Mogrify Subsidiary Chondrogenix Secures Funding from SBRI Healthcare to Advance Regenerative Cartilage Therapy to the Clinic
Product News Apr 04, 2019
Dr. Wael Kafienah, Director, Chondrogenix
Chondrogenix, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mogrify Ltd (Mogrify), a UK company aiming to transform the future development of cell therapies, announced that it has secured funding from SBRI Healthcare, the NHS England funded initiative championed by the AHSN Network, to develop a safe, efficient and scalable source of therapeutic cells for the treatment of osteoarthritis.
The Mogrify Platform (Rackham et al., Nature Genetics, 2016) has been used by Chondrogenix to successfully convert multiple starting cell types to functional chondrocytes capable in vitro of spontaneously forming cartilage, and this funding will support the partnering of this asset to take it through the remaining pre-clinical stages before entering clinical trials.
Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease of synovial joints resulting in the breakdown of articular cartilage and bone and is the most common joint disorder, affecting more than 30 million adults in the United States* alone. Current treatments only focus on addressing the symptoms, for instance, pain or inflammation, and in some cases result in total joint replacement.
Following on from a proof-of-concept study, Chondrogenix is using a cocktail of small molecules (identified by the Mogrify Platform) to transdifferentiate several different starting cell types, directly sourced from diseased patients, into functional hyaline chondrocytes to ultimately be used in the clinic to enhance the already approved Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI) therapy and create additional allogeneic and in vivo reprograming therapies. Chondrogenix will apply for the Phase 2 funding from SBRI Healthcare for £1 million GBP, which will support the progression of the Company’s lead asset into the clinic.
Dr Wael Kafienah, PhD, Director, Chondrogenix and Senior Lecturer, University of Bristol, said: “After several years of research in collaboration with Mogrify, it is great to see our transdifferentiated cartilage cells gain commercial traction from grants such as the SBRI Healthcare and (pre-)clinical partners.”
Pierre-Louis Joffrin, Corporate Development Executive, Mogrify, said: “Having started from various cell types, the produced chondrocytes are displaying all of the markers necessary for use as both autologous and allogeneic therapies which would represent a huge advancement in the standard of care of osteoarthritis. We are speaking with a number of commercial partners and clinical development specialists, and our focus is on bringing a new therapy to market to improve the lives of osteoarthritis patients.”
*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention