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.

Patrícia holds her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has studied Applied Biology at Universidade do Minho and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work has been focused on molecular genetic traits of infectious agents such as viruses and parasites.
Patrícia holds her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has studied Applied Biology at Universidade do Minho and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work has been focused on molecular genetic traits of infectious agents such as viruses and parasites.


    • 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.

    • Debbie Stucky says:

      Is there effectiveness in adipose cells injections?
      The bone narrow method is the most risky due to potential for infection
      My daughter eeceived stem cell treatment with adipose cells. The Physician also gave Mannitol Intravenoudly to open up the blood barrier for the stem cells to be accepted. I believe that ny daughter has benefitted although not dramatically.
      Her last MRI showed no progression ! Some don’t believe in stem cells I understand that due to conflicting information. My daughter has subtle yet definite improvement.

      • Michelle says:

        If you do some in depth research you will find the the most effective treatment is “no chemo, no cure”! There are some very aggressive companies selling adipose stem cells reinjected all over the place. This does not reset the immune systems memory to destroy myelin.

  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

          • Nikki Bernreuter says:

            I did, also. Received my own Stem cells back on Valentine’s Day if this year. So far, so good! I go back for my 6 month evaluation at the end of August!! I’m excited to hear the results!

        • Vivek says:

          Kristin, please share your results of treatment with Dr. Burt. I was told by his office that they would treat only Relapsing Remitting MS and I should be able to walk and not be on wheelchair. This was very discouraging.

        • Claudia says:

          That is wonderful, what is the cost for the procedure, I am seeking information for my 20 year old daughter with MS, I am in so much need to seek a cure for her.

      • 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.

      • Deb Hugg says:

        I have been saying this for over a decade… No money in a cure. United States is owned and ran by big Pharma. The NMSS and MSF all know which side of The bread is buttered. Every walkathon, bike-athon yada yada is sponsored by big Pharma. They are not going to advocate for us in Washington. And as long as we have no key or at least the population is getting thinned out of those “on the system.” I have been begging for this treatment for 20 years asking where is the stem cell cure… Begging to be included in any trial going on and not one damn neurologist told me about the studies going on in Chicago when I was in Chicago! I just recently asked again and my doctor told me it was too late for me. I don’t know where to go with this anger. We need HSCT yesterday so why isn’t anything being done? Why are we all slowly dying a painful agonizing death so that the FDA and everyone else can drag their feet? If MS were contagious HSCT would be available at every Walgreens through a clinic. I’m disgusted with what’s going on in this, the suppose it most powerful country in the world. People needing to mortgage their homes and cash in their 401(k)s to go have this done at out rages prices abroad. What the hell is going on and why are we standing for this or in some cases sitting or laying!

        • Patty says:

          Big pharma don’t give a shit about us they only care about the Money it’s all about Money it’s BAD the way of the world when ever u walk in a Dr.soffice what is the first words out of there mouths (do you have insurance) thankfully I do but people that don’t they can’t treat asame

    • Cheryl Carvalho-Case says:

      I couldn’t have said it better. Many understand that Big Pharma donates heavily to both political parties and they stand to lose billions if this becomes easily available. Better to let people suffer and die from secondary illnesses. They can make money that way. Pretty sick if you ask me.

  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

    • Michelle L says:

      Clinica Ruiz in Puebla Mexico has an excellent HSCT program for MS (I am going there in August to get treated). Also, Dr Fedorenko in Moscow, Russia has an excellent treatment facility. Also University Heidelberg, Germany. Good luck! We will be lucky if HSCT gets approved in the US by 2022….. Too much politics here in the US, lobbyists for Big Pharma trying to delay it here. Head out of Country and get treated! 🙂

  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?)

  5. Michelle says:

    I implore everyone with MS to educate themselves on non myoablative HSCT. Non myoablative means that they don’t use enough chemo to wipe out your entire immune system but enough to reset the immune system of its errant path to destroying myelin. Once the immune system is 90% gone, your own stem cells, harvested from your blood are reinfused back into your bloodstream to kick start the growth of a new non MS immune system. The risk of non myoablative HSCT is less than myoablative, yet the results between both procedures is comparable. In Canada, you either need to be part of a study, or on deaths door to get this type of procedure. Two of the leading countries doing this are Dr Federenko in Russia and Dr Ruiz in Mexico. The biggest difference between the 2 facilities is Russia is inpatient lodging and Mexico is outpatient. My husband just returned from Mexico May 20 and several in the group have already experienced impressive improvements. We paid $55,000 USD and waited approximately 8 months. If the price takes your breath away please know that many of the people from around the world that were there, fundraised to get there. The public are very generous when they are informed about what your goal is and you just ask. Please search Facebook for HSCT for MS to be admitted to some of the closed groups there- many worldwide members.

  6. Vivek says:

    I live in India and don’t have updation on these treatments and informations, and would appreciate any definitive knowledge for treatment of secondary/primary progressive ms for a wheelchair bound person. Thanks.

  7. Grant Madden says:

    $10000(NZD) here in NZ for the initial treatment and approx $6000 for any subsequent retreatment.Roughly,it depends on them after they do a first exam I plan on doing it later this year if all goes well.No chemo involved.

  8. Meredith says:

    You need to tell me how old you are and how long has been since diagnosis. Dr. Burts successes come from his choice of young mostly newly diagnosed patients. Burt rejected me and I understand why.

  9. Georgia says:

    I have MS for the past 25 years. Agree and are ashamed that living in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, a cure of this HORRIBLE DESEASE HAS NOT YET been discovered and is also available in other parts of the. Country and other parts of the world? ASHAMED AND EMBARRASSED!!!

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