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Rhythm raises $25M in Series B financing for diabetes and obesity

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rhythm, a biotech based in Boston, Mass., has raised $25 million in a Series B financing round, bringing the total capital raised to $65 million.

Rhythm will use the proceeds to continue advancing its small-peptide therapeutics for metabolic diseases through phase II clinical trials. RM-131 is a ghrelin agonist currently in phase II study for the treatment of diabetic gastroparesis. RM-493, an agonist of the melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R), is currently in phase II trials for the treatment of obesity and diabetes.

“We have made great progress since we started both development programs in 2010, and this could only have been achieved with a strong and dedicated investor syndicate,” said Bart Henderson, founder and president of Rhythm. “These programs have great potential for addressing major unmet needs in diabetes, obesity and gastrointestinal functional disorders, and this financing supports a broad and thorough phase II development program for both drugs.”

All existing investors participated in the round — MPM Capital, New Enterprise Associates and Third Rock Ventures — as well as new investor, Ipsen.

“We see the potential for transforming the treatment of diabetes and other metabolic diseases with molecules that activate the ghrelin and MC4R pathways with high potency and specificity,” said Lou Tartaglia, PhD, partner at Third Rock Ventures. “We are pleased to invest in Rhythm and to be working with a great management team as it moves this exciting portfolio of peptides forward.”

In connection with the financing, Vaughn Kailian, managing director of MPM Capital, was added to Rhythm’s board of directors. He joins board members Tartaglia; Keith Gottesdiener, MD, CEO of Rhythm; Ed Mathers, a partner at NEA; and Christian de la Tour, chairman of Ipsen U.K. Companies.

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