Senti Bio Awarded Funding from National Cancer Institute (NCI) to Support Development of Logic Gated Allogeneic CAR-NK Cell Therapy SENTI-202 to Treat Acute Myeloid Leukemia
- Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to support development of pipeline program SENTI-202, a Logic Gated allogeneic CAR-NK cell product candidate engineered with gene circuit technologies -
South San Francisco, Calif., September 28, 2021 —Senti Bio, a leading gene circuit company, today announced that it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to support further development of SENTI-202 for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) towards clinical development. SENTI-202 is a next-generation, allogeneic CAR-NK cell therapy engineered with gene circuit technologies. The award is made through the SBIR program and will provide approximately $1.9 million over two years from the NCI of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Based on Senti Bio’s preclinical proof-of-concept data on logic gated CAR-NK cells, a Direct to Phase II SBIR contract was awarded and is titled: "Logic-Gated Chimeric Antigen Receptor-Natural Killer Cell Therapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia."
An underlying challenge with oncology cell therapy is to effectively kill cancer cells while avoiding toxicity against healthy cells. This is particularly true in developing therapies to treat AML, which lacks single, clean tumor associated antigens. SENTI-202 is a Logic Gated allogeneic CAR-NK cell therapy being designed to target and eliminate various AML tumor cells, including the critical leukemic stem cells that cause disease relapse, while sparing a patient’s healthy bone marrow.
“We believe that the unique product profile of SENTI-202 has the potential to drive towards a cure for AML without the need for a bone marrow transplant by enabling the killing of diverse AML tumor cells while sparing critical hematopoietic stem cells that are responsible for regenerating a patient’s blood and immune system,” said Gary Lee, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at Senti Bio. “The funding being provided supplements our internal resources to advance SENTI-202 toward an Investigational New Drug application.”
Michael Andreeff, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Department of Leukemia, Division of Cancer Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and a Senti Bio Scientific Advisory Board member said, “There remain significant unmet needs in AML, particularly therapies that can safely and effectively target leukemic stem cells in order to reduce relapse rate and improve the long term outlook for patients.”
Dr. Andreeff has decades of experience developing treatments for acute myeloid leukemia and significant understanding of minimal residual disease and its role in cancer relapse. He added, “Senti Bio’s approach to outfitting allogeneic CAR-NK cells with gene circuit logic gate technology is a terrific example of the type of innovation that the highly-competitive SBIR program encourages.”
With the award of this contract, the SENTI-202 program will be funded in part with Federal funds from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. 75N91021C00026.
About Senti Bio
Our mission is to create a new generation of smarter medicines that outmaneuver complex diseases in ways previously inconceivable. To accomplish this mission, we are building a synthetic biology platform that we believe may enable us to program next-generation cell and gene therapies with what we refer to as “gene circuits.” These gene circuits, which are created from novel and proprietary combinations of DNA sequences, are designed to reprogram cells with biological logic to sense inputs, compute decisions and respond to their cellular environments. We aim to design gene circuits to improve the “intelligence” of cell and gene therapies in order to enhance their therapeutic effectiveness against a broad range of diseases that conventional medicines do not readily address. For more information, please visit the Senti Bio website at https://www.sentibio.com.