Sangamo Therapeutics (SGMO), Mogrify announce collaboration and exclusive license agreement for Mogrify's iPSC- and ESC-derived regulatory T cells

April 21, 2020 7:05 AM EDT

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Mogrify Ltd (Mogrify®), a UK company aiming to transform the development of cell therapies by the systematic discovery of novel cell conversions, and Sangamo Therapeutics (Sangamo) (Nasdaq: SGMO), a genomic medicine company, today announced that they have executed a collaboration and exclusive license agreement for Sangamo to develop allogeneic cell therapies from Mogrify’s proprietary induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and Sangamo’s zinc finger protein (ZFP) gene-engineered chimeric antigen receptor regulatory T cell (CAR-Treg) technology.

“Mogrify is delighted to announce its second commercial deal with a US biopharma and the first in the exciting field of T cell immunotherapy,” said Dr. Darrin M. Disley OBE, CEO, Mogrify. “The combination of Mogrify’s proprietary systematic cell conversion technology and Sangamo’s regulatory T cell platform and proprietary ZFP platform is a natural fit. Sangamo is at the forefront of the development of a world-class engineered ZFP genome editing platform and we are very happy to be partnering with such an innovative company.”

“This license agreement provides Sangamo with access to Mogrify’s cell conversion technology, which will diversify our options as we develop off-the-shelf allogeneic CAR-Treg cell therapies,” said Jason Fontenot, SVP, Head of Cell Therapy at Sangamo. “We expect this collaboration to accelerate our development of scalable and accessible CAR-Treg cell therapies, so that we can potentially deliver treatments to patients with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases more rapidly.”

Mogrify’s technology enables the transformation of any human cell type into any other human cell type. This transformation is achieved using transcription factors or small molecules identified using proprietary big data technologies. iPSCs and ESCs provide an evergreen starting material for the generation of Tregs, and facilitate more complex engineering and greater manufacturing scalability, potentially enabling the resulting therapies to be more cost-effective and thus more accessible to larger patient populations.

Under the terms of the agreement, Mogrify will be responsible for the discovery and optimization of the cell conversion technology from iPSCs or ESCs to regulatory T cells, and Sangamo will be granted exclusive rights to use Mogrify’s technology to create Tregs from iPSCs or ESCs. Sangamo expects to then use its ZFP gene-engineering technology and therapeutic development capabilities to transform these Tregs into novel “off-the-shelf” allogeneic CAR-Treg cell therapy candidates and hopes to take them through clinical development through to registration for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sangamo will pay Mogrify an upfront payment. Mogrify is also eligible to receive potential additional payments related to development and regulatory milestones, and product sales.

About Mogrify Direct Cell Conversion Technology

The Mogrify platform (Rackham et al., Nature Genetics, 2016)* takes a systematic big-data approach that leverages data from next-generation sequencing and the construction of gene-regulatory networks (DNA-protein & protein-protein), to identify, the transcription factors (in vitro) or small molecules (in vivo) needed to convert any source human cell type into any target human cell type. The Mogrify platform offers the potential to optimize cell conversions in order to deliver cells that exhibit improved safety, efficacy and scalable manufacturing profiles suitable for development as cell therapies.

*Rackham OJL et al, A predictive computational framework for direct reprogramming between human cell types. Nature Genetics 48(3), 331–335 (2016).

About Sangamo’s Regulatory T cells (Tregs) and CAR-Tregs Technology

Tregs are a subset of T lymphocytes and act as the key regulators of the immune system. They ensure that the immune system does not mistakenly harm healthy organs while still protecting the body from pathogenic microorganisms.

CAR-Tregs are regulatory T cells (or Tregs) which are genetically engineered with a Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) to precisely target sites of autoimmune and inflammatory pathology. Sangamo’s CAR-Treg platform aims to use CAR and zinc finger protein (ZFP) technologies to genetically engineer Tregs ex vivo to treat autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

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