Cabaletta Bio is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of engineered T cell therapies for B cell-mediated autoimmune diseases. Our proprietary technology utilizes chimeric autoantibody receptor, or CAAR, T cells that are designed to selectively bind and eliminate B cells that produce disease-causing autoantibodies (pathogenic B cells) while sparing normal B cells. Our lead CAAR T cell product candidate was designed based on chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR, T cell technology that has been successfully developed and is marketed for the treatment of B cell cancers. Our technology, in combination with our proprietary Cabaletta Approach for selective B cell Ablation platform, called our CABA platform, has applicability across more than two dozen B cell-mediated autoimmune diseases that we have identified, reviewed and prioritized. During the past two years, using our CABA platform, we have discovered and developed four product candidates, including our lead product candidate, in development to treat patients with mucosal pemphigus vulgaris, or mPV, and three additional product candidates that have demonstrated specific and selective target engagement in vitro. In order to accelerate product development for our lead program and to access a proven cell therapy manufacturing platform, we have entered into a collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania, or Penn. We hold multiple agreements with Penn to develop CAAR T cell therapies for the treatment of these diseases. Our goal is to leverage our team’s expertise in autoimmunity and engineered T cell therapy and our Penn collaboration to rapidly discover and develop our portfolio of CAAR T product candidates.
Mission, Vision & Values
Harness the immune system through innovative cell and gene therapies to deliver accessible cures for patients.
Develop and launch the first curative targeted cell therapy for autoimmune disease.
When we succeed we will be:
Champions to patients
Valued partners to physicians
Preferred collaborators to scientists and partners
Family to each other
Value added providers to payers
Trusted, transparent, and reliably providing a fair return to our investors
Prioritize the patient
Listen to the data
Serve the team
Improve every day
Pursue excellence and persevere
Be you and be courageous
Be vulnerable and inspire trust
Do the right thing
Scientific co-founders, Aimee Payne, M.D., Ph.D., and Michael Milone, M.D., Ph.D., began partnering at Penn in 2013 to combine Dr. Payne’s expertise in B cell-mediated autoimmune diseases with Dr. Milone’s deep and experienced insights into the design and implementation of CAR T products. Dr. Payne is a worldwide leader in characterizing B cell-mediated autoantibody repertoires in PV and other autoimmune diseases. Dr. Milone is a renowned scientist in CAR T therapy and was a co-inventor of and a key driver in the preclinical discovery and development efforts that yielded Kymriah, the first FDA-approved CAR T cell therapy for the treatment of B cell cancers. Dr. Payne’s laboratory surmised that by incorporating an antigen instead of an antibody fragment as the extracellular domain of the CAAR, specific pathogenic B cells could be targeted. This resulted in a collaboration between the two investigators to apply the scientific foundation of CAR T technology in B cell-mediated autoimmune diseases.
Steven Nichtberger, M.D., President, Chief Executive Officer, and Co-Founder, is an adjunct professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and has experience creating and building companies, including a novel cellular therapy company, which required transferring technology from an academic institution, establishing a research and development organization, hiring of manufacturing and quality teams, creating novel manufacturing processes, reaching agreement with the FDA on novel clinical development pathways and constructing a commercial-scale Good Manufacturing Practices, or GMP, facility that manufactured autologous cell therapy products for clinical trials. In 2017, based on over a year of interaction and strategic discussions regarding development of a commercial cell therapy product portfolio that could offer potentially curative treatment options to patients, Drs. Payne, Milone and Nichtberger decided to launch Cabaletta Bio.
Gwendolyn Binder, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Science and Technology, was an early member of the Translational Research Operations team at Penn for over five years and participated in the submission and acceptance of multiple INDs for novel engineered T cell therapy products. In partnership with Dr. Milone, the two collaborated along with other members of the team at Penn to drive the IND-enabling translational studies that facilitated the initial CAR T clinical trial in B cell cancers at Penn. Dr. Binder also built and led a clinical stage biotechnology company’s manufacturing operations and quality teams, including creation of a fully functioning commercial grade GMP facility. Dr. Binder also built the translational research program and ultimately led the company’s research organization.
Our name – Cabaletta – is derived from the operatic term for the second part of an aria that is designed to highlight the technical expertise of the lead singer. While our company is not the first to develop chimeric T cells as therapeutics, we are the first to develop them in a way that leverages the potential of T cells to specifically eliminate only B cells that cause autoimmune disease while sparing the healthy B cells. Because we stand on the shoulders of giants with the core technology, leveraging the work of our founding scientists, we also expect to advance our portfolio with a rapid and repetitive rhythm, similar to the rhythm that is typical of a cabaletta.