CARMA Therapeutics Inc., a biotechnology company developing cellular immunotherapies, co-founded by the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), announced today that it has closed an initial financing. The financing was co-led by AbbVie Ventures and HealthCap with participation by Grazia Equity and IP Group Inc. CARMA Therapeutics is building a pipeline of cancer programs using its proprietary CARMA platform, combining chimeric antigen receptor targeting with macrophages to tackle solid tumors. The proceeds will be used primarily to advance the development of its first product, CARMA-0508, an adoptive cellular immunotherapy using chimeric antigen receptor macrophages (CARMA) for the treatment of metastatic solid tumors. Specific terms of the financing transaction were not disclosed.
Earlier this month, the University of Pennsylvania’s Saar Gill turned up at ASCO to present new data demonstrating that a combination of Imbruvica with Novartis’ next-gen CAR-T CTL119 proved very effective in treating particularly lethal cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, wiping out all signs of the disease in 8 of 9 treatment-resistant patients enrolled in an exploratory study.