Proprietary

Macrophage Platform

Recent genetic engineering advances have made it possible to manipulate human immune cells for the treatment of cancer. T cells engineered to express a tumor-recognizing receptor have shown outstanding success in hematologic malignancies but such results have not been translated to solid tumors.

We believe that our approach can overcome the hurdles of cell therapy in the treatment of solid tumors by modulating the tumor microenvironment (TME) through using innate immune system cells, called macrophages, which are naturally drawn into solid tissues.

Unlike other immune cells, our CAR Macrophages combine a unique set of characteristics, which we believe are the key to success in solid tumor treatment: recruitment and access to the solid tumor TME, ability to survive in the hostile solid tumor milieu, maintenance of an anti-tumor phenotype in the presence of immunosuppressive factors, capacity to selectively destroy cancer cells, and activation of an adaptive immune response by presenting engulfed tumor material.

Problem

Cancer evades immune destruction

Our Solution

Chimeric Antigen Receptor Macrophage (CAR-M)

Problem

Immune cell trafficking

Tumors control which immune effector cells have access to their microenvironment.

Solution

Myeloid cell biology

Monocytes and macrophages are actively recruited to solid tumors.

Problem

Heterogeneity

Every cancer is unique. There is significant cell-to-cell heterogeneity within a tumor mass, allowing for the development of resistance to single-antigen targeted therapies.

Solution

Antigen presenting cell

Unlike other cell types utilized in CAR cell therapy, macrophages are professional antigen presenting cells, capable of leading to activation of the patient’s own adaptive immune system.

Thus, Carisma’s approach allows for therapeutic efficacy beyond the antigen target which the CAR is designed to engage.

Problem

Immunologically cold tumors

Leukocytes, such as T cells, are often prevented from penetrating the tumor tissue, leading to immunologically cold tumors that fail to respond to immune therapies.

Infiltrating immune cells are susceptible to potent immunosuppression.

Solution

Anti-tumor (M1) polarization

Carisma’s CAR macrophages are polarized toward an anti-tumor, or M1, macrophage phenotype, and upregulate genes that can enhance the activation/recruitment of immune cells (such as T cells).

Carisma’s CAR macrophages are restricted to an anti-tumor phenotype.

Problem

Tumor associated macrophages

Current macrophage-minded immuno-oncology approaches rely on the function of intratumoral, immunosuppressed tumor-associated macrophages.

Solution

Adoptive transfer of fine-tuned,
engineered macrophages

Carisma adoptively transfers genetically engineered CAR macrophages – active tumor-killing cells whose properties have been fine-tuned in the laboratory.

Our

Pipeline

Carisma Therapeutics is building a pipeline with an initial focus in oncology aiming to bring the power of cellular immunotherapy to the large number of solid tumor patients, in whom other approaches fail. We are actively seeking partnerships for the development of complementary therapeutic approaches to explore a broader set of indications and reach more patients.

Program
Discovery
Preclinical
Clinical

CT-0508 (Her-2)

Discovery
Preclinical
Clinical

CT-1119 (Undisclosed)

Discovery
Preclinical
Clinical

CT-0729 (Undisclosed)

Discovery
Preclinical
Clinical