With $29 million in the company’s pocket, biotech Libra Therapeutics launched to take on neurodegenerative disease, with three pre-clinical programs ready to roll.

Merck & Co. plunked down $576 million to acquire San Diego-based Calporta Therapeutics Inc. to gain access to preclinical TRPML1 agonists that are seen as potential treatments for neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Researchers with Cortexyme published research in the journal Science Advances describing the role of Porphyromonas gingivalis, a bacteria that causes gingivitis, to Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists at DZNE, HIH, and the University Hospital Tuebingen identified a protein in blood that can precisely track Alzheimer’s disease progression before the first symptoms appear.