In a move to boost its natural killer candidates, Senti Bio will build out its own San Francisco manufacturing facility
Silicon Valley synthetic biology player and Roche collaborator Senti Bio has been hush-hush about much of its science since it was founded in 2016, but the company made noise Tuesday when it announced it signed a lease agreement to build out a commercial-scale manufacturing facility in Alameda, CA.
The 92,000 square-foot facility will be built with the goal of providing clinical- and commercial-scale manufacturing for off-the-shelf CAR natural killer cell candidates. The site will support clinical trials for SENTI-202 for acute myeloid leukemia and SENTI-301 for hepatocellular carcinoma. In-house manufacturing will help Senti maintain control over supply and quality, and is being designed to provide end-to-end manufacturing, as well as storage for the final product, the company said.
“If our clinical programs are successful, we believe this facility could support the manufacturing of multiple future product candidates at both clinical and commercial scale,” CTO and co-founder Philip Lee said in a statement. “Within this facility, we envision bringing together the latest technologies and exceptional manufacturing talent. We look forward to pursuing our goal of creating allogeneic cell therapies that can be manufactured from healthy donor cells in advance of clinical use, and then stored in frozen vials to be delivered rapidly to patients in an off-the-shelf manner.”
Senti Bio signed a collaboration with BlueRock in May to develop molecular sensors and dials the company can program into cell therapies. The company has yet to disclose any more of its programs yet, except to say the diseases and cell types fall under the category of immunology, neurology and cardiology.
Senti has demonstrated one of its approaches to cancer through logic-gating, however. Scientists equip a T cell with a receptor for a protein expressed on both tumors and healthy tissues. When the cell sees that protein, it doesn’t attack, like a standard CAR-T, but activates a second receptor and only attacks if that receptor finds its target.
In April, Senti inked a $645 million discovery alliance with Spark Therapeutics, a Roche subsidiary, to use its synthetic gene circuit tech in new programs aimed at the CNS, eye and liver.
Social: Tim Lu, Senti Bio CEO (Broad Institute via YouTube)