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IP Group investee Carisma Therapeutics closes $53m fundraising

IP Group investee Carisma Therapeutics closes $53m fundraising

IP Group investee Carisma Therapeutics closes $53m fundraising  

Carisma Therapeutics, a US-based investee company for LSE-listed IP Group (IPO), has closed a $53m series A fundraising. The financing was led by AbbVie Ventures, the corporate venture arm of the US pharmaceutical giant, and HealthCap, an EU VC investor, and included the existing seed investors, IP Group, Penn Medicine and Grazia Equity with Wellington Partners, TPG Biotech, MRL Ventures Fund and Agent Capital coming in as new investors.

IP Group, the UK-listed biotech/tech commercialisation group that last year merged with Touchstone  – the former Imperial Innovations – committed $8.5m of the round. The financing is tranched and subject to the achievement of milestones, with IPG investing $4.25m in the first tranche. IP Group’s shareholding in Carisma has not been disclosed, but is presumably ~15%.   

Carisma is developing a proprietary CAR-Macrophage technology that originated at the University of |Pennsylvania that combines antigen recognition with the effector function of macrophages for use in treating solid tumours. The therapeutic approach uses CAR technology to endow human macrophages with the ability to recognise specific targets and triggers macrophage phagocytic and antigen-presenting functions to attack cancer. Carisma anticipates its lead products to enter clinical development in 2019.

 IP Group has 73 portfolio companies in life sciences with a value at the last balance sheet date of £704.4m, accounting for 68% of the then overall portfolio value. IP Group’s largest single holding was the gene sequencing company, Oxford Nanopore, which was carried at a value of £274.1m (although the company has since completed a fundraising).   

 IP Group investee Carisma Therapeutics closes $53m fundraising  

 

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