07 November 2023 | Tuesday | News
Image Source | Public Domain
– Celest to lead clinical development with technical support from Senti Bio –
– First patient expected to be enrolled in China in 1H 2024 –
– Senti Bio eligible to receive up to $156 million in milestones and royalties –
Through this collaboration, Celest will lead clinical development, operations, and manufacturing for the advancement of SENTI-301A with technical support from Senti Bio. Celest plans to enroll patients initially through a pilot trial in mainland China and expects to enroll the first patient in the first half of 2024. Celest and Senti Bio have the option to expand clinical development of SENTI-301A to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Senti Bio will retain all commercialization rights outside of mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan for SENTI-301A.
Under the terms of the collaboration, Senti Bio will be eligible to receive up to $156 million in certain milestone payments, in addition to potential tiered royalty payments. Other terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The planned dose finding trial will include 9 patients with advanced glypican 3 (“GPC3”)-expressing hepatocellular carcinoma (“HCC”) across two dose cohorts. Endpoints will include safety assessments for adverse events and dose limiting toxicities, as well as efficacy analyses using standard response criteria for liver cancer.
“We are pleased to have established a strategic partnership with Celest to advance the clinical development of SENTI-301A, an objective we set earlier this year,” said Timothy Lu, MD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Senti Bio. “By leveraging Celest’s strength to accelerate clinical development, manufacturing, and regulatory activities in China, we are one step closer to bringing Senti’s Gene Circuit technology to patients who have limited therapeutic options. We look forward to collaborating with the experienced team at Celest, a company committed to the clinical development of innovative drugs in China.”
“Our partnership with Senti Bio provides multiple synergies in our mission to develop next-generation cell therapies in China to fulfill the tremendous unmet medical need in combating cancer,” said Erdong Hua, Chairman at Celest Therapeutics. “We are excited to combine Senti’s novel Gene Circuit technology with Celest’s clinical expertise to drive SENTI-301A into the clinic and begin treating patients.”
The Company has previously highlighted the significant prevalence of HCC and market opportunities for HCC treatments in Asia. HCC remains the predominant histological type of primary liver cancer in Asia.
SENTI-301A is a multi-armed off-the-shelf healthy donor derived CAR-NK cell therapy designed for the treatment of GPC3 expressing tumors. The engineered NK cells target the GPC3 antigen, which is highly expressed in 70% to 90% of HCCs and has low or no expression on normal adult tissues. Additionally, SENTI-301A incorporates the calibrated release interleukin-15 (crIL-15), a multi-functional immuno-stimulatory payload designed to simultaneously stimulate surrounding immune cells and promote CAR-NK cell expansion, persistence and tumor killing. Senti Bio has shown comprehensive preclinical data demonstrating robust in vitro and in vivo killing of relevant tumor cells with SENTI-301A.
© 2023 Biopharma Boardroom. All Rights Reserved.