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Mogrify’s $17m second close will support immuno-oncology and ophthalmology programmes

Mogrify has announced a second closing of its Series A financing, adding $17million to support progress on its cell programming platform.

It brings the total raised to $33million and will help the Cambridge Science Park-based company advance its immuno-oncology and ophthalmology programmes.

Mogrify’s leadership team, including Dr Darrin Disley, left. Picture: Phil Mynott
Mogrify’s leadership team, including Dr Darrin Disley, left. Picture: Phil Mynott

Led by Parkwalk Advisors, the Series A round was also supported by the strategic corporate pharma investor Astellas Venture Management, 24Haymarket, Abcam co-founder Dr Jonathan Milner and Mogrify CEO Dr Darrin Disley.

Dr Disley said: “We are delighted to see the continued support of our existing investors, as well as welcome new investors Astellas Venture Management and Dr Jonathan Milner, in support of the progression of our initial programs through to IND-enabling studies.

“Their commitment is a testament to our delivery of world-class science, expertise in cellular reprogramming and the unique potential of the MOGRIFY and epiMOGRIFY platforms to develop novel in vivo reprogramming therapies while also addressing issues of scalability and manufacturing in ex vivo cell therapies.

“This latest funding will provide runway toward a significant Series B round as we progress our lead assets toward the clinic.”

Mogrify’s platform technologies, developed over a 12-year period, use a big-data approach to direct cellular reprogramming and the maintenance of cell identity

Using next-generation sequencing, gene regulatory and epigenetic network data, the company is able to predict the transcription factors, or small molecules, and optimal culture conditions required to produce any target human cell type from any source human cell type.

It can use this to enhance existing stem-cell forward reprogramming methods or bypass development pathways altogether by enabling a direct transdifferentiation between a mature cell type to another mature cell type.

By generating a scalable source of functional cell types, it is focused on transforming ex vivo cell therapies and pioneering a new class of in vivo reprogramming therapies.

Its immuno-oncology and ophthalmology programs include iPSC-derived allogeneic cell therapies targeting hematological and solid malignancies, and in vivo reprogramming therapies aiming to address retinal degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.The financing will support this work through to investigational new drug (IND) enabling studies, while also allow continued exploration and generation of novel cell-based and in vivo reprogramming therapies for disease areas with high unmet clinical need.

The company also announced the appointment of Dr Lorenz Mayr - former CTO of GE Healthcare Life Sciences and vice president discovery sciences at AstraZeneca - to the board as a non-executive director, having served as an observer since July 2020. Dr Hiromichi Kimura, of Astellas Venture Management, joins as an observer.

Alastair Kilgour, chief investment officer at Parkwalk Advisors, said: “Mogrify is led by a team with proven world-class commercial and scientific expertise who have made significant progress in applying the technology to drive the speed, efficiency and maintenance of cellular reprogramming.

“We are excited to continue supporting their extraordinary team as the company progresses with increasing success in cell and gene therapy development.”

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