4BIO Capital Portfolio Company Carisma to Collaborate with Moderna
LONDON & BOSTON – 4BIO Capital (“4BIO” or “the Group”), an international venture capital firm focused solely on the advanced therapies sector, today announces that its portfolio company Carisma Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical pioneer in engineered macrophage-based therapeutics, has entered into a strategic collaboration with Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA), a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines. The agreement will see the two companies collaborate to discover, develop and commercialize in vivo engineered chimeric antigen receptor monocyte (CAR-M) therapeutics for the treatment of cancer.
Under the terms of the agreement, Carisma will receive a $45 million up-front cash payment and an investment by Moderna in the form of a $35 million convertible note. Carisma will receive research funding and is eligible to receive development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments, plus royalties on net sales of any products that are commercialized under the agreement. Carisma will be responsible for the discovery and optimization of development candidates while Moderna will lead the clinical development and commercialization of therapeutics resulting from the agreement. Moderna has the option to nominate up to twelve targets for development and commercialization.
Dima Kuzmin, Managing Partner at 4BIO Capital, commented: “We have been convinced right from the start of the transformative potential of Carisma’s exciting proprietary engineered macrophage platform in oncology, especially in solid tumours. We are delighted to see this further validated by the collaboration with Moderna and its investment in the company. We look forward to seeing the further expansion of Carisma’s pipeline with the support of Moderna’s core mRNA and LNP capabilities.”
Steven Kelly, President and Chief Executive Officer of Carisma, said: “Moderna’s deep expertise in mRNA and LNP technologies opens up a potentially game-changing opportunity for engineered macrophages. In vivo delivery directly to monocytes and macrophages enables an off-the-shelf therapeutic approach that uses the patients’ own cells to provide a truly personalized treatment. By combining Carisma’s expertise in engineered macrophage biology and Moderna’s pioneering in vivo mRNA delivery technologies, we are excited about the potential of this novel therapeutic approach for treating cancer. We are thrilled to be working with Moderna.”
Stephen Hoge, President of Moderna, said: “We are excited to begin this collaboration with Carisma to further expand our oncology pipeline with a differentiated in vivo cell-therapy approach,” said. “This exemplifies our strategy to partner with companies with deep biological expertise while leveraging Moderna’s core mRNA and LNP capabilities to further expand the reach of Moderna’s technology.”