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Mesenbio Ltd.. (1/9/24). "Press Release: DSW Ventures and NG Bio Lead £1.4m Investment into University of York Spinout Mesenbio".

Organisations Organisation Mesenbio Ltd.
  Organisation 2 DSW Venture Capital LLP (d/b/a DSW Ventures)
  Group DSW Capital (Group) (Dow Schofield Watts)
Products Product stem cell therapy
  Product 2 venture capital
Index term Index term Mesenbio–SEVERAL: investment, 202401 seed financing round £1.4m co-led by DSW Ventures (with BBI) + NG Bio
Persons Person Kuntin, David A. (Mesenbio 202401 CEO + Co-Founder before Univ of York)
  Person 2 Quinn, Douglas (Doug) (DSW Ventures 202401 Partnerfomerly SkinBioTherapeutics 201704 CFO)

Mesenbio, a University of York spin-out that is developing a novel treatment for arthritis created from engineered human stem cells, has raised £1.4m in an investment round co-led by DSW Ventures and NG Bio alongside grant funding from Innovate UK.

The treatment will initially target rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that impacts nearly half a million adults and children in the UK alone, causing debilitating joint pain and inflammation of the hands, knees, elbows, ankles, and wrists. Current therapies can ease pain and inflammation but – unlike Mesenbio’s therapies - lack the combined actions of reducing inflammation and protecting the tissue from further damage.

Mesenbio has engineered immortalised mesenchymal stem cell lines to achieve superior consistency in extracellular vesicle production over current approaches using donor material. Moreover, the cell line is clonally selected and pure, giving rise to naturally bioactive vesicles with combined anti-inflammatory and pro-regenerative properties - perfectly suited for use as a regenerative therapy for arthritic disease. Preclinical data suggests positive therapeutic efficacy, with the company on track for collecting data for regulatory submission

Mesenbio was founded by Professor Paul Genever and Dr David Kuntin and based on their work at the University of York’s Biomedical Research Institute. The funding will enable them to create three new roles, develop pilot manufacturing processes, carry out pre-clinical studies and prepare the regulatory dossier in readiness for clinical trials.

Professor Genever said: “We have been developing this method of treatment for a decade now, with support from Versus Arthritis, and it has proved successful in laboratory tests, but the funding will allow us to move toward human clinical trials.

“Our research has focused on extracellular vesicles or EVs, which are nano-sized structures released from cells that have therapeutic properties. We have been able to engineer these structures from human stem cells to target its anti-inflammatory and tissue-regeneration capabilities, which is what you need to treat arthritis - the ability not only to take away the pain but also to repair the damage.”

Current uses of EVs rely on donor cells, but their effectiveness as a treatment can vary from patient to patient. Engineering human stem cells allows scientists to enhance the characteristics of EVs that are most significant to arthritis treatment and produce them at scale in the laboratory.

Dr David Kuntin, CEO of Mesenbio, said: “This method and its scalability makes it much more likely we can create a drug that can be administered via injection that can not only halt the damage to tissue, but repair tissue and return the immune system to homeostatic levels.

“We know this works in a laboratory setting and this new funding will allow us to get to human trials in a reasonable timescale, so that we can look to the future of what this new therapeutic might mean for clinicians and crucially patients of this debilitating condition.”

Mesenbio, which is based at the university, becomes the twelfth company to join the DSW Ventures portfolio, and the first from its recently-launched Seed EIS fund. Doug Quinn of DSW Ventures commented: “Extracellular vesicles is an evolving technology and with the promising data generated by the team at Mesenbio, this funding enables further progress towards a treatment for what is a debilitating condition for so many people.”

Jason Goldstein, co-founder at NG Bio, said: “This is an exciting time in the search for therapies that can address tissue damage resulting from arthritic conditions. Mesenbio’s technology is uniquely placed to address this problem and we look forward to supporting this talented team on the next step in their journey.”


About DSW Ventures

DSW Ventures, based in Manchester, is an early stage investor in high-growth technology businesses, supporting companies from startup through to series A and investing across the UK regions. DSW Ventures manages an SEIS fund with access to additional funds through its partnership with British Business Investments and its network of EIS investors. DSW Ventures is part of the Dow Schofield Watts Group, a quoted advisory and investment group, headquartered in Cheshire and with offices across the UK.

About NG Bio

NG Bio is an early-stage investor and venture builder specialising in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The company invests in therapeutics from spin-out through to Series A, working with scientific and academic founders, and universities to de-risk potentially life changing technologies.

About British Business Investments

Part of the funding delivered by DSW Ventures was delivered through its partnership in British Business Investments’ £100m Regional Angels Programme, designed to help reduce regional imbalances in access to early-stage equity finance for smaller businesses across the UK. British Business Investments is a commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank. Its role is to increase the overall supply and diversity of finance - both product and provider - on offer to UK smaller businesses. It does this while providing value for money for UK taxpayers. British Business Investments does not finance small businesses directly, but instead works with the market to provide funding through its delivery partners. These partners offer a range of funding options for small and high-growth businesses across sectors, regions and business stages.

About Versus Arthritis

Over 10 million people in the UK have arthritis. That’s one in six living with the pain, fatigue and disability it can cause. Many more live with arthritis but remain undiagnosed, untreated and unsupported. The impact of arthritis can be huge yet for a condition affecting so many, far too little is done. Versus Arthritis, together with researchers, healthcare professionals, policymakers, supporters and volunteers, won’t rest until everyone with arthritis has access to the treatments and support they need to live the life they choose, with real hope of a cure in the future.  Find out more at:

Record changed: 2024-01-31


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