This Week in Psychedelics

Gilgamesh, a JLS portfolio company, secures a major deal with AbbVie Inc. to develop new therapeutics.

May 17, 2024

This Week...

Gilgamesh pharmaceuticals, one of our very first investments, garnered a lot of attention after it was revealed that it landed a deal with AbbVie that will have the two companies researching and developing a portfolio of therapeutics using Gilgamesh’s platform which allows for the discovery of novel neuroplastogens (compounds that improve neuroplasticity).

This particular deal gives AbbVie the option to lead developments and commercialization activities, and puts $65 million in Gilgamesh’s pockets, with the opportunity to make up to $1.95 billion in aggregate option fees and milestones, as well as tiered royalties.  That’s billion, with a “B.”

If you’re unfamiliar, AbbVie Inc. is an American pharmaceutical company, ranked sixth on the list of largest biomedical companies by revenue. In 2023, the company's seat in Forbes Global 2000 was 74. Its primary product is Humira, and the company boasts a market cap in excess of $291 billion. 

We talked earlier in the year about how bigger investments were starting to come into the psychedelics space. And of course, we’re incredibly pleased that one of those “bigger” investments is in one of the most exciting companies in our portfolio: Gilgamesh. If you’d like the particulars on this deal, or you just want to know what this deal means for you and JLS Fund, feel free to contact us directly at

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ top health official recently said the agency is prepared to spend “at least in the millions” of dollars on clinical trials of psychedelic therapies, pending a U.S. Food and Drug Administration decision on MDMA-assisted therapy, which is expected later this year.

VA Under Secretary Shereef Elnahal’s comments were delivered to conference attendees during a conversation with Jason Pyle, executive director of Healing Breakthrough, an organization working to treat veteran PTSD through MDMA-assisted therapy. This was actually the event we told you about last week where both Simeon Schnapper and Lindsay Hoover were in attendance. Here’s more:

Researchers recently announced they were able to use AI to reveal distinct cellular-level differences in the brains of men and women, focusing on white matter. These findings show AI can accurately identify sex-based brain patterns invisible to human eyes.

The study suggests that understanding these differences can enhance diagnostic tools and treatments for brain disorders. Psychedelics companies seeking access to the new and improved diagnostic tools could likely benefit from this latest discovery.  Check it out:

Did You Know?

Did you know that psychedelic mushrooms could make some people believe robots are conscious?

A new study by Johns Hopkins University researchers on the effects of psychedelics suggests that – contrary to some earlier evidence – a single psilocybin experience isn’t likely to make an atheist believe in God or dispel someone’s sense of free will. It may, however, inspire the belief that animals, plants or even objects like rocks and robots have some sort of consciousness.

Check it out: