Stealth BioTherapeutics hopes to raise $86 million in a Nasdaq IPO to fund development of mitochondrial dysfunction drug.

Stealth BioTherapeutics is a biotech company focused on the development of drugs that treat mitochondrial dysfunction linked to age-related diseases and genetic mitochondrial diseases. The company recently filed for an initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq market, indicating that it hopes to raise up to $86 million. 

The company’s lead candidate is elamipretide, a peptide that easily penetrates cell membranes to target the phospholipid cardiolipin in the inner mitochondrial membrane. Preclinical and early clinical studies have shown that treatment with elamipretide results in increased mitochondrial respiration and production of adenosine triphosphate, a molecule that provides energy for cell functions. 

The money raised through the IPO will be used to take elamipretide into clinical trials for several different indications, including primary mitochondrial myopathy (phase III) and dry age-related macular degeneration (phase IIb). Neither of these conditions has any treatments approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Stealth also intends to use the funds to advance its preclinical candidate for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases SBT-272 into phase I and further its pipeline of discovery compounds.