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A torn ACL, the tiny band of tough connective tissue in the center of the knee, has marked the downfall of many a football star. Remember the running backs Terrell Davis of the Denver Broncos and Jamal Anderson of the Atlanta Falcons?

On Monday, a privately held biotech startup in Boston said it has raised $22.5 million to continue developing its new treatment for the often devastating injury. Among the investors: the union that represents National Football League players.

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