Cambridge-based Mogrify has raised €14.5M to develop a technology that could allow scientists to transform any human cell into another cell type without the arduous process of turning them into a stem cell first.
The Series A round was led by Ahren Innovation Capital, an investment firm founded by science entrepreneurs from the UK that participated in Mogrify’s seed round back in February this year. Investors Parkwalk and 24Haymarket also took part in the fundraising.
The funds bring Mogrify’s total raised since its launch in February to €18M. The company plans to use the money to expand its current workforce from 20 to 60 employees.
This will allow Mogrify to accelerate the development of its cell transformation technology, which has the potential to reduce the costs and time it takes to develop cell therapies.
“If you could take a cell from one part of the body and turn it into any other cell at any other stage of development for another part of the body, you effectively have the Holy Grail of regenerative medicine,” CEO Darrin Disley told us in an interview.
Currently, methods for cell transformation involve turning an adult cell into a stem cell, which is then differentiated into the desired cell type. Mogrify has developed an algorithm that can predict the combination of molecules needed to transform one cell into another, skipping the intermediate stem cell state. Each process of cell conversion can then be tweaked to achieve an optimal outcome in terms of the safety, efficacy, and ease of manufacturing of the final cell therapy.
While this kind of cell transformation is not unprecedented, developing a new method for each specific transformation from scratch can take years of research.
Mogrify is using this technology to create its own pipeline of cell therapy treatments, with programs looking into cancer, autoimmune, and respiratory disease among others. Moving forward, the company aims to make revenues from partnering and out-licensing these treatments and its cell conversion technology.