NEW YORK – Carisma Therapeutics said on Monday that it has, for the second time, closed a Series B equity financing round, bringing its total proceeds raised in the round to $59 million, which it will use to advance its macrophage-based cell therapy pipeline.
After this second closing, the Philadelphia-based firm raised an additional $12 million on top of the $47 million it had raised after the first closing in early January. This time, Carisma's founding investors, IP Group and Penn Medicine, participated, as did a new investor, 4BIO Capital. Back in January, the participating investors also included Symbiosis II, Solasta Ventures, Livzon Pharmaceutical Group, AbbVie Ventures, HealthCap, Wellington Partners, TPG Biotech, Agent Capital, and MRL Ventures Fund. To date, Carisma has raised nearly $121 million.
The company plans to use the proceeds to advance its lead candidate, CT-0508, a HER2-targeted CAR macrophage therapy that is currently being evaluated in a Phase I clinical trial for patients with solid tumors that overexpress HER2. The primary aims of the first-in-human clinical trial, which will enroll roughly 18 patients at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of North Carolina, are to establish the safety of the autologous therapy and the feasibility of manufacturing the product. Researchers will also track patients' objective response rates and progression-free survival as secondary endpoints.
Beyond CT-0508, Carisma plans to expand its therapeutic pipeline into additional indications, both within and beyond oncology, and further advance its engineered macrophage platform, which it developed in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania.
"With our lead candidate, CT-0508, now officially in Phase I clinical trials, this additional funding puts Carisma in an even stronger position in the field of immunotherapy as we advance our mission of evaluating the potential of engineered macrophages," Steven Kelly, Carisma's president and CEO, said in a statement.