An advanced HealthTech firm which is hoping to transform the development of life-saving cell therapies, has raised $16m in the initial close of its Series A funding round.

Led by Ahren Innovation Capital, Parkwalk and 24Haymarket, it brings Cambridge-based Morgrify’s total raised to over $20m.

It said the funding will accelerate its internal cell therapy programs and the development and licensing of IP relating to ‘cell conversions’.

The funding will also help to aid the expansion of its scientific, operational and commercial staff located at Mogrify’s facility in Cambridge Science Park.

The firm claims its proprietary technology makes it possible to transform or ‘transmogrify’ any mature human cell type into any other.

It is deploying this platform to develop novel cell therapies addressing musculoskeletal, auto-immune, cancer immunotherapy, ocular and respiratory diseases as well as generating a broad IP position relating to cell conversions that exhibit safety, efficacy and scalable manufacturing profiles suitable for development as cell therapies.

Having launched in February 2019 and shortly after announcing a $3.7m seed funding from Ahren, 24Haymarket and Dr. Darrin M. Disley, OBE it went on to secure grants from Innovate UK and SBRI Healthcare.

It has now begun recruiting up to 40 additional commercial, operational and scientific roles to support its expanding pipeline of internal programs, as well as supporting numerous biotech and pharma collaborators in developing novel IP to underpin existing and new cell therapy programs.

Dr. Darrin M. Disley, OBE, CEO said he was delighted to have been able to make an initial close of this fundraising round.

“Due to the significant interest, we have been able to secure this growth-funding without engaging in a protracted and distracting fund-raising process,” he said.

“We will continue to engage with high-caliber investors with computational biology and cell therapy domain expertise as part of our on-going investor relations and capital markets strategy.”

Alastair Kilgour, CIO at investor Parkwalk, added: “We are delighted to be supporting the team at Mogrify, many of whom have been involved successfully with companies we have previously invested in, in this investment round.

“The science and technology base Mogrify are building is truly unique and disruptive. If successful, the positive effect on patient outcomes across a wide range of diseases will be staggering.”