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19 December, 2018 - 11:52 By Tony Quested

MedTech pioneer Morphogen-IX raises $23.2m Series B round

RxCelerate David Grainger

The power of Cambridge UK MedTech innovation has been underlined by a $23.2 million Series B financing for Morphogen-IX.

The Cambridge University spin-out is developing bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The round was led by Medicxi alongside investments from Cambridge Innovation Capital and Cambridge Enterprise.

This investment will support formal preclinical development of its lead candidate, MGX292, and initiation of clinical trials by 2021. 

MGX292 is a protein-engineered variant of BMP9 that has proven highly efficacious and safe in extensive preclinical studies. MGX292 is the first agent with the potential to be truly disease-modifying and to transform the lives of patients with PAH.

Nick Morrell, Morphogen-IX co-founder and CEO, said: “This major investment, following closely on the nomination of MGX292 as our drug candidate, will support the critical next steps of preclinical development and take us all the way through to completion of Phase 2 studies over the next 3-4 years.

“MGX292 has major disease-modifying capability that is badly needed for patients suffering from pulmonary arterial hypertension.”

David Grainger, chairman of the Morphogen-IX board and chief scientific adviser at Medicxi added: “The power of human genetics identifying the centrality of BMP9 in PAH, together with structure-driven engineering to create a protein that can be administered safely, places Morphogen-IX in a world-leading position to develop the first agent capable of halting, or even reversing, the progress of this terrible disease.

“We are working with many of world’s leading experts in PAH to get MGX292, already the subject of patent applications, into the clinic as quickly as possible.”

Kevin Johnson, partner at Medicxi, said MGX292 had the potential to transform the outlook for patients with PAH.

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: David Grainger

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