NovartisNovartis (NYSE:NVS) has inked a deal with the biopharma Carisma Therapeutics focused on the production of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-targeted chimeric antigen receptor macrophages (CAR-M) to potentially treat solid tumors.

Carisma is headquartered in Philadelphia.

As part of the deal, Carisma will shift manufacturing to a Novartis cell therapy site in Morris Plains, New Jersey.

Novartis anticipates clinical manufacturing to begin in 2023.

Novartis has worked to expand its contract manufacturing business. Last year, the company announced that it had an agreement with BioNTech (Nasdaq:BNTX) to fill COVID-19 vaccine vials in Europe.

Novartis has also helped Roche (SWX:ROG) manufacture the arthritis drug Actemra.

In 2017, Novartis became the first company to win FDA approval for a gene therapy with the authorization of Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) for some pediatric and young adult patients with a form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Carisma Therapeutics’ CAR-M cell therapy was developed in collaboration with researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.