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Epigenetics Biotech Secures $12.9 Million Early Financing

Currency dice (MD4 Group/Flickr)

(M4D Group/Flickr)

30 May 2014. Rodin Therapeutics Inc., a biotechnology company in Boston developing therapies based on epigenetics — inherited changes in genetic activity outside of DNA — raised $12.9 million in its first venture funding round. The company is a joint venture of Proteros biostructures GmbH in Munich and Atlas Ventures in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Rodin Therapeutics is designing treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders based on discoveries in epigenetics licensed from the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. The Broad Institute’s work in epigenetics includes research on molecular and chemical activity attached to DNA and its protein support structure that can turn genes on and off, and thus have influence over a wide range of biological activity.

Proteros biostructures, one of Rodin’s founders, discovers drug targets through a better understanding of protein structures from the application of biophysics and protein crystallography. Rodin is provided access to the Proteros platform, particularly its work in central nervous system therapeutics. Proteros’s research includes studies of the interactions and binding of small molecules to epigenetic targets.

Atlas Ventures is a venture capital company that specializes in early-stage technology and life science enterprises. Bruce Booth, a partner in Atlas Ventures, is the acting CEO of Rodin Therapeutics. Since its founding in 1980, Atlas Ventures invested in some 350 companies worldwide.

In addition to Atlas Ventures,  Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation — the venture capital arm of Johnson & Johnson — is backing Rodin Therapeutics, both at its initial start-up and in the current founding round. Johnson & Johnson’s Innovation Center in Boston and Janssen Research and Development, another division of Johnson & Johnson, are collaborating as well with Rodin.

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Hat tip: VentureWire

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