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

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

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.


    • 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?

      • Angie Davis says:

        I don’t understand why they won’t do this in the US.I and 1 other person which I know personally has MS.We hope that somewhere in the future we can get this help when it is approved also.We as in everyone who suffers from this silent disease hopes to get the help to.We read everywhere that they Do Not have the help for US and Canada.Can anyone tell me if this newer medication I just read on ,is it any better then Aubagio?I have also been on beterseron.Just asking and hope to get some kind of reply

      • Erin Odgers says:

        They do HSCT, or something that sounds like it in Ontario. My friend is getting treated for he RA and is now in complete remission. I’d look into it further except that I am not interested in the eventual death sentence that goes with Chemo.

  2. catherine schaffer says:

    I would appreciate specific names of facilities in Germany, Canada, Mexico and docs for stem cell transplant . $$…please!!!

    • They do it in Canada, I was done in Canada, but they only do extremely aggresive MS and they only do Canadian residents. I’m sorry to tell you this news. The other countries you spoke of I do not have knowledge on but I certainly do hope that you find what you’re looking for. All my best

  3. Michelle Wade says:

    I have heard 5 mg of valume would help stop the shaking in my legs. Will this also help with reading my eyes seem to lose my paragraph spot.

    • Lynda Kierzkowski says:

      iI have been taking Baclofen for years and now use the 3xweek concentrated form injections after having had MS more than 20years my vision has improved to 20/20 and i have been wearing glasses for near sightedness,since before being diagnosed with MS.

  4. Mary says:

    You might want to check out the HSCT Facebook page. There is great info about the HSCT procedure there. Michelle, A lot of medications have side effects that affect your eyes and eye muscles. Please talk to your neurologist about that and what RX might help with your leg spasms (e.g. Baclofen? Amprya?)

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