Carisma Therapeutics Appoints Leading Solid Tumor Immunotherapy Expert Padmanee Sharma, MD, PhD to Scientific Advisory Board
Expansion of Scientific Advisory Board provides additional expertise in development capabilities
PHILADELPHIA – January 31, 2023 – Carisma Therapeutics Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing innovative immunotherapies, announced the appointment of Padmanee Sharma, MD, PhD to the company’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).
Dr. Sharma is a nationally regarded cancer immunologist and professor in the departments of Genitourinary Medical Oncology and Immunology, Associate VP of Immunobiology and the T.C. and Jeanette D. Hsu Endowed Chair in Cell Biology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She is a prominent immunologist and oncologist whose research is focused on investigating mechanisms and pathways within the immune system that facilitate tumor rejection or elicit resistance to immune checkpoint therapy.
The addition of Dr. Sharma to the company’s SAB comes as Carisma expands its proprietary targeted chimeric antigen receptor macrophages (CAR-M) in combination with other therapies, including the combination study of CT-0508, a human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) targeted CAR-M with Merck’s anti-PD1 therapy KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) for the treatment of HER2 overexpressing cancers. Pre-clinical data presented at the SITC Annual Meeting in November 2022 demonstrated that mice which received both therapies had improved tumor control, overall survival, and tumor microenvironment (TME) activation as compared to either treatment alone, indicating synergy and the capacity for CAR-M to sensitize solid tumors to checkpoint blockade.
“We believe Dr. Sharma’s scientific knowledge in immunotherapy will prove invaluable as we continue to advance CAR-M products through the clinic, including studies to evaluate the combination of CT-0508 and Keytruda.” said Steven Kelly, Carisma President and CEO.
CT-0508 is a human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) targeted chimeric antigen receptor macrophage (CAR-M). It is being evaluated in a landmark Phase 1 multi-center clinical trial that focuses on patients with recurrent or metastatic HER2-overexpressing solid tumors whose cancers do not have approved HER2-targeted therapies or who do not respond to treatment. We are selecting participants who have tumors of any anatomical origin, but with the commonality of overexpressing the HER2 receptor on the cell surface, which is the target for our CAR-M. The Phase 1 clinical trial is first-of-its-kind, marking the first time that engineered macrophages are being studied in humans. The trial continues to enroll patients at five U.S. sites, including Penn; the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill; City of Hope in Duarte, California; University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas; and Sarah Cannon Research Institute at Tennessee Oncology – Nashville.
About Carisma Therapeutics
Carisma Therapeutics Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing a differentiated and proprietary cell therapy platform focused on engineered macrophages, cells that play a crucial role in both the innate and adaptive immune response. The first applications of the platform, developed in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania*, are autologous chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-macrophages for the treatment of solid tumors. Carisma Therapeutics is headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. For more information, please visit carismatx.com.
*Carisma Therapeutics has licensed certain Penn-owned intellectual property from the University of Pennsylvania, and Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine receives sponsored research and clinical trial funding from the company. Penn may also be entitled to receive additional financial benefits from technologies licensed and optioned to Carisma Therapeutics in the future. In addition, Penn is a co-founder of the company and holds equity interests in Carisma Therapeutics.
Dr. Sharma receives compensation as a member of Carisma’s SAB, and this financial relationships has been disclosed to MD Anderson’s Conflict of Interest Committee in accordance with institutional policy.
Important Additional Information
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Source: Carisma Therapeutics