In November 2022, Lusaris Therapeutics made news for its $60 million Series A round. Since then, there has been a curious silence from the company. We recently came across a rumor that the company was shutting down. After a month of attempting to confirm this, we have come up empty-handed. That within itself is strange and unusual.
There has been no news from the company since it announced the completion of the Series A funding round nearly a year ago. Furthermore, there is something suspicious about the state of the company beyond its lack of news.
The psychedelic life sciences company was started to develop a sublingual of 5-MeO-DMT for treatment-resistant depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders. The company initially showed promise, which is why its current state is so peculiar.
According to the press release that announced the completion of the Series A round, the company had significant support from institutional investors. Lusaris Therapeutics was incubated by RA capital management. Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, Deep Track Capital, and Boxer Capital also participated in the funding round, according to the press release.
For an early-stage psychedelic biotech company to garner so much support from established institutional investors is no small feat. However, none of the investment funds that participated in the funding round have Lusaris listed as one of their portfolio companies, including the fund that incubated the company.
In fact, there is no trace of Lusaris Therapeutics other than its Series A press release. The company website no longer exists, even though it was originally linked in the press release. We are unsure when it was taken down, but it has not been available for the past month.
With no information about the company available online, we began to look a little deeper. We turned to RA Capital and Lusaris’s management team but came up empty-handed and even more confused.
The company’s CEO, Andrew Levin, has no mention of working for Lusaris on his LinkedIn. However, he has been a partner and managing director of RA Captial since 2015.
COO and Cofounder— Neil Buckley’s LinkedIn gave a bit more insight, but not much. According to his work history, he left Lusaris in March 2023. A month later, he began working full-time for RA Capital Management as the Entrepreneur in Residence.
We first attempted to reach out to the email provided in the company’s press release for media questions, but it only resulted in a notification that the email did not exist. So, getting in touch with Andrew Levin and/or Neil Buckley seemed like the only viable option left.
We attempted to reach out to them through the RA Captial Management contact page, and immediately got the following response:
“Thank you for your email. We’re circulating your note with our broader team and will follow up shortly.”
A week passed, and we didn’t hear back from the team and were unable to make contact with anyone who could provide information about what was going on with Lusaris. An additional email following up was sent two weeks ago, and still no response.
Here at Psychedelic Invest, we are not in the habit of circulating news based on rumors. However, rumors are generally pretty easy to confirm or discredit. In fact, companies are generally eager to put news of this magnitude to rest.
Back in 2022, several articles were published saying that Mydecine was shutting down. An email to the company quickly confirmed that it was not the case. The company is still operating a year later. The rumors about Lusaris have not been so easy to confirm or discredit, and the lack of information on the company suggests that there is something fishy going on.
Biotech companies, even in their early stages, are usually eager to increase awareness of their brand. Especially a company that is so heavily backed by institutional money. So, the fact that Lusaris Therapeutics is completely avoiding attention suggests they may be hiding something. If the company did shut down in March, when the COO indicated that he left the company, it is odd that there was no news of it.
When the Synthesis Institute went bankrupt and Field Trip Health announced its financial struggles earlier this year, there was a significant amount of coverage. Furthermore, it is fairly easy to find information on all companies in the psychedelic industry, whether they are public or private.
With so little information, it is not possible to say precisely what is going on with the company. What began as an exciting venture, marked by a substantial Series A funding round, has now devolved into unsettling silence. Such an abrupt departure from the spotlight raises numerous questions and concerns, hinting at a deeper and more complex story that demands attention.
What sets the development of Luasris’s story apart from the typical startup narrative is the absence of any substantial information or activity related to the company. The official website has mysteriously vanished, and attempts to get in touch with the company have yielded nothing but unanswered questions.
Even more curious, is the absence of Lusaris from the portfolios of the investment funds that supposedly supported it, including the one that incubated the company. The lack of any trace of Lusaris raises red flags and prompts concerns about the authenticity of its operations.
While we at Psychedelic Invest don’t report news based on unproven rumors, the impossibility of tracking down the facts in this case makes it an important story to tell. The complete lack of information and the absence of any official confirmation or denial creates a sense that something is askew. However, we remain unsure about what exactly is going on with the company.
In a thriving and generally transparent industry like psychedelic biotech, companies are eager to publicize their advancement and garner attention. So, this begs the question, what is Lusaris hiding? The absence of any news— positive or negative— is in contrast to the industry norm.
The odd circumstances surrounding Lusaris serve as a reminder of the importance of transparency and communication in the world of business, where trust and credibility are paramount.