Merganser Biotech Inc. is working on a treatment for beta thalassemia that can reduce the toxic accumulation of iron. The company expects using peptide mimetics to regulate iron absorption will be more effective than mopping excess iron up after the fact, as marketed chelators do.

Beta thalassemia is an Orphan genetic blood disorder caused by aberrant synthesis of hemoglobin beta chains resulting in continuous overproduction of defective proteins, many of which are broken down and release a glut of iron.