STAT+: Pretzel Therapeutics, eyeing diseases caused by broken mitochondria, launches with $72.5 million

In the life sciences industry, where company names derived from “biology” or “genetics” are a dime a dozen, it helps to have a brand that stands out. Pretzel Therapeutics is one of this year’s more creative gambits, launching Monday with $72.5 million in series A financing — just in time for Oktoberfest season.

Alas, the Massachusetts-based startup has nothing to do with the twisted salty snack. The company is developing treatments for diseases caused by broken mitochondria — the main energy source for human cells. Breakdowns in these microscopic power plants are linked to dozens of diseases, including Alzheimer’s, cancer, metabolic conditions, and several rare genetic diseases.

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