CAR Macrophages: Next Generation Immunotherapy
Pioneering approach to solid tumor immunotherapy based on CAR engineered macrophages
- Platform technology confers antigen-specific recognition to macrophages, creating novel cellular therapeutics, CAR-macrophages, with an initial focus in oncology;
- Patent protected technology developed at the University of Pennsylvania, a world-leading institution in cancer immunotherapy;
- Targeting an IND filing to begin initial human testing in solid tumors in 2019;
- Experienced biotechnology leadership supporting scientific founders.
Pre-clinical data support rapid translation into clinical testing
- Addressing and overcoming the challenging tumor microenvironment in solid tumors
- Reproducible and efficient CAR gene transfer into macrophages with specificity for defined tumor antigens
- CAR-macrophages are polarized to and locked into the anti-tumor M1 phenotype
- CAR-macrophages promote a broader anti-tumor immune response by activating T cells
- Targeting initiation of clinical testing in 2019
Recent technical advances have made genetic engineering of human immune cells for the treatment of cancer feasible. T cells engineered to express a tumor-recognizing receptor have shown outstanding success in some leukemia and other hematological malignancies. However, such results have not been successfully translated to solid tumors. This observation calls for a fresh look at solid tumor immunotherapy.
The CAR Macrophage platform applies powerful chimeric antigen receptor technology and adoptive cell transfer, two techniques with an established clinical track record in cancer therapy, to macrophages, cells known to infiltrate the solid tumor microenvironment. The CARMA Therapeutics technology plans to bring to the clinic a novel method to genetically manipulate human macrophages with high efficiency to achieve targeted anti-tumor function. Ample in vitro and in vivo data (animal models) demonstrate the ability of CAR-macrophages to traffic to solid tumors and to selectively eliminate tumor cells eradicating in vivo tumors in the models. The CAR Macrophage platform is the subject of broad intellectual property filings.