Mogrify awarded $1.1M additional funding from SBRI Healthcare
Phase II funding will be used for pre-clinical assessment of regenerative cartilage therapy
Follows Phase I SBRI funding, announced in April 2019
Cambridge, UK, 28 January 2020 Mogrify Ltd (Mogrify®), a UK company aiming to transform the development of cell therapies, today announced that it has secured $1.1M of additional funding from SBRI Healthcare, the NHS England funded initiative championed by the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), to assess its regenerative cartilage therapy, for the treatment of cartilage defects, osteoarthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions, before entering clinical trials. This grant follows on from the Phase I funding announced in 2019, which enabled Mogrify to identify the transcription factors and culture conditions required to convert various cell types into healthy mature chondrocytes, using Mogrify’s data-driven direct cellular conversion technology.
The Mogrify platform (Rackham et al., Nature Genetics, 2016) takes a systematic big-data approach to identify, from next-generation sequencing and gene-regulatory networks, the conversion factors needed to produce cells that exhibit safety, efficacy and scalable manufacturing profiles suitable for development as regenerative cell therapies. The cellular conversions developed by Mogrify will allow both the scalable production of chondrocytes in vitro for use in autologous and allogeneic chondrocyte implantation for cartilage defects, and an in vivo reprograming therapy to reverse the pathophysiology of osteoarthritis. The Phase II funding from SBRI will be used to progress these cell conversions through pre-clinical safety and efficacy studies in vivo.
Dr. Karin Schmitt, CBO, Mogrify, said: “We select projects strategically based on both commercial and scientific considerations and are delighted with the progress of this collaboration with Dr. Wael Kafienah’s laboratory at the University of Bristol. The continued support for our lead musculoskeletal asset from SBRI Healthcare has not only allowed us to reach this phase but will enable us to carry the chondrocyte conversions through to the next stage.”
Pierre-Louis Joffrin, Corporate Development Executive, Mogrify, said: “Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder and with current treatments focused only on addressing the symptoms, there is a huge unmet medical need. Through this additional funding from the NHS England initiative, we will be able to take the project through the efficacy and safety studies necessary to see it make a difference to patients as we now start planning for the clinical stages of the development.”
Mogrify has developed a proprietary direct cellular conversion technology, which makes it possible to transform (transmogrify) any mature human cell type into any other without going through a pluripotent stem cell- or progenitor cell-state.
The platform takes a systematic big-data approach to identify, from next-generation sequencing and gene-regulatory networks, the transcription factors (in vitro) or small molecules (in vivo), needed to convert a cell. By bypassing the stem cell-stage of cell transformation, Mogrify simultaneously addresses challenges associated with efficacy, safety and scalability.
Mogrify is deploying this platform to develop novel cell therapies addressing musculoskeletal, auto-immune, cancer immunotherapy, ocular and respiratory diseases as well as generating a broad IP position relating to cell conversions that exhibit safety, efficacy and scalable manufacturing profiles suitable for development as cell therapies.
Uniquely positioned to address a cell therapy market estimated to be $35 billion USD by 2023, Mogrify is commercializing its technology via IP licensing, product development, and drug development. Based in Cambridge, UK, the Company has raised over $20 million USD funding from Ahren Innovation Capital, Parkwalk, 24Haymarket, Dr. Darrin M. Disley, OBE and the University of Bristol Enterprise Fund III.
SBRI Healthcare is an NHS England initiative, led by the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), who aim to promote UK economic growth whilst addressing unmet health needs and enhancing the take up of known best practice.
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