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 earlier this year, 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.”
For further information about Mogrify’s collaboration opportunities for clinicians, academics and companies, please visit: mogrify.co.uk/partnering