Sesen and Carisma Therapeutics to join forces

Sept. 22, 2022

Biotechs Sesen Bio and Carisma Therapeutics announced this week that the two would be entering a definitive merger to combine the companies in an all-stock transaction.

As a result of the newly announced marriage, the combined company — to operate as Carisma Therapeutics Inc. — will focus on the advancement of its cell therapy platform. Specifically, Carisma has been developing chimeric antigen receptor macrophage therapies, in which patients’ macrophages are reprogrammed and targeted against their cancer cells, with the potential for broader anti-tumor immunity.

The companies received wedding gifts from a syndicate of investors totaling $30 million in financing from companies like AbbVie, Penn Medicine, Merck & Co, and others. The combined company is expected to have a total of $180 million in cash, and marketable securities. 

Among the developmental milestones that the resulting company will be anticipating is the submission of an Investigational New Drug  Application for a new HER2 CAR-engineered monocyte cell product.