Magenta Therapeutics Snags $52 Million to Advance Bone Marrow Transplant Medications
Published: Apr 09, 2018 By Alex Keown
The funds will be used to advance Cambridge, Mass.-based Magenta Therapeutics portfolio of bone marrow transplant medications. Programs being advanced include targeted bone marrow transplant conditioning programs, stem cell mobilization and stem cell expansion programs, Magenta said.
The company is developing its stem cell programs to reboot the immune and blood systems to treat patients with autoimmune diseases, genetic blood disorders and cancer. Magenta uses a portfolio of breakthrough stem cell technologies developed at Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital.
The $52 million will also support development of Magenta’s Phase II cell therapy program MGTA- 456, the company’s most advanced clinical product. Magenta in-licensed MGTA-456 last year from Novartis. MGTA- 456 is a first-in-class allogeneic stem cell therapy consisting of a single umbilical cord blood unit expanded with an aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) antagonist. Magenta believes MGTA-456 has the potential to treat patients with higher cell doses than otherwise possible and to have access to better HLA-matched cord blood units. The company said both of those have been shown to provide better outcomes and lower rates of post-transplant complications. MGTA-456 is currently being studied in patients with inherited metabolic disorders.
Last week Magenta announced dosing of the first patient in the Phase II MGTA-456 trial. The patient has an undisclosed inherited metabolic disorder. Bone marrow transplantation is often the only option for some of these patients, Magenta said. The Phase II study will include 12 patients with Hurler’s syndrome, adrenoleukodystrophy, metachromatic leukodystrophy or globoid cell leukodystrophy.
Magenta Therapeutics Chief Executive Officer Jason Gardner said the $52 million in financing provides the company with the necessary funding to “build upon the clinical and preclinical progress we have made since our Series B round in 2017.”
In that fundraising round, last year Magenta secured $50 million and MGTA-456. In November 2016 Magenta launched by Third Rock Ventures and Atlas Venture with $48.5 million in Series A financing.
The Series C financing was led by Casdin Capital, with participation from new investors EcoR1 Capital, Eventide Asset Management and Watermill Asset Management. The financing round was also supported by Be the Match BioTherapies and Access Industries, existing investors in Magenta.
Last month Magenta and Heidelberg Pharma GmbH forged a multi-target research deal to improve curative bone marrow transplantation. Under terms of that deal, the companies will use Magenta’s stem cell platform and proprietary antibodies with Heidelberg’s proprietary ATAC (Antibody Targeted Amanitin Conjugates) platform to focus on up to four targets.