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CARISMA Therapeutics Enters Into Scientific Research and Licensing Agreement With NYU Langone Health, Gains Exclusive Rights to Vpx Lentiviral Vector

PHILADELPHIAAug. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — CARISMA Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing innovative immunotherapies, today announced it has entered into a scientific research and licensing agreement with Nathaniel R. Landau, PhD and NYU Langone Health through which CARISMA will attain exclusive rights to develop and commercialize their Vpx lentiviral vector globally for all indications. The Vpx lentiviral and CARISMA’s Ad5f35 vectors are the only two vectors known to be effective in engineering macrophages, a pivotal aspect of CARISMA’s approach.

The Vpx lentiviral vector, which is proven to be highly effective at transducing human monocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells, will broaden the utility of the CARISMA-engineered monocyte and macrophage platforms by enabling integration of transgenes for long-term, durable expression.

“CARISMA is committed to pursuing science and partnerships that will build upon and enhance our macrophage technology,” said Steven Kelly, President and Chief Executive Officer at CARISMA Therapeutics. “This exciting collaboration with NYU Langone Health and Dr. Landau advances CARISMA’s position as the leader in the engineered macrophage space and equips us with additional tools to further unlock the power and potential of the macrophage.”

The announcement follows the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance of an investigational new drug (IND) application for CARISMA’s lead product candidate, CT-0508, an anti-human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) targeted chimeric antigen receptor macrophage (CAR-M). Under this IND, CARISMA intends to initiate its Phase 1, first-in-human, multi-center study in patients with recurrent or metastatic HER2 overexpressing solid tumors after failure of approved HER2 targeted agents later this year.

“We are excited to collaborate with CARISMA on this project. We believe that that the Company’s commitment to immunotherapy and its achievements to date in macrophage engineering will bring important advances in the treatment of cancer,” said Dr. Landau, a Professor in the Department of Microbiology at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the inventor of the Vpx lentiviral vector. “The collaboration will advance the field of cancer immunotherapy and bring new understanding of how to engineer macrophages for therapeutic purposes.”

About CARISMA Therapeutics Inc.

CARISMA Therapeutics Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company 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.

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Media Contact:  
Christina Khoury-Folkens