Reversing osteoarthritis: Mogrify secures $1.1m from SBRI Healthcare to assess cartilage regeneration therapy
Mogrify has secured $1.1million of funding from SBRI Healthcare to assess its regenerative cartilage therapy, designed to reverse the effects of osteoarthritis.
The Cambridge Science Park company, which aims to transform the development of cell therapies, says the technology could also be used to treat cartilage defects and other musculoskeletal conditions.
Phase I funding, announced earlier this year, enabled the company to identify the transcription factors and culture conditions required to convert various cell types into healthy mature chondrocytes – the cells found in cartilage.
The Phase II funding from SBRI will be used to progress these cell conversions through pre-clinical safety and efficacy studies in vivo.
The aim is to create scalable lab production of chondrocytes – from either the patient’s own cells, or a donor’s – for implantation to treat cartilage defects, and an in vivo reprogramming therapy to reverse the pathophysiology of osteoarthritis.
Pierre-Louis Joffrin, corporate development executive at 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.”
Mogrify, led by Dr Darrin Disley and launched in February 2019, uses data-driven direct cellular conversion technology to change cells into other types, without going through a pluripotent stem cell- or progenitor cell-state.
It deploys a systematic big-data approach to identify, from next-generation sequencing and gene-regulatory networks, the conversion factors needed to produce cells ideally suited for regenerative cell therapies.
Dr Karin Schmitt, CBO at 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.”
SBRI is an NHS England-funded initiative championed by the Academic Health Science Network.
Mogrify, which has raised more than $20million in investment, won the One to Watch award at the 2019 Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards.