Mesenbio, a pioneering biotechnology firm emerging from the University of York, has recently secured a significant £1.4 million investment. This funding round, co-led by DSW Ventures and NG Bio, along with a grant from Innovate UK, is set to propel the company's innovative arthritis treatment into the next phase of development. This treatment, distinct in its approach, focuses on utilizing engineered human stem cells to combat rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis, affecting nearly half a million individuals in the UK, poses a significant health challenge. Characterized by debilitating joint pain and inflammation, this autoimmune disease primarily affects the hands, knees, elbows, ankles, and wrists. Unlike existing treatments that mainly ease pain and inflammation, Mesenbio's approach uniquely combines inflammation reduction with tissue protection, potentially offering a more holistic solution.
The Science Behind Mesenbio's Therapy
Central to Mesenbio's strategy is the use of engineered, immortalized mesenchymal stem cell lines. These cell lines provide a consistent source of extracellular vesicles, surpassing the variability inherent in donor-derived materials. These clonally selected, pure cell lines produce bioactive vesicles with both anti-inflammatory and pro-regenerative properties, making them ideal for regenerative arthritis therapy. Preclinical trials have shown promising therapeutic efficacy, setting the stage for regulatory submission and further clinical trials.
Traditional treatments using extracellular vesicles (EVs) depend on donor cells, with varying effectiveness. Mesenbio's engineered human stem cells enhance EV characteristics crucial for arthritis treatment and enable large-scale production in a laboratory setting. Dr. David Kuntin, CEO of Mesenbio, emphasizes the potential of this method to create a drug that not only halts but also repairs tissue damage and restores immune balance.
Mesenbio was founded by Professor Paul Genever and Dr. David Kuntin, based on their research at the University of York’s Biomedical Research Institute. The recent investment will facilitate the creation of three new roles, the development of pilot manufacturing processes, and the preparation for clinical trials. Professor Genever highlights a decade-long journey of developing this treatment method, which has shown success in laboratory tests and is now poised for human clinical trials.
DSW Ventures and NG Bio expressed enthusiasm about the potential of Mesenbio's technology in addressing arthritis. Mesenbio joins the DSW Ventures portfolio as the twelfth company and the first from its Seed EIS fund. The investors recognize the evolving nature of extracellular vesicle technology and its promise in treating arthritis, a condition affecting millions globally.
Topics: Biotech Companies