Rodeo Therapeutics, a Seattle, WA-based company developing small-molecule therapies designed to promote regeneration and repair of multiple tissue types, raised $5.9m in Series A financing.
Backers included AbbVie Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, ARCH Venture Partners, Eli Lilly and Company, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., Watson Fund, L.P., WRF Capital and WuXi AppTec.
Founded by Sanford Markowitz, M.D., Ph.D., the Markowitz-Ingalls Professor of Cancer Genetics and Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Stanton Gerson, M.D., and Joseph Ready, Ph.D., Rodeo Therapeutics is focused on developing small-molecule therapies that increase tissue levels of prostaglandin PGE2. Preclinical studies published in Science have shown that increasing PGE2 through inhibition of a prostaglandin-degrading enzyme (15-PGDH) accelerates hematopoietic stem cell reconstitution following bone marrow transplant, protects against colitis and promotes liver regeneration in a variety of animal models.
The company will initially focus on developing 15-PGDH inhibitors for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and promoting blood cell reconstitution following bone marrow transplant.