The first applications of the Carisma platform, developed in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania, are chimeric antigen receptors (CAR)-autologous macrophages for the treatment of solid tumors.
The Swiss pharmaceutical giant will produce the Philadelphia-based company’s HER 2-targeted CAR-Macrophage (CAR-M) cell therapy, which is expected to start clinical manufacturing in 2023.
The manufacturing process for Carisma will move to Novartis’ cell therapy site in Morris Plains, USA in the coming days.
Carisma is developing CT-0508 to target HER2-positive solid tumors. While its expression in normal tissues is low, HER2 is highly expressed in a wide range of solid tumors and plays an active role in both malignant transformation and tumor aggressiveness by promoting proliferation, invasion and metastasis. cancer cells.
CT-0508 is a chimeric antigen receptor macrophage targeted by human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) (CAR-Macrophage).
Modified macrophages are cells that play crucial roles in the innate and adaptive immune response, Carisma said.
Unlike other cell types used in CAR cell therapy, macrophages are professional antigen-presenting cells, capable of driving the activation of the patient’s adaptive immune system, he added.
The developer explained how, in preclinical studies, CAR-Macrophage cell therapies have demonstrated the ability to enter the tumor, phagocytose and kill cancer cells, warm the tumor microenvironment, and attract and activate cells of the system. adaptive immune system, providing a long-lasting attack against cancer.
The agreement follows several contract manufacturing agreements that Novartis signed last year, such as the combination with BioNTech, for the filling of its COVID-19 vaccine at Novartis technical operations sites in Stein, Switzerland. , and in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
“As one of the world’s largest drug producers, Novartis can leverage its manufacturing capacity effectively on multiple fronts,” commented Anton Gerdenitsch, Contract Manufacturing Organization Manager, Novartis Technical Operations.
Novartis will provide manufacturing services to other companies involved in the development of various treatments, such as mRNA-based products, among others. “Further details will be disclosed when the agreements are finalized.