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Philadelphia-based Carisma Therapeutics has raised $53 million in series A financing to develop new cancer cell therapies based on research from University of Pennsylvania scientists. Unlike the two commercial CAR-T cancer cell therapies, which use engineered T cells, Carisma’s therapy uses macrophages, a different kind of immune cell that eats other cells through phagocytosis. By adding chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) proteins, Carisma hopes to create macrophages that will chow down on cancer. AbbVie Ventures and HealthCap led the funding.
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