A new Cambridge biotech startup, Navitor Pharmaceuticals, launches today with a $23.5 million Series A funding and a researcher from the Whitehead Institute and MIT as its scientific founder.
Investors in the Series A financing include Polaris Partners, Atlas Venture, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, SR One, and The Longevity Fund.
Navitor aims to develop a new approach for a range of diseases including metabolic, neurodegenerative, and autoimmune.
The company’s approach involves modulating a critical regulator of cellular growth (known as the mTOR pathway). The drugs Navitor aims to develop will target nutrient signaling mechanisms that drive protein synthesis and cellular growth.
Navitor’s scientific founder is Dr. David M. Sabatini, professor of biology at MIT and member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.
Sabatini discovered mTOR as a student in 1994, and Navitor will have exclusive access from the Whitehead Institute to certain intellectual property from Sabatini’s laboratory.
The Series A funding will go toward the expansion of Navitor’s drug discovery platform.
Kyle Alspach has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since 2005 and was one of the original staff writers at BetaBoston.
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