UK medtech startup Mogrify raises $20 million to develop innovative cell therapies

UK medtech startup Mogrify raises $20 million to develop innovative cell therapies
Finance

The Cambridge-based medtech startup Mogrify has raised $20 million to develop cutting-edge, life-saving cell therapies to treat cancer, autoimmune, respiratory, and musculoskeletal diseases, according to TechCrunch

After raising $4 million in seed funding earlier this year, they’ve now raised another $16 million in Series A funding, from investors including Ahren Innovation Capital, Parkwalk Advisors, 24Haymarket, and the University of Bristol Enterprise Fund.

Mogrify’s platform leverages large quantities of genomic data to find the energetic changes needed to convert certain cells from one type to another. With a systematic, big data approach, scientists can transform mature adult cells, without first resetting them into a stem cells. Mogrify says this approach allows for a process that is more scalable, safe, and efficient.

Such therapies could treat a wide range of diseases and conditions. They’re currently exploring therapies for cartilage regeneration in joints for arthritis, a non-invasive treatment for ocular damage, and therapies for blood disorders. They’re also working to develop a universal source of “disease-eating” cells for immunotherapy, according to CEO and investor Dr. Darrin Disley, former head of the Cambridge-based gene-editing firm Horizon Discovery. 

“What we’re trying to do with Mogrify is systematize that process where you can say here’s my source cell, here’s my target cell, here are the differences between the networks… and here are the most likely points of intervention that we’re going to have to make to drive the fate of an adult cell to another adult cell without going through a stem cell stage,” Disley says.

But developing the therapies is just one element of Mogrify’s business, which also focuses on development of intellectual property around the cell conversions. 

“Because of the systematic nature of the technology we’re in a position very rapidly to identify areas of therapy that have particular cell conversions at their essence — and then drive that IP generation around those cells very quickly and create an IP footprint,” Disley says. 

Mogrify is also working to develop partnerships to develop the therapies and help them reach the market. They’ve said some partners have already confirmed their participation, although they’re not ready to announce names just yet. 

Disley said it could take four to seven years to bring a novel cell therapy to market. While they say they’ve raised enough funding for the next two years, Mogrify is also leaving the funding round open to raise up to another $16 million. 

The new investment will help develop therapy programs and intellectual property licensing.  The company also expanded staff at their Cambridge headquarters from twenty to sixty, with new employees on commercial, operational, and science teams. 

Photo by Cmglee [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

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