transcend is unique in that it has the team and a well-characterized lead compound to make a meaningful impact in the lives of millions,” Rick Gerson, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CIO at Alpha Wave Global said. “We are thrilled to lead this Series A investment round and confident that this funding will accelerate Transcend’s work to bring methylone to market sooner, while beginning to build out a pipeline of other promising compounds.”
The Series A round was also supported by Global Founders Capital and Emerald Development Managers, among others.
About Transcend Therapeutics
Transcend Therapeutics discovers, develops, and delivers next-generation psychoactive medicines to work toward a world in which people no longer suffer from neuropsychiatric disease. Transcend focuses on developing medicines that are accessible to a larger percentage of patients in need, specifically the tens of millions of patients who already take psychotropic medication. Transcend Therapeutics already has real-world data for its lead compound, TSND-201, demonstrating robust responses in patients with PTSD. As a Public Benefit Corporation, Transcend has pledged 10% of its founding shares toward nonprofits focused on scientific research and patient access.
Founded by serial entrepreneur Kevin Ryan, AlleyCorp originates ideas, hires early teams, funds, launches, and grows each company, and maintains an integral leadership role from beginning through exit. On the incubation side, AlleyCorp-founded companies include MongoDB (NASDAQ: MDB), Business Insider, Gilt Groupe, Zola, Nomad Health, and more. AlleyCorp’s Healthcare Fund is one of the most active early-stage venture funds and incubators in New York dedicated to healthcare.
About Alpha Wave Global
Alpha Wave is a global investment company with offices in New York, Miami, London, Abu Dhabi, Tel Aviv, Bangalore, Jakarta, and Sydney. Its flagship global venture and growth fund, Alpha Wave Ventures, aims to invest in best-in-class venture and growth-stage companies and endeavors to be helpful long-term partners to the founders and management teams. Alpha Wave manages a variety of investment partnerships that cover several asset classes, themes, and geographies.
About Integrated Investment Partners
Integrated is a venture fund partnering with value-aligned companies transforming the health and wellbeing of our communities around the globe. Its intention is to redefine healthcare through the innovative advancement of next-generation solutions as well as disrupt legacy healthcare institutions that have not kept pace with our changing world. Integrated is committed to supporting sustainable change and donates a significant percentage of profits to Reconsider, a sister non-profit organization. Reconsider is a center for transformation that is building a bridge to ensure transformative therapies become more accessible to our communities.