Development Candidate targets Glypican-3 for the treatment of solid tumors, including hepatocellular carcinoma

Nomination triggers a $2 million milestone payment to Carisma

PHILADELPHIA, PA, USA I June 27, 2024 I Carisma Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: CARM) (“Carisma” or the “Company”), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing innovative immunotherapies, today announced the nomination of the first development candidate (“Development Candidate”), under its collaboration with Moderna, Inc. The Development Candidate is an in vivo CAR-M targeting Glypican-3 (“GPC3”) and is designed to treat solid tumors, including hepatocellular carcinoma (“HCC”), the most prevalent type of liver cancer and the fastest-rising cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. This nomination triggers a $2 million milestone payment to Carisma.

The nomination of this Development Candidate leverages Carisma’s expertise in engineering chimeric antigen receptor monocytes and macrophages (“CAR-M”) with Moderna’s mRNA and lipid nanoparticle platform to create a novel in vivo cell therapy for oncology. Pre-clinical data demonstrated that the Development Candidate can successfully create CAR-M directly in vivo, redirecting endogenous myeloid cells to attack cancer cells.

“The nomination of the first Development Candidate underscores our productive collaboration with Moderna to develop mRNA-based in vivo CAR-M cell therapies,” said Michael Klichinsky, PharmD, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Carisma. “The Development Candidate targets GPC3, a tumor antigen that is highly expressed in HCC. This milestone represents a significant step forward in the development of immunotherapies for solid tumors, and an advance for the in vivo cell therapy field.”

Lin Guey, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Therapeutics Research Ventures and Biotherapeutics at Moderna, stated, “We are thrilled with the significant progress we’ve made in advancing in vivo CAR-M therapies alongside Carisma. We eagerly anticipate further development of the nominated candidate for patients with solid tumors, and we look forward to continued success as we develop additional in vivo CAR-M together to bring new therapies to patients with HCC and other cancers.”

The in vivo CAR-M program targeting GPC3 is being developed under the 2022 strategic collaboration agreement between Carisma and Moderna to discover, develop, and commercialize in vivo engineered CAR-M therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. In addition to this program, Moderna has nominated four undisclosed oncology research targets under the collaboration. Carisma is responsible for the discovery and optimization of development candidates, while Moderna will lead the development and commercialization of resulting therapeutics.

About Carisma Therapeutics

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. For more information, please visit

SOURCE: Carisma Therapeutics