By Wayne Koberstein, Executive Editor, Life Science Leader magazine
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Dialing M for Macrophage in CAR-M
Carisma Therapeutics is a private company developing CAR-M (chimeric antigen receptor macrophage) as an alternative to CAR-T (CAR-T cell) and potential treatment for solid tumors rather than just liquid cancers. Both technologies are forms of adoptive cell transfer — typically extracting the patient’s own immune cells, reprogramming them to kill cancer cells in the patient, and replacing them in the same patient to fight the cancer. CAR-M uses macrophages, which enlist the innate immune system and may overcome some of the protective barriers in the tumor microenvironment. Carisma has three agents in its pipeline, one in a Phase 1 trial, two in preclinical research.