New Company Specializing in Stem Cell Platform for MS and Other Ills Raises $48.5M

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Magenta Therapeutics has completed its first round of financing, raising $48.5 million to develop ways of bringing bone marrow stem cell transplants to more patients with autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), among other illnesses.

The new company aims to develop the first complete platform that can overcome the challenges in stem cell transplants, taking a patient-focused approach, it announced in a press release.

By improving the preparation of patients using antibodies, as well as making the gathering and expansion of stem cells more efficient, the company hopes to change the entire approach to transplant use, so that the therapy is more widely applicable. In addition to autoimmune diseases, the company is also focusing on treating people with genetic blood disorders and cancer.

“Technical and scientific hurdles have relegated stem cell transplantation to a last resort for deadly diseases today, but new science is ready to be advanced to the clinic that could fundamentally open up this powerful medicine to patients suffering from earlier stage cancers, blood disorders and a large set of aggressive autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis and scleroderma,” Jason Gardner, chief executive officer, president, and co-founder of Magenta Therapeutics, said in the release.

Magenta was founded by specialists in stem cell medicine at institutions such as Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Stanford University. A license agreement with Harvard University gives the company access to a collection of stem cell technologies developed at Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital.

“Stem cell transplants are curative. With new gene therapy and gene editing technologies and emerging clinical experience in autoimmune diseases, more patients with more diseases can be helped or cured,” said David Scadden, chief scientific advisor, chair of the scientific advisory board and a Magenta cofounder.

“We think we can make stem cell transplants safer and more efficient and change the conversation with patients from risk-focused to benefit-focused. Our goal is to make transplantation a desired early option for people with many blood and immune disorders,” Scadden said.

The Series A financing round was completed with the help of Third Rock Ventures and Atlas Venture, with the participation of a number of smaller contributors.

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4 comments

    • Dimitri says:

      The company website says they use hematopoietic stem cells. I’m more interested in regenerative stem cells, as well. But in my opinion, any advances with stem cell will benifit all of us.

  1. Spirros Isanti says:

    I don’t want to be a negative ninny, but “open up this powerful medicine”. Would it not be considered to be a medical treatment or procedure ? Also, $48.4 Million, HSCT works, they have been doing it for decades, this amount would put one or two thousand people into remission with current hsct treatment or, correctly invested, speed the trials along to prove hsct works. Make it happen now, not piss about with mirrors and feathers, If trump got diagnosed with MS sure as shit stinks he would have it proven in a flash as an ethecal treatment.

    • Dimitri says:

      I agree with you. We’re not focused enough on getting this treatment out. When I wound up in the ER, one time, I was explaining to the doctor that I had ms. Then he turns around and tells me that when he was in med school a class mate of his was diagnosed with MS, but he had an experimental stem cell treatment that halted the disease. That was more than 10 years ago in Canada.
      I’m starting to wonder if the pharmaceutical companies are stalling the stem cell approval process. Think about the lost revenue the drug companies would take if a bunch of people went off their ms medication. They do this HSCT treatment all over the world, but they don’t do it in the US or Canada?

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