Carisma’s CAR-M Steals Spotlight Among 42 Bidders to Reverse Merge With Sesen Bio

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Sesen Bio’s decade-plus jour­ney is over af­ter fail­ing to se­cure a blad­der can­cer drug ap­proval and carve its own path for IL-6 an­ti­bod­ies. The Cam­bridge, MA com­pa­ny’s spot on Nas­daq will serve as the new home for Caris­ma Ther­a­peu­tics, which is at­tempt­ing to ush­er in a new CAR cell ther­a­py in the world of macrophages and mono­cytes.
The two are ex­e­cut­ing an all-stock re­verse merg­er, with the fu­ture rest­ing sole­ly on Caris­ma’s line­up of ther­a­pies, in­clud­ing a Phase I as­set that had some lim­it­ed da­ta pre­sent­ed at AS­CO in June. The Philadel­phia start­up will be­gin trad­ing un­der the apt­ly sym­bol­ed tick­er $CARM in three to four months, the com­pa­nies said Wednes­day morn­ing.

Sesen Bio and Carisma Therapeutics Announce Merger Agreement

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Sesen Bio, Inc. (Nasdaq: SESN) and Carisma Therapeutics Inc. (Carisma), a privately held, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing innovative immunotherapies, announced today that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement to combine the companies in an all-stock transaction. The combined company will focus on the advancement of Carisma’s proprietary cell therapy platform that utilizes engineered macrophages and monocytes to potentially transform the treatment of cancer and other serious disorders. Carisma is pioneering the development of chimeric antigen receptor macrophage (CAR-M) therapies and is believed to be the only company developing CAR-M therapies with demonstrated proof of mechanism and safety data in clinical trials. The combined company is expected to operate under the name Carisma Therapeutics Inc. and trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “CARM”.

Philly Life Science Companies Bring Home the Gold at PACT’s 29th Annual Enterprise Awards

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After yet another year with COVID-19, the Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technology (PACT) knew Philly entrepreneurs needed a reason to celebrate, IRL.
PACT gathers industry leaders, growing companies and local institutions each year for its Enterprise Awards celebrating innovators in the tech and life sciences community. 2021’s event was the first back after a pandemic hiatus and honored investor and serial entrepreneur Josh Kopelman with a Legend Award.
This year, for its 29th edition, PACT convened folks at the Springfield Country Club in Delaware County on Tuesday, May 24, to honor 27 people and organizations. Though there was no Legend Award this time around, nine companies and people took home awards.

Carisma Therapeutics Announces Appointment Of Michael Klichinsky, PharmD, PhD, As Chief Scientific Officer

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Carisma Therapeutics Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing innovative immunotherapies, has appointed Michael Klichinsky, PharmD, PhD, to the role of Chief Scientific Officer. Klichinsky co-founded the company in 2016 following his foundational work at the University of Pennsylvania that led to the development of Carisma’s chimeric antigen receptor macrophage (CAR-M) technology.

Carisma Therapeutics to Present Engineered Cell Therapy Data at The American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting

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Carisma Therapeutics Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing innovative immunotherapies, announced study findings accepted for presentation at The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting taking place in New Orleans, LA, Friday, April 8 – Wednesday, April 13. The accepted data reinforce the potential of Carisma’s differentiated and proprietary cell therapy platform focused on engineered macrophages as a novel treatment pathway for hard-to-treat cancers and other serious illnesses and provides information on the feasibility of a shortened manufacturing process for chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) monocytes.

Moderna and Carisma Establish Collaboration to Develop in vivo Engineered Chimeric Antigen Receptor Monocytes (CAR-M) for Oncology

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Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA), a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, and Carisma Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical pioneer in engineered macrophage-based therapeutics, today announced that the two companies have entered into a strategic collaboration agreement to discover, develop and commercialize in vivo engineered chimeric antigen receptor monocyte (CAR-M) therapeutics for the treatment of cancer.

“There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills!” – VC Funding Floods BioHealth Capital Region in 2021

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In the third quarter of 2021 alone, more than $400 million of private capital was invested in Maryland businesses. The money went to more than 34 different companies, according to data compiled by PitchBook. The deals brought the state to about $1.6 billion in funding for the first three-fourths of the year and placed Maryland on track to bring in about $2 billion worth of VC funding for the year. That was a significant jump over 2020, when Maryland saw about $1.26 billion in VC funding. For the industry at large in 2020, VC activity in biotechs grew by 45% to $36.6 billion.

Carisma Therapeutics Announces Collaboration with Merck to Evaluate CAR-Macrophages in Combination with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) in a Clinical Study

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Carisma Therapeutics Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing innovative immunotherapies, announced today that it has entered into a clinical study collaboration with Merck (known as MSD outside the US and Canada) to evaluate their proprietary targeted chimeric antigen receptor macrophages (CAR-M) in combination with Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) for the treatment of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) overexpressing cancers.

Regional Collaborations Emerge to Address the Biomanufacturing Workforce Crisis

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We have been covering the biomanufacturing workforce at length this year because it remains one of the most important topics for companies in today’s near full-employment job market.