Michael Klichinsky is the co-founder and chief scientific officer of Carisma Therapeutics, which is developing macrophage-based cell therapies for cancer.

mR­NA’s next trick? Re­pro­gram­ming off-the-shelf cell ther­a­pies for can­cer and au­toim­mune dis­eases

A hand­ful of biotechs, in­clud­ing Mod­er­na, are bet­ting that sim­ple in­fu­sions with mR­NA could su­per­charge im­mune cells to fight can­cer and oth­er dis­eases in what would be a fresh take on CAR-T cell ther­a­pies.

In­stead of col­lect­ing a pa­tient’s im­mune cells, en­gi­neer­ing them in the lab, and re­in­fus­ing them — an in­ten­sive process that re­quires chemother­a­py and comes with an ar­ray of side ef­fects — these com­pa­nies hope they can use mR­NA to sim­pli­fy the process while de­liv­er­ing the same ben­e­fits of cur­rent cell ther­a­pies.

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