Senti Bio and Spark Collaborate to Develop Next-Generation Precision Gene Therapies
April 13, 2021
Rare Daily Staff
Senti Biosciences and Roche subsidiary Spark Therapeutics entered into a collaboration and option agreement to apply Senti Bio’s gene circuit technology to the development of next-generation precision gene therapies directed toward specific cell types in the central nervous system, eye, or liver.
Created from novel and proprietary combinations of DNA sequences, gene circuits reprogram cells with biological logic to sense inputs, compute decisions, and respond to their environments for defined therapeutic applications.
Senti Bio said it has designed, built, and tested thousands of sophisticated gene circuits to drive its internal therapeutic pipeline and to deploy into multiple cell and gene therapy delivery modalities across diverse therapeutic areas. The broad gene circuit technology platform includes high-throughput approaches to design and test highly potent and specific Smart Sensors that are responsive to cell-type and/or cell-state specific biomarkers. These Smart Sensors include synthetic promoters, which are compact DNA sequences engineered to more precisely regulate the expression of therapeutic genes.
Under the collaboration, Spark Therapeutics will apply Senti Bio’s Smart Sensors gene circuit platform towards the goal of developing gene therapies that achieve cell type- or disease-selective expression of therapeutic payloads.
“We view gene circuits as a critical component of any advanced cell and gene therapy, regardless of therapeutic area or delivery modality. This collaboration with Spark Therapeutics aligns with our goal of enabling truly dynamic therapies that have the ability to discriminate between certain cell types, selectively express various payloads, and respond to diverse disease environments,” said Tim Lu, CEO of Senti Bio.
Under the terms of their agreement, Senti Bio will be responsible for designing, building, and testing cell type- and disease specific-synthetic promoters for use in certain central nervous system, ocular, or liver-directed gene therapies. Spark Therapeutics will receive the option to exclusively license a defined number of synthetic promoters emerging from the collaboration for use in developing gene therapy products in specified indications. Upon option exercise, Spark Therapeutics will be responsible for conducting preclinical, clinical, and commercialization activities for any gene therapy candidates that incorporate Senti Bio’s licensed synthetic promoters.
Senti Bio will receive an upfront payment as well as funding to support its research activities, and upon option exercise will be eligible to receive an option exercise payment as well as development, regulatory and sales milestone payments in addition to royalties on a per product basis. The aggregate potential value of upfront, opt-in and milestone payments to Senti Bio may exceed $645 million.
Photo: Tim Lu, CEO of Senti Bio
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