- CT-0525 is the first CAR-Monocyte to be evaluated in humans in the solid tumor setting
- First patient expected to be treated in the first half of 2024
Carisma Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: CARM) (“Carisma” or the “Company”), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing innovative immunotherapies, today announced the clearance of its Investigational New Drug application (IND) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for CT-0525, an ex vivo gene-modified autologous chimeric antigen receptor-monocyte (CAR-Monocyte) cellular therapy intended to treat solid tumors that overexpress human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Having received a Study May Proceed notification from the FDA, Carisma expects to initiate a Phase 1 study in the coming months and to treat the first patient in the first half of 2024.
“Clearance of the IND for CT-0525 is a significant milestone in Carisma’s mission to develop innovative myeloid cell therapies for metastatic solid tumors,” said Steven Kelly, President and Chief Executive Officer of Carisma. “Through this Phase 1 study, we aim to advance our understanding of safety, tolerability, manufacturing feasibility and mechanism of action of CT-0525.”
Monocytes are the precursor cells to macrophages, and there are numerous potential benefits to a CAR-Monocyte approach to help overcome certain challenges of treating solid tumors. The CAR-Monocyte manufacturing platform enables the ability to manufacture up to 10 billion cells from a single apheresis and utilizes a rapid, single-day manufacturing process. This manufacturing process holds the potential to significantly reduce the future cost of goods and manufacturing turnaround time associated with this autologous cell therapy. Pre-clinical data presented at The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s Annual Meeting in November 2022 demonstrate that CT-0525 therapy reduced tumor growth in multiple pre-clinical solid tumor models.
“CT-0525 is the first CAR-Monocyte to be evaluated in the solid tumor setting. With a CAR-Monocyte’s in vivo persistence, ability to differentiate into pro-inflammatory CAR macrophages, and multi-modal anti-tumor mechanism of action, along with its high cell yield, CT-0525 has the potential to improve the treatment paradigm for patients with HER2 overexpressing metastatic solid tumors,” said Michael Klichinsky, PharmD, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Carisma. “We look forward to the clinical development of CT-0525.”
The Phase 1 study for CT-0525 is designed to assess the safety, tolerability, and the manufacturing feasibility of CT-0525. This study will enroll participants with locally advanced (unresectable) or metastatic solid tumors overexpressing HER2 whose disease has progressed on standard approved therapies. The study will consist of two cohorts: Cohort 1 will receive IV administration of up to 3 billion CAR-positive cells, while Cohort 2 will receive IV administration of CT-0525 of up to 10 billion CAR-positive cells.
CT-0525 is an ex vivo gene-modified autologous chimeric antigen receptor-monocyte (CAR-Monocyte) cellular therapy intended to treat solid tumors that overexpress human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). The CAR-Monocyte approach has the potential to address the challenges of treating solid tumors with cell therapies, including tumor infiltration, immunosuppression within the tumor microenvironment, and antigen heterogeneity.
Carisma Therapeutics Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on utilizing our proprietary macrophage and monocyte cell engineering platform to develop transformative immunotherapies to treat cancer and other serious diseases. We have created a comprehensive, differentiated proprietary cell therapy platform focused on engineered macrophages and monocytes, cells that play a crucial role in both the innate and adaptive immune response. Carisma is headquartered in Philadelphia, PA.
PackGene is a CRO & CDMO technology company that specializes in packaging recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors. Since its establishment in 2014, PackGene has been a leader in the AAV vector CRO service field, providing tens of thousands of custom batches of AAV samples to customers in over 20 countries. PackGene offers a one-stop CMC solution for the early development, pre-clinical development, clinical trials, and drug approval of rAAV vector drugs for cell and gene therapy (CGT) companies that is fast, cost-effective, high-quality, and scalable. Additionally, the company provides compliant services for the GMP-scale production of AAVs and plasmids for pharmaceutical companies, utilizing five technology platforms, including the π-Alpha 293 cell AAV high-yield platform and the π-Omega plasmid high-yield platform. PackGene's mission is to make gene therapy affordable and accelerate the launch of innovative gene drugs. The company aims to simplify the challenging aspects of gene therapy development and industrialization processes and provide stable, efficient, and economical rAAV Fast Services to accelerate gene and cell therapy development efforts from discovery phase to commercialization.
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