Backed by Silicon Valley biotech investors, Corcept Therapeutics was founded in May 1998 by psychiatrists Alan Schatzberg and Joseph K. Belanoff. Eight years later, Corcept remained a small firm with 11 full-time employees. Much of its work was farmed out to others. In June 2008, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, then the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, criticized Corcept cofounder and prominent psychiatrist Alan Schatzberg, chair of the psychiatry department at Stanford University School of Medicine, for not fully informing the university about the value of his shares in Corcept. According to Grassley, Schatzberg had reported stock holdings in Corcept worth "over $100,000," when, in fact, the psychiatrist's stake exceeded $6 million. In July, Stanford said that Schatzberg "appropriately disclosed any potential financial conflict of interest," but announced he would nevertheless step down temporarily as principal investigator on his National Institute of Mental Health grant to study the effectiveness of the abortion drug mifepristone as an antidepressant. Grassley also asked Stanford to explain its own financial ties with Corcept, saying the university held licensing agreements for mifepristone. The National Institutes of Health later reinstated Schatzberg as principal investigator. Prolonged exposure to cortisol can lead to a wide range of sometimes life-threatening conditions, including Cushing's syndrome, antipsychotic drug-induced weight gain, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, Alzheimer's disease, posttraumatic stress disorder, alcoholism, prostate, breast and ovarian cancer. Corcept Therapeutics has developed over 300 proprietary molecules, which it investigates in collaboration with outside researchers to determine if they can mitigate the effects of excess cortisol.