Florian Brand is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of ATAI Life Sciences. ATAI is an international holding company for an array of psychedelic pharmaceutical biotechnology ventures working in drug discovery, development, and enabling technologies.
Brand earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics in 2011 from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, spending one of his undergraduate years at HEC Lausanne business school. He went on to obtain a Master’s in Management from ESCP Business School, graduating with distinction in 2013. That year, Brand became Managing Director at Springlane GmbH, a popular online retailer in Germany. He worked there until 2018 when he co-founded ATAI Life Sciences with Christian Angermayer and Lars Wilde.
Brand serves on the Boards of Directors of several of ATAI’s holding companies. He joined Perception Neuroscience’s Board of Directors in 2018, and those of GABA Therapeutics, DemeRx, and EntheogeniX Biosciences, and COMPASS Pathways in 2019.
Having suffered from anxiety as a teen and witnessed loved ones “failed by the mental healthcare system,” Brand was inspired to help make promising psychedelic treatment options more available and accessible to patients.
In an IdeaXme interview with Ira Pastor, Brand responded to a question about concerns regarding the commercialization of psychedelic compounds. He shared ATAI’s view that their goal of treatment accessibility relies on maximizing patient reimbursability by insurance companies. Brand stated, “in our perspective, we just have to go through clinical trials, through the FDA controlled process to seek approval from a regulatory body. And then while we’re doing so, we’re also creating data that is relevant for…the insurance, [which] will play an essential role in actually making those therapies accessible for patients.” Another value of the pharmaceutical approach, he noted, is that it ensures that these powerful psychedelic compounds are administered in safe, monitored therapeutic settings.