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Cell therapy disruptor Mogrify gains $3.7m in funding and a new leader

Former Horizon chief Darrin Disley to lead the company through series A round

Mogrify

UK-based start-up Mogrify has today announced that it has achieved the funding it needs to further develop its cell therapy transformation platform, along with a new chief to spearhead this goal.

Darrin Disley (pictured below) is known in the industry for heading gene editing specialist Horizon Discovery, when he led the biotech from seed funding to a $113m IPO.

After spending over a decade at the company, Disley left Horizon last year in pursuit of another challenge, and it seems Mogrify sparked his interest.

The company seems to be in safe hands with Disley at the helm; his career history is one that encompasses a plethora of scientific and financial dealings.

Disley

He has created, grown or invested in over 40 start-up life science, technology and social enterprises, raising a combined total of around $500m in business financing and closing $600m in commercial deals.

Mogrify will undoubtedly present a new kind of challenge for Disley however, as the company looks to lead a transformative change in the development of cell therapies.

Through its direct cellular conversion platform, Mogrify can identify the optimal combination of transcription factors (in vitro) or small molecules (in vivo) to convert any mature cell type into any other mature cell type – without needing to transition through a stem cell.

The platform can also be applied to other treatment areas, including cardiac repair and cartilage regeneration, areas that previously demonstrated limited efficacy with currently available stem-cell therapies.

Mogrify’s new approach could potentially disrupt cell therapy by addressing issues of efficacy, safety and scalability currently associated with cell therapy development and manufacturing.

Those problems have already manifested for the likes of Novartis, which recently disclosed that it is struggling with the production of CAR-T Kymriah, resulting in manufacturing failures.

Commenting on the platform and his new appointment, Disley said: “Direct reprograming between mature human cell types is a holy grail of regenerative medicine and pharmaceutical applications.

“We will commercialise the Mogrify cellular trans differentiation platform via IP licensing, product development, internal and partnered drug development. I am thrilled to be working with a world-class multi-disciplinary founding team, and a lead investor with founders of rarely matched scientific pedigree, as we rapidly expand to address the global cell therapy opportunity.”

The company also announced a second close on its seed funding, bringing the total raised to $3.7m.

The seed funding, which was led by existing investor Ahren Innovation Capital, with 24Haymarket and Disley chipping in, will be used to market novel IP and cell types generated by its platform.

While Mogrify has huge potential to completely transform cell therapy, its next step is to raise a significant Series A round to capture a share of a $30bn market opportunity generated by cell therapy and manufacturing.

Article by
Gemma Jones

20th February 2019

From: Research, Sales

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