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Stealth BioTherapeutics: Better Life For Mitochondrial Patients


A good night's sleep might be the key to most problems.

We live busy lives and rush to finish everything on our task lists, which often drains our energy and sucks our youth and beauty. And while we believe that we can quickly fix this condition with a good night's sleep, we give extra time for our mitochondrial disease to take control over our life.

Luckily, Hazel Szeto recognized the real reason that makes us exhausted and aged, and in 2007 she founded Stealth Biotherapeutics in Newton, Massachusetts.

Stealth BioTherapeutics is a revolutionary biopharmaceutical company that brings targeted therapies to people suffering from mitochondria to treat both rare and common diseases.

Stealth BT has made plenty of research and discoveries, committed to raising awareness for patients’ unmet treatment needs and understanding people with these problems' journeys.

Their next-generation therapies proved to be super powerful, but the road was bumpy. Read the story of Hazel Szeto and her medical revolution.

Curious Kid to a Successful Scientist

Hazel Szeto, born in March 1952, showed interest in helping others since she was a child, and she was happy to go to school a learn science-related subjects, where she was an excellent student. From 1969 to 1972, Hazel studied at Indiana University Bloomington in the field of Chemistry.

She joined Weill Cornell University Medical College and received MD and Ph.D. in Pharmacology. No one was surprised that she grew up and became a successful research scientist, entrepreneur, and inventor of drugs, since that was Hazel’s life goal. Hazen stayed at the university for 37 years until it was time for a new challenge.

Brave enough to make a tremendous impact worldwide, Hazel founded Stealth Biotherapeutics in 2006. She hired the best scientists and CEO experts and started the company that the world was desperately waiting for.

Apart from Stealth Biotherapeutics, she’s a managing director of the Social Profit Network Research laboratory. In her professional life, she has 265 publications and over 12,000 citations.

Limited Finances As a Driving Force

Hazel began researching immediately but initiated their first clinical trial 3 years later, as Stealth was having some financial issues. Namely, their operations were limited to financing, and the lack of staff led to postponing their preclinical research and clinical trials for their product candidates.

Hazel wasn’t disappointed that Stealth BioTherapeutics didn’t demonstrate an ability to get marketing approvals, produce a commercial scale invention, or conduct marketing and sales as that was normal for an early-stage company such as theirs. Instead, the scientist focused on finding investors that would help them discover, develop and commercialize new therapies for health problems associated with mitochondrial dysfunction.

The team behind Stealth BioTherapeutics had a mission to make their company the leader in modern mitochondrial medicine, and they assembled the best workforce. Stealth BioTherapeutics became home to a highly experienced managing team, a powerful board of directors, and enough scientific consultants to help them achieve that mission.

Brian Blakey became a Chief Business Officer, and Renee McCarthy, a director, took the company's president role and CEO. Brian holds a PharmD from the University of Florida, while Reenie holds a JD in Law from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and has previous experience as a director.

Efforts and Prosperity

In 2016, Hazel decided to devote herself to direct research knowing that Stealth BioTherapeutics is in the right hands. Hazel spent most of her time researching for a public charity called Social Profit Network, which supports research to reduce age-related disabilities and promote healthy aging.

Using all her knowledge and experience, Hazel has developed compounds that target mitochondria selectively to boost ATP production in each cell of living organisms.

These compounds restore adult organ function, regenerate tissues, repair mitochondria, and renew energy production. This helped Stealth BioTherapeutics and greatly attracted investors' and rivals' attention.

Self-Belief and Hard Work Earn Success

Stealth BioTherapeutics developed elamipretide, and it became their lead product candidate that has the potential to fight both common and rare age-associated mitochondrial diseases.

Reenie and her team have also optimized their discovery platform to isolate innovative mitochondrial targeted compounds that have the potential to become therapeutic product candidates.

The next few years were hard, but Stealth BioTherapeutics got their second product candidate, SBT-20. In 2018, they completed Phase 1 clinical trials and started developing SBT-272, their preclinical-stage product candidate targeting rare neurodegenerative infections.

At the same time, the in-house discovery platform of Stealth BioTherapeutics generated an archive of more than 100 patented, differentiated compounds. These compounds could have considerable clinical benefits for mitochondrial dysfunction diseases, and the team planned to isolate potential product candidates.

Stealth BioTherapeutics and its collaborators published various articles highlighting their compounds' activity in different disease models since licensing SBT-20 and elamipretide.

Several clinical and academic institutions, including Cornwell University and Massachusetts General Hospital, evaluated Stealth BioTherapeutics compounds in clinical and preclinical studies.

The Company Competitors

Reenie and Brian are proud of what Stealth BioTherapeutics has turned into. They believe in the potential of their company to deliver a new generation of treatment solutions and increase the quality of life for people suffering from mitochondrial dysfunction diseases. Even though some of the conditions they are targeting currently don’t have FDA-approved treatments, Stealth BioTherapeutics has never lost its enthusiasm.

The team behind this biopharmaceutical company collaborates closely with patient support to understand the way these diseases impact their daily lives. Reenie and her team do their best hoping that their investigational therapy has the power to improve the prognosis as well as patients’ lives.

Stealth BioTherapeutics motivated its team to work even harder to be better than its competitors. Although many biopharmaceutical companies exist, their most significant competitors are Oxford BioTherapeutics, AID Genomics, Verve Therapeutics, and Affinia Therapeutics.

Stealth BioTherapeutics IPO

Stealth BioTherapeutics was registered under the stock symbol NASDAQ: MITO on February 1, 2019. Their stock opened at $12.00. However, this price varied over the years, with today’s cost being much lower.

So far, Stealth BioTherapeutics has raised $78M at IPO and a total of $191.4M in 7 funding rounds through 9 investors. It started in January 2018, when Stealth BioTherapeutics announced its Convertible Note funding. They raised $100M thanks to 7 investors who took part, but primarily to Pivotal BioVenture Partners as lead investors.

In April 2020, Stealth BioTherapeutics announced the transaction name Post-IPO Equity when they raised $20M from Morningside Venture Investments. The year 2020 finished with a total of $23.2M, while 2021 was more beneficial and brought Stealth BioTherapeutics $59.7M.

The latest funding was in April 2022 and raised $8.5M. The most recent investors are Morningside Venture Investments and Horizon Technology Finance.

The price of NASDAQ: MITO may rise as soon as the company raises its rating even more. More money means more research, but what do Reenie and Brian plan?

Stealth BioTherapeutics Future Plans

With over 50 employees, Stealth BioTherapeutics will continue to raise awareness of the daily problems patients with mitochondrial-related diseases face.

They also plan to advance their mitochondrial programs and pipeline candidates and open new offices in the USA. They hope that all of their products will become FDA-approved soon, and they will continue their clinical trials to reach that goal faster.

The company also plans to boost its marketing strategy and introduce its products to more companies with the goal to become more popular and better renowned in the biopharmaceutical market.

As a high-energy biotechnological company with a hard-working team, Stealth BioTherapeutics won’t stop trying to help everyone have an easier life, as they deserve it.