CARsgen Collaborates with Moderna to Evaluate CT041 in Combination with an mRNA Cancer Vaccine
Aug 21, 2023

SHANGHAI, China and CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, August 21, 2023, CARsgen Therapeutics Holdings Limited (Stock Code: 2171.HK), a company focused on innovative CAR T-cell therapies for the treatment of hematologic malignancies and solid tumors, announces that CARsgen and Moderna, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNA) have initiated a collaboration agreement to investigate CARsgen's investigational Claudin18.2 CAR T-cell product candidate (CT041) in combination with Moderna’s investigational Claudin18.2 mRNA cancer vaccine.


CT041 (satricabtagene autoleucel), is CARsgen's autologous CAR T-cell product being investigated for the potential treatment of gastric, pancreatic, and other specified digestive system cancers and is currently in multiple ongoing clinical studies in China and North America. Moderna is developing an investigational off-the-shelf mRNA cancer vaccine that encodes for the Claudin18.2 protein, a tumor associated antigen. The collaboration contemplates conducting preclinical studies and a phase I clinical trial to evaluate CT041 in combination with Moderna’s Claudin18.2 mRNA cancer vaccine.


"CT041 is the most advanced solid tumor CAR-T in development (pivotal phase II) and continues to show promise in treating gastric and pancreatic cancers. In our quest to make cancer curable, we are continuously exploring multiple modalities to eradicate tumors. Attacking tumors with CAR T-cell therapy in combination with a cancer vaccine could potentially provide greater clinical benefit to patients." said Dr. Zonghai Li, Founder, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Scientific Officer of CARsgen Therapeutics Holdings Limited. Dr. Li further added, "Moderna has clearly established themselves as a scientific and commercial leader in the field of mRNA-based vaccines and therapeutics, and we are pleased to partner with Moderna to explore a potential synergism between our innovative therapies."


“We are pleased to partner with CARsgen to explore the potential synergy of CAR-T with an investigational mRNA cancer vaccine that encodes for the Claudin18.2 protein. Claudin18.2 is a promising therapeutic target to potentially treat multiple cancer types with high unmet medical need. We continue to deliver on the promise of mRNA science to create a new generation of transformative medicines in oncology,” said Dr. Lin Guey, Chief Scientific Officer of External Research Ventures, Moderna.


About CT041

CT041 is an autologous CAR T-cell product candidate against the protein Claudin18.2 that has the potential to be the first-in-class globally. CT041 targets the treatment of Claudin18.2 positive solid tumors with a primary focus on GC/GEJ and PC. Trials in CARsgen include investigator-initiated trials (NCT03874897), a Phase Ib clinical trial for advanced GC/GEJ and PC and a confirmatory Phase II clinical trial for advanced GC/GEJ in China (CT041-ST-01, NCT04581473), a Phase I clinical trial for PC adjuvant therapy in China (CT041-ST-05, NCT05911217), and a Phase 1b/2 clinical trial for advanced gastric or pancreatic adenocarcinoma in North America (CT041-ST-02, NCT04404595). CT041 was granted Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (RMAT) Designation by U.S. FDA for the treatment of advanced GC/GEJ with Claudin18.2-positive tumors in January 2022 and was granted PRIME eligibility by the EMA for the treatment of advanced gastric cancer in November 2021. CT041 received Orphan Drug designation from the U.S. FDA in 2020 for the treatment of GC/GEJ and Orphan Medicinal Product designation from the EMA in 2021 for the treatment of advanced gastric cancer.


About CARsgen Therapeutics Holdings Limited

CARsgen is a biopharmaceutical company with operations in China and the U.S. and is focused on innovative CAR T-cell therapies for the treatment of hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. CARsgen has established a comprehensive CAR T-cell research and development platform, encompassing target discovery, innovative CAR T-cell development, clinical trials, and commercial-scale production. CARsgen has internally developed novel technologies and a product pipeline with global rights to address major challenges of CAR T-cell therapies, such as improving the safety profile, enhancing the efficacy in treating solid tumors, and reducing treatment costs. CARsgen’s vision is to become a global biopharmaceutical leader that brings innovative and differentiated cell therapies to cancer patients worldwide and makes cancer curable.


About Moderna

In over 10 years since its inception, Moderna has transformed from a research-stage company advancing programs in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA), to an enterprise with a diverse clinical portfolio of vaccines and therapeutics across seven modalities, a broad intellectual property portfolio and integrated manufacturing facilities that allow for rapid clinical and commercial production at scale. Moderna maintains alliances with a broad range of domestic and overseas government and commercial collaborators, which has allowed for the pursuit of both groundbreaking science and rapid scaling of manufacturing. Most recently, Moderna’s capabilities have come together to allow the authorized use and approval of one of the earliest and most effective vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic.


Moderna’s mRNA platform builds on continuous advances in basic and applied mRNA science, delivery technology and manufacturing, and has allowed the development of therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, cardiovascular diseases and auto-immune diseases. Moderna has been named a top biopharmaceutical employer by Science for the past eight years. To learn more, visit


CARsgen Forward-Looking Statements

All statements in this press release that are not historical fact or that do not relate to present facts or current conditions are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements express the Group’s current views, projections, beliefs and expectations with respect to future events as of the date of this press release. Such forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions and factors beyond the Group’s control. As a result, they are subject to significant risks and uncertainties, and actual events or results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements and the forward-looking events discussed in this press release might not occur. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those detailed under the heading “Principal Risks and Uncertainties” in our most recent annual report and interim report and other announcements and reports made available on our corporate website, No representation or warranty is given as to the achievement or reasonableness of, and no reliance should be placed on, any projections, targets, estimates or forecasts contained in this press release.


Moderna Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including regarding: Moderna’s development of an investigational off-the-shelf mRNA cancer vaccine that encodes for the Claudin 18.2 protein and Moderna’s collaboration with CARsgen to evaluate CT041 in combination with an mRNA cancer vaccine. These risks, uncertainties, and other factors include those other risks and uncertainties described under the heading “Risk Factors” in Moderna’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and in subsequent filings made by Moderna with the SEC, which are available on the SEC’s website at Except as required by law, Moderna disclaims any intention or responsibility for updating or revising any forward-looking statements contained in this press release in the event of new information, future developments or otherwise. These forward-looking statements are based on Moderna’s current expectations and speak only as of the date of this press release.


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Luke Mircea-Willats

Senior Director, International Communications



Lavina Talukdar

Senior Vice President & Head of Investor Relations