29 October, 2018
LONDON & CAMBRIDGE, UK: Ahren announced today that it has closed an investment in a fourth portfolio company, Cell Mogrify.
Cell Mogrify is a transformative cell therapy company at the intersection of computer science and molecular biology. The company has developed an algorithm to identify the transcription factors required to turn one cell type (for example a fibroblast from the skin) into another cell type (for example a cardiomyocyte, a heart muscle cell), without needing to transition through a stem cell.
Ahren believes the potential significance of this is tremendous, as well as potentially very valuable: for example, Cell Mogrify estimates the applicable cardiovascular disease market to be up to ~$90BN in 2022.
The co-founders, Professor Julian Gough, Jose Polo and Owen Rackham, developed the algorithmic system to model the cell conversions, and have successfully completed a number in practice. The Ahren funding will enable them to carry out several further conversions.
In addition to cardiomyocytes, the conversions include further high value potential end products such as chondrocytes to treat osteoarthritis: in osteoarthritis, healthy chondroctyes (cartilage) de-differentiate with age, losing their physical properties. Regeneration of healthy differentiated chondrocytes can restore cartilage. There is long term potential for developing an ‘in vivo’ therapy and Cell Mogrify has already filed a patent on a conversion with small molecules (potential therapy market size ~$7BN by 2024(1)).
The Ahren team and Commercial Engine will work with the Cell Mogrify founders and team to define the most effective commercial pathway for Cell Mogrify.
Alice Newcombe-Ellis, Founder & CEO, Ahren Innovation Capital, LLP, said: “The significance of the technology Cell Mogrify has developed is tremendous. We are delighted to be supporting Julian and his co-founders and team to take the Company to the next level with a highly successful commercial outcome.”
Julian Gough, Co-Founder of Cell Mogrify, said: “At Cell Mogrify, we are bringing to bear a unique combination of skillsets from computational biology to molecular and cell biology to revolutionalize cell therapy. We are excited to be partnering with Ahren, who we consider to have a differentiated ability to support us to achieve our goals.”
Cell Mogrify is a private biotechnology company based in the UK with a subsidiary in Australia. Our founders are experts in epigenetics, bioinformatics and computational genomics and founded the company with the mission of revolutionising the way that cell reprogramming is utilised in regenerative medicine.
The company’s unique combination of skills has allowed us to dramatically improve the process of finding the precise combinations of factors that allow one differentiated cell to be transformed into another. We have patents submitted both on our approach and on the novel cell conversions that we have developed. We are working on a wide variety of additional conversions in conjunction with a number of partners in the biotechnology sector and in academia.
Ahren LP is an investment fund that supports transformational companies at the cutting edge of deep science and deep tech. The technologies of its Founding Partners are today valued in excess of $100BN combined.
A group of highly diverse, creative and original thinkers leading their domains, Ahren believes in taking considered risk that will deliver superior rewards – capturing a generational opportunity to provide smart capital to deep technology pioneers.
With a philosophy espousing the importance of relationships and trust, Ahren provides long-term capital and support to exceptional founders and teams, empowering them to achieve the unimaginable.
Ahren’s Founding & Science Partners include:
Alice Newcombe-Ellis, Founder & CEO, formerly an investor at TPG Capital and Lansdowne Partners, First Class degree in Mathematics and Master’s in Mathematics/Physics from the University of Cambridge, Fulbright and Baker Scholar at Harvard Business School.
Sir Shankar Balasubramanian, principal inventor of the leading next generation human genome sequencing technology core to all Illumina sequencing platforms, estimated worth >$30BN.
Professor John Daugman, Head of Artificial Intelligence Group of Cambridge University, inventor of IRIS (eye) recognition technology used to register 1.5BN citizens worldwide.
Professor Zoubin Ghahramani, world leader in machine learning, co-founder of Geometric Intelligence, sold to Uber for an undisclosed amount.
Professor Steve Jackson, founder/co-founder of three companies and originator of Olaparib/Lynparza, recently partnered by AstraZeneca with Merck and valued as an asset at up to $17BN.
Professor Andy Parker, CERN leader, Head of the Cavendish Laboratory (Physics Department) of Cambridge University.
Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, Nobel prize laureate and President of the Royal Society, the UK’s premier science body.
Lord Martin Rees, world-renowned astrophysicist, Astronomer Royal, founder of CSER, former President of the Royal Society and former Master of Trinity College, Cambridge University.
Sir Gregory Winter, inventor of technology leading to Humira ($18BN sales in 2017, the world’s greatest grossing drug) and founder of three companies. Master of Trinity College, Cambridge University.
Chairman of the Ahren LP Limited Partner Advisory Committee:
Robert Swannell, CBE, also Chairman of UK Government Investments, the UK Government’s centre of excellence in corporate finance and governance.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: (1) Research and Markets, June 2018
This press release does not constitute an offer of interests in any Ahren fund. Any offer of an Ahren fund will be made through separate offering documents and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. This press release may contain forward looking statements. These statements include, but are not limited to, discussions related to Ahren’s expectations regarding the performance of its business, its liquidity and capital resources and the other statements contained herein. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s beliefs, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management. When used in this press release, the words “believe,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Although management believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to have been correct. These statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Ahren gives no undertaking or assumes any obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.
Ahren believes that selected case studies should be considered as a reflection of Ahren’s investment process, and references to these particular portfolio companies should not be considered as recommendations of any particular security, investment or portfolio company. The information provided about these portfolio companies is intended to be illustrative, and is not intended to be used as an indication of the current or future performance of the portfolio companies of the fund that Ahren manages.