Rhythm Pharma raises $21M for metabolic diseases

Rhythm Pharmaceuticals has completed a Series A equity financing of $21 million in a round led by MPM Capital and New Enterprise Associates. The funds will be used to develop products licensed from France-based Ipsen. Rhythm revealed Friday that it had inked a deal for Ipsen's peptide therapeutics targeting obesity, metabolic diseases, and gastrointestinal disorders. Ipsen owns a 17 percent stake in Rhythm.

"We are very excited about the programs we have licensed from Ipsen, and we are grateful for the support we have received from the Ipsen team," said Rhythm President Bart Henderson. "Peptides have tremendous potential for treating metabolic disorders since they can achieve high selectivity for complex metabolic pathways," added MPM Managing Director Steven St. Peter. In an interview with Xconomy, Henderson says his company will begin Phase I trails for an appetite-regulating drug that could treat diabetes and obesity. That study is expected to kick off in 2011.

- here's Rhythm Pharma's release
- get more from Xconomy

PLUS: Antisense Pharma, a German developer of cancer therapeutics, has raised €13 million in new VC funding. Return backers included MIG Fonds and the Global Asset Fund. Germany-based Antisense is developing trabedersen, a"gene silencing" drug in Phase II trials for the treatment of cancer. Antisense Pharma release