Billionaire Mets Owner Steve Cohen Donates $5M For Psychedelics Research

In a landmark advancement for psychedelics science, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies’ Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) has unveiled its intent to lodge a New Drug Application (NDA) with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This proposal aims to legitimize the use of MDMA as an unconventional yet potentially effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Should the FDA sanction this groundbreaking treatment, it will signify the dawn of a new era in PTSD therapy.

Aligning himself squarely at the forefront of private backers for psychedelic-assisted therapies is billionaire Steve Cohen. A hedge fund manager and owner of the New York Mets, Cohen, alongside his wife Alexandra, have demonstrated their support for MAPS with a substantial grant of $5 million. The Cohens’ philanthropy stems from their impressive $17.5 billion fortune, a significant fraction of which is dedicated to the progression of psychedelic research. To date, their foundation’s grant commitments towards this cutting-edge field have surpassed an impressive $60 million.

The couple’s Cohen Psychedelic Research and Health Initiative has been particularly proactive, setting aside $9.2 million in grants solely in 2021. Their resources are channeled towards investigating the therapeutic potentials of psychedelics such as MDMA and psilocybin — the primary component in “magic mushrooms” — for mental health conditions including PTSD, depression and anxiety. Among the recipients of these grants are prominent institutions like the USONA Institute, the California Institute of Integral Therapies and the University of California, San Diego. The latter institution is conducting research into the potential of psilocybin-assisted therapy for alleviating phantom limb pain in amputees.

“Millions of Americans, including our veterans and first responders, suffer from PTSD and other mental health conditions that affect their quality of life. Psychedelic compounds represent a new opportunity to address these often treatment-resistant conditions and bring hope to patients,” said Alex Cohen, president of the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation.

MAPS founder and president Rick Doblin added, “We extend tremendous gratitude to the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation for their unwavering support in helping us bring MDMA-assisted therapy through the pipeline and toward potential FDA approval. Our hearts are uplifted by their commitment to equitable access — a crucial element for us to try to bring healing for all.”

Steve Cohen, Aaron Rodgers And Psychedelics

Notably, Cohen isn’t the only prominent figure championing psychedelic therapies. In a related development, NFL star QB Aaron Rodgers recently made a compelling case for the legalization and normalization of these substances during a psychedelic science conference in Denver, Colorado.

Steve Cohen, 67, is a stalwart in the financial world. He has accrued substantial wealth as the leader of hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors, prior to its closure in 2016 following a guilty plea to insider trading charges. Although Cohen was personally exonerated from the charges, his firm was levied a record fine of $1.8 billion in 2013. His subsequent two-year ban from managing outside money concluded with a remarkable return to Wall Street in 2018. His new venture, Point72 Asset Management, fetched him a cool $1.7 billion in personal capital gains in 2020 alone.

That same year, Cohen’s portfolio expanded to include the MLB’s New York Mets, acquired for a staggering $2.4 billion. This move led ESPN to laud him as a “godsend” to Mets fans, crowning him the “richest owner in the game.” Today, Cohen’s influence transcends finance and sports, reaching into the sphere of mental health treatment with his substantial support of psychedelic research.

The Cohens’ significant grant underscores their commitment to both patient access and clinical research. In collaboration with MAPS, the foundation endeavors to ensure equitable access to MDMA- and other psychedelic-assisted therapies. The efforts of both parties are geared towards creating a future where no patient is denied treatment due to financial constraints.

Psychedelics Vs Politics

In the political world, Cohen is considered to be an ally of Chris Christie, but has yet to publicly support him in his current presidential campaign.

A source said that Cohen will not offer immediate financial help for Christie or other GOP candidates at the time, although this could change in the future. This makes his latest donation to MAPS even more significant, as the billionaire bets on public health over political clout.

Stay tuned for more on Cohen and his involvement in the psychedelics world.

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