Cambridge, Mass.-based Rheostat Therapeutics Inc. raised $23 million to develop potential treatments of neurodegenerative diseases.
The series A financing round was co-led by Merck Research Venture Fund and AbbVie Biotech Ventures Inc., with participation from Amgen Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments LLC and the Mayo Clinic, along with existing investors SV Health Investors LLC and the Dementia Discovery Fund.
In connection with the transaction, the company will add Merck Research Venture's president, Reza Halse, and AbbVie Ventures' managing director, John Gustofson, to its board.
Rheostat plans to develop treatments for neurodegenerative disease through modulation of mitophagy — the selective degradation of mitochondria — and autophagy — the natural, regulated process in which the cell cleans out damaged or unnecessary components. According to the company, it intends to examine these pathways to discover and develop molecules that will help restore cellular balance and potentially treat neurodegenerative and rare diseases.