NEW YORK – Philadelphia-based Carisma Therapeutics on Thursday said it has completed a Series B equity financing round, in which it raised $47 million in gross proceeds that it will us to advance its macrophage-based cell therapy pipeline and discovery programs.
The funding round was led by Symbiosis II and included the participation of new investors Solasta Ventures and Livzon Pharmaceutical Group, as well as existing investors AbbVie Ventures, HealthCap, Wellington Partners, IP Group, TPG Biotech, Agent Capital, and MRL Ventures Fund.
The latest funding round brings the total capital raised by Carisma to nearly $109 million. The company will specifically put the raised funds toward a Phase I clinical trial of its lead product, CT-0508, a HER2-targeted CAR macrophage therapy, which recently began enrolling patients at the University of Pennsylvania and University of North Carolina. Carisma will also use the money to advance its proprietary engineered-macrophage platform, expand treatments into new indications in cancer and other diseases.
Carisma is aiming to become the first company to develop a CAR macrophage-based treatment for solid tumors. Its proprietary CAR macrophage platform was developed at the University of Pennsylvania and is designed to address difficulties with other cell therapies, such as limitations to trafficking to the tumor site, immunosuppressive tumor microenvironments, and the diversity of expressed tumor-associated antigens.
"This will be the first time an engineered macrophage will be used in a clinical trial, and we are looking forward to further evaluation of its potential impact on patients," Michael Klichinsky, scientific co-founder and VP of discovery at Carisma, said in a statement.