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Mogrify strikes deal with US biopharma Sangamo Therapeutics

Cell conversion specialist Mogrify has announced a collaboration and licence agreement with US genomic medicine company Sangamo Therapeutics.

Under the deal, Brisbane-based Sangamo has an exclusive licence to develop allogeneic cell therapies from Mogrify’s proprietary induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and embryonic stem cells (ESCs).

The Mogrify leadership team outside Bio-Innovation Park, prior to lockdown. Picture: Phil Mynott
The Mogrify leadership team outside Bio-Innovation Park, prior to lockdown. Picture: Phil Mynott

Dr Darrin Disley, CEO of Cambridge Science Park-based Mogrify, said: “Mogrify is delighted to announce its second commercial deal with a US biopharma and the first in the exciting field of T cell immunotherapy.

“The combination of Mogrify’s proprietary systematic cell conversion technology and Sangamo’s regulatory T cell platform and proprietary ZFP (zinc finger protein) platform is a natural fit. Sangamo is at the forefront of the development of a world-class engineered ZFP genome editing platform and we are very happy to be partnering with such an innovative company.”

Mogrify will receive an upfront payment and is eligible for additional payments related to development and regulatory milestones, and product sales.

Jason Fontenot, SVP, head of cell therapy at Sangamo, said: “This licence agreement provides Sangamo with access to Mogrify’s cell conversion technology, which will diversify our options as we develop off-the-shelf allogeneic CAR-Treg (chimeric antigen receptor regulatory T cell) cell therapies.

“We expect this collaboration to accelerate our development of scalable and accessible CAR-Treg cell therapies, so that we can potentially deliver treatments to patients with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases more rapidly.”

Mogrify’s technology enables the transformation of any human cell type into any other human cell type.

It uses transcription factors or small molecules identified using proprietary big data technologies.

iPSCs and ESCs provide an evergreen starting material for the generation of Tregs. They enable more complex engineering and greater manufacturing scalability.

This could make the resulting therapies more cost-effective and therefore accessible to more patients.

Mogrify will discover and optimise the cell conversion technology from iPSCs or ESCs to regulatory T cells under the agreement, while Sangamo will be granted exclusive rights to use Mogrify’s technology to create Tregs from iPSCs or ESCs.

Sangamo expects to use its ZFP gene-engineering technology and therapeutic development capabilities to transform these Tregs into novel “off-the-shelf” allogeneic CAR-Treg cell therapy candidates.

It aims to take them from clinical development through to registration for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Mogrify won the One to Watch award at the 2019 Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards.

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