Caris­ma to lay off staff, drop clin­i­cal CAR-M pro­gram in fa­vor of sec­ond can­di­date

Caris­ma Ther­a­peu­tics dis­closed Mon­day that it is paus­ing de­vel­op­ment of two cell ther­a­py can­di­dates and plan­ning to cut its work­force by 37%.

As of the end of 2023, the biotech had 107 full-time em­ploy­ees. It now plans to lay off 39 staffers, “in­clud­ing cer­tain em­ploy­ees en­gaged in re­search and de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties and cer­tain fi­nance and cor­po­rate em­ploy­ees,” ac­cord­ing to an SEC fil­ing.

The biotech is putting two CAR-M pro­grams on hold: an an­ti-HER2 CAR-macrophage pro­gram dubbed CT-0508, as well as an an­ti-mesothe­lin CAR-mono­cyte can­di­date CT-1119. In an ear­ly clin­i­cal tri­al with 14 pa­tients who re­ceived CT-0508, the best re­sponse was sta­ble dis­ease, Caris­ma re­port­ed in Sep­tem­ber.

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