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Novartis, Moderna Partner Agrees To Merge With Beleaguered Sesen Bio

  • Sesen Bio Inc (NASDAQ: SESN) and privately held Carisma Therapeutics Inc have entered into a merger agreement to combine the companies in an all-stock transaction.

  • The combined company will operate under the Carisma Therapeutics moniker under the "CARM symbol" and is expected to have approximately $180 million of cash and cash equivalents, including $30 million from concurrent financing by Carisma, which is expected to fund the company through 2024.

  • Sesen Bio suffered FDA rejection for its lead product Vicineum, for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. In July, Sesen stopped developing the product and started looking for alternatives.

  • Carisma recently entered into a strategic partnership with Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) for in vivo CAR-M therapies for up to 12 targets for cancer.

  • Carisma received a $45 million up-front cash payment and an investment by Moderna in the form of a $35 million convertible note.

  • Under the collaboration, Carisma will receive full research funding and is eligible to receive milestone payments plus sales royalties.

  • Carisma has also partnered with Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) to operate as Carisma's contract manufacturing organization for the clinical supply of its lead clinical program, CT-0508.

  • Price Action: SESN shares are down 39.20% at $0.41 on the last check Wednesday.

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