With shares of growth stocks significantly underperforming the market since September of last year, it's bargain-hunting season for investors who are comfortable with taking risks. Though many stocks might never return to their prior highs born from rock-bottom interest rates and widespread speculation, some will.

And if you can pick the bruised stocks that are likely to regain or surpass their former glory, you just might get richer than if you parked your money in an index fund, though there's also a much larger risk of losing your shirt.

With that in mind, let's investigate a pair of businesses that aren't exactly down on their luck even if their stocks are down, since either one could be a brilliant purchase for an enterprising investor.

1. Compass Pathways

Shares of Compass Pathways (CMPS 4.81%) are down by 54% in the last 12 months. Without any products on the market yet, the stock's performance is driven largely by the company's work to develop new therapies for mental illnesses like treatment-resistant depression (TRD).

Its lead program, COMP360, is based on the psychedelic chemical called psilocybin, which it thinks can be more effective than the existing therapies on the market, and the treatment is on the verge of entering phase 3 trials later this year.

Though the biotech hasn't reported anything negative from its clinical trials of COMP360 or its other pipeline programs as of late, the market's currently dim outlook on growth stocks, biotech stocks -- including the stocks of psychedelic therapy developers -- combine to make for stiff headwinds. But none of these are related to the single most important factor for a long-term investing thesis: the company's ability to successfully compete over time.

Compass has around $207.1 million in cash and equivalents in its war chest, and less than $3 million in debt and long-term capital lease obligations. Given its operating expenses of nearly $73.5 million in 2021, that $207.1 million is more than sufficient for at least the next couple of years. This should be enough time to get COMP360 into the final steps of the approval process, assuming its phase 3 trial yields satisfactory results.

According to evidence that Compass reported at the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting in May, patients treated with the medicine alongside the support of a therapy professional exhibited robust and long-duration reductions in their self-reported depressive symptoms.

For a biotech without any revenue, that's an encouraging milestone for investors. There's no guarantee that Compass will be able to navigate the remaining clinical and legal obstacles to getting COMP360 commercialized, and the fact that its treatment is effectively illegal in many places is a significant risk. But buying the stock now could leave the door open for potentially massive upside in a few years if it can get COMP360 on the market.

2. Atai Life Sciences

Much like Compass Pathways, Atai Life Sciences (ATAI 3.82%) is a pre-revenue biotech that's pursuing psychedelics-based therapies to treat mental illnesses, and its shares have fallen by an even larger amount: nearly 75% over the last year.

Rather than developing those therapies directly, it operates a handful of subsidiaries and invests in other psychedelics companies that do the development work, including Compass. That means it can easily have its hands in many projects at the same time, which explains how it has treatments in its pipeline for diseases ranging from TRD to generalized anxiety disorder and even opioid-use disorder, all based on different molecules.

It's also working on a handful of enabling technologies that'll allow its portfolio businesses to discover, deliver, and evaluate psychedelic molecules for the purposes of more-efficient therapy development and administration.

In terms of its liquid holdings, it has $312 million in the bank and the ability to borrow as much as $175 million from a term-loan facility. In total, that should be enough for it to be funded through 2025. That might not be enough, though, considering it could take longer than that to get any of its therapies out the door; its most-advanced programs are only in phase 2 clinical trials, and many are in earlier stages.

The long-term thesis for Atai is that it'll be the most broadly diversified and also the most efficient psychedelic drug developer because of its investment-based business model. While at present that outcome looks like a long shot, the goal for Atai is to commercialize its medicines before money runs out.

If the prospect of losing all of your investment in the next few years is frightening, steer clear. But for more risk-tolerant investors, the company could be shaping up to be one of the leaders in the psychedelics space, and it's perhaps the best-capitalized play in the industry at the moment, so it could make sense to buy the stock.