Rhythm, a Boston, MA-based biopharmaceutical company developing peptide therapeutics for rare genetic deficiencies that result in life-threatening metabolic disorders, completed a $41m mezzanine round of financing.
Backers included existing investors Deerfield Management, Ipsen, OrbiMed, MPM Capital, New Enterprise Associates, Pfizer Venture Investments, Third Rock Ventures, and an undisclosed public healthcare investment fund.
The company will use the proceeds to:
– advance setmelanotide (RM-493), a novel melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) agonist that targets the MC4 pathway, into Phase 3 clinical trials for pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and leptin receptor (LEPR) deficiency obesity, and
– expand Phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of obesity caused by several additional rare genetic deficiencies in the MC4 pathway, a key biological pathway in humans that regulates energy expenditure, homeostasis, and appetite.
Led by Bart Henderson, President and Founder, and Keith Gottesdiener, CEO, Rhythm plans to initiate Phase 3 registration studies for both POMC and LEPR deficiency obesity, along with Phase 2 proof-of-concept clinical studies for Bardet-Biedl syndrome, Alström syndrome, and POMC heterozygous deficiency obesity during 2017.
Setmelanotide (RM-493) is a MC4R agonist in development for the treatment of obesity caused by genetic deficiencies in the MC4 pathway, a key biological pathway in humans that regulates energy expenditure, homeostasis, and appetite. The role of the MC4 pathway in weight regulation was validated with the discovery that single genetic defects along this pathway result in early-onset and severe obesity.