Out of the park! Billionaire Mets owner donates $5 million to psychedelic drug research to push FDA to approve MDMA for use in treating PTSD
Steven Cohen, 67, and his wife Alexandra have donated $5 million to a research institute investigating the use of MDMA to treat PTSD. The USThe financial push hopes to get the use of MDMA, also known as ecstasy, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment.
The billionaire owner of the Mets has donated $5 million to psychedelic drug research to push the FDA to approve MDMA for use in treating PTSD.
Steve Cohen, 67, and his wife Alexandra donated funds to MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelics Studies, based in San Jose, California.
The two run the nonprofit Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation Inc., considered one of the largest private supporters of psychedelic projects.
MAPS, a nonprofit that researches psychedelic drugs, has engaged in a financial push to get the US Food and Drug Administration to approve MDMA.
They hope the drug, commonly known as ecstasy, can be used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.
Cohen and his wife Alexandra, pictured here, have already pledged more than $18 million to further research into psychedelic drugs.
MDMA, pictured here in pill form, is a psychoactive drug used primarily for recreational purposes
If the FDA does not approve MDMA, the $5 million will serve as a general grant to support the work of MAPS.
Alexandra said: ‘Millions of Americans, including our veterans and first responders, suffer from PTSD and other mental health issues that affect their quality of life.
‘Psychedelic compounds represent a new opportunity to tackle this often treatment-resistant condition and bring hope to patients.’
Rick Doblin, founder and president of MAPS, said: ‘We are extremely grateful to the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation for their unwavering support to bring MDMA-assisted therapies through the pipeline and toward potential FDA approval.
‘Our hearts are lifted by their commitment to equitable access—a critical component of our efforts to bring healing to all.’
Cohen’s Foundation has already pledged a total of $60 million in grants and pledges – including an earlier $5 million to MAPS.
According to their site, they have given $18.9 million to psychedelic projects alone.
Rick Dublin, founder of MAPS, thanked the two for their ‘unwavering support’ in funding the centre.
In addition to running a hedge fund, Cohen is also the majority owner of the New York Mets baseball team
The Cohens mostly declined to discuss their support for psychedelic research in detail, but their website outlines a variety of diseases, including depression, anxiety, addiction and Alzheimer’s disease, that patients may benefit from psychedelic treatment.
Hedge fund manager and owner of the MLB team New York Mets, Cohen owns a majority stake in the team worth 97.2%.
In 2013, he agreed to pay a record insider trading fine of $1.8 billion but was never prosecuted by investigators.
His company, SAC Capital Advisors, became the first major Wall Street firm to plead guilty to criminal misconduct.
In a statement to Bloomberg, MAPS said: ‘We hope that foundations and philanthropists will consider similar innovative ways to support the critical work of MAPS today and provide equitable access to these therapies in the future.’
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