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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.


“There’s such a huge untapped potential in drugging the mitochondria,” said chief executive Jay Parrish.

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