Mogrify awarded $555,000 USD (£420,000 GBP) Innovate UK funding to accelerate regenerative cell therapies
Project to focus on data-driven cell conversions to produce cell therapies with potential application in wound healing, and oncology immunotherapy
Cambridge, UK, 18th March 2019: Cell Mogrify Ltd (Mogrify®), a UK company aiming to transform the future development of cell therapies, today announced that it has been awarded $555,000 USD (£420,000 GBP) funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, through the investment accelerator for innovation in precision medicine. This funding will support the application of Mogrify’s bioinformatic approach to transition three cell therapy products to preclinical stage, with potential application in wound healing, and oncology immunotherapy.
Mogrify will utilize its patented systematic big-data approach (Rackham et al., Nature Genetics, 2016) to identify, from next-generation sequencing and gene-regulatory networks, the sets of highly influential and non-redundant transcription factors (in vitro) or small molecules (in vivo), needed to drive the direct conversion of one mature cell type (e.g. fibroblasts) into another (e.g. T cells). The reprogramed cells will then be subjected to a number of functional tests to demonstrate bioequivalence and potential as cell therapies, such as CAR-T for the treatment of cancers.
At present, cells used in cell therapies either need to be extracted and sorted from the patient themselves or a donor, or derived via experimental protocols that can take several years to develop, all of which can delay cell therapies reaching the clinic. Mogrify aims to accelerate this process by using its novel, bioinformatic platform to deliver an efficient, safe and scalable source of cells for the development of multiple personalized regenerative cell therapy products.
Dr. Darrin M. Disley, OBE, CEO, Mogrify, said: “Mogrify’s mission is to place ourselves, and as a result
the UK, at the forefront of the next generation of cell therapy companies. By embracing systematic data science approaches built on large-scale transcriptomic, cell regulatory network and epigenetic data we believe better cell therapies can be developed at a lower cost across all therapeutic areas. The funding from Innovate UK will enable Mogrify to expand its portfolio of cell types and extend its reach into new therapeutics areas to address the global cell therapy opportunity, worth an estimated $30 billion USD.”
Professor Julian Gough, PhD, Co-founder and CSO, Mogrify, said: “We have already used our
bioinformatic-approach to produce chondrocytes and microvascular endothelial cells by transdifferentiation and speed up the protocols for acquiring astrocytes, neurons and chondrocytes from induced pluripotent stem cells. We are already engaging with companies that would like us to support development of autologous and allogeneic T-cell therapies, and are confident that our technology has the potential to provide a platform technology on which any cell for cell therapy can be developed.”
Notes to Editors
Dr. Darrin M. Disley OBE
Prof. Julian Gough
Co-founder and CSO Mogrify
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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 applying its patented technology to generate IP and cell types that will power the development and manufacture of new cell therapies across every therapeutic area.
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 $3.7 million USD seed funding from Ahren Innovation Capital, 24Haymarket and Dr Darrin M Disley, OBE.
Follow Mogrify on Twitter @Mogrify_UK and LinkedIn @Mogrify
TusPark is a leading global ecosystem in technology and service. TusPark manages over 300 incubators, science parks, and science cities worldwide, and invests in 7 sectors including life sciences. It has incubated over 6,000 enterprises and 36 of these are successful listed. Tuspark has assets under management of more than £20 billion and over 800 portfolios including 9 publicly listed companies.
In the UK, TusPark has launched two science parks – TusPark Cambridge and TusPark Newcastle. Tuspark Cambridge is a landmark £200 million joint venture with Trinity College, University of Cambridge, which includes 350,000 sq. ft of office/lab space that is developed over five new buildings, including the aforementioned state-of-the-art Bio-Innovation Centre. Together with a few other facilities to be built in the Cambridge Science Park, the Bio-Innovation Centre is expected to provide space, business support and global opportunities for life science start-ups and scale-ups.
In addition to the science parks, TusPark UK has also made equity investments into a few Cambridge life science start-ups as well as the Cambridge Innovation Capital. It partnered with Innovate UK on helping British start-ups soft-land and accelerate in China and will continue to work with UK and Chinese governments, businesses, associations, universities, and institutions on cross-border collaborations.