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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
Cell Mogrify Ltd, 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 (Rackhamet 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.”
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.
About Innovate UK
Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government. Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base. We connect businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn ideas into commercially successful products and services and business growth.
We fund business and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investment into R&D. Our support is available to businesses across all economic sectors, value chains and UK regions.