CARMA is our unique and proprietary cell therapy. This breakthrough platform in immuno-oncology seeks and destroys cancer cells. The CARMA platform is used to rapidly manufacture CAR therapies for a broad range of cancer indications, including solid tumors where existing CAR-T approaches face significant challenges.
CARMA offers the potential to deliver autologous cell therapies for patients against a range of cancers, significantly faster than viral-based CAR therapies. Based on animal studies, CARMA has the potential to deliver cell-therapy with less adverse events than traditional cell therapies.
Our first CARMA drug candidate is advancing toward clinical development in a solid tumor indication via a strategic collaboration with a top cancer institute. In 2016, we entered into a collaboration with the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, to develop CARMA drug candidates for blood cancers.
CARMA is a new and exciting therapeutic platform that uses non-expanded fresh T cells and other mononuclear immune cells to react to cancer cells. By generating large numbers of targeted immune cells and delivering them to cancer cells, animal studies have shown it is effective at killing specific targeted cancer cells, and appears to have the potential to be a safe and effective cell therapy against solid tumors.
The CARMA platform has the potential to overcome many of the challenges faced by other viral and non-viral CAR therapies, including reduction of toxicity, while adding the capability for use in solid tumor cancers.
CARMA is differentiated from traditional CAR therapy by its use of mRNA to engineer the immune cells that are delivered back into a patient. By utilizing transient expression via mRNA delivery, CARMA has been shown in preclinical studies to control the severe adverse side-effects seen in first-generation, viral-based CAR therapies. This allows for CAR immunotherapies to address a broader range of cancers than traditional CAR approaches. It also offers the potential to deliver precise therapies for patients significantly faster and without the complexity of virus-based CAR therapies that involve longer manufacturing time.
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