Partnership to Ensure Gene-modified Cell Therapies for Ovarian Cancer Trials

Partnership to Ensure Gene-modified Cell Therapies for Ovarian Cancer Trials
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Senti Biosciences is working with RoosterBio to ensure a quality supply of its candidate gene-modified cell therapies for ovarian cancer and other solid tumors, with a goal of bringing them into clinical testing.

These investigative therapies are based on the replacement, inactivation, or introduction of genes into cells that were cultivated or modified outside the body. The modifications can be “tailored” for a specific condition and person. Engineered cells are then injected into a patient, where they are intended to slow and possibly stop disease progression.

“Gene-modified cell therapies are one of the most important segments in our industry, and we are excited to help Senti Biosciences accelerate its technology into the clinic,” Jon A. Rowley, PhD, RoosterBio’s founder and chief product officer, said in a press release

The agreement refers to Senti’s gene circuit technology — a type of gene-modified cell therapy that uses constructs of multiple genes. These constructs follow a computer-like logic to program cells to respond, adapt, and make decisions based on the inputs they receive from proteins, hormones, and other molecules.

Senti’s gene circuits are designed to create broad and sustained anti-tumor immune responses. They can also be used to target and eliminate cancer cells with precision, leaving the healthy tissue unharmed, the company reports.

“Gene circuits have the potential to lead the next wave of cell and gene therapies to address the high unmet need in difficult-to-treat cancers, such as ovarian cancer” said Philip Lee, PhD, Senti’s chief operating officer and co-founder.

The Senti-RoosterBio collaboration will use human mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (hMSCs) to carry the gene circuits. hMSCs are a type of stem cell commonly used in gene-modified cell therapies due to their ability to differentiate into various cell types, and to modulate responses from immune cells.

The agreement will cover the clinical supply and manufacturing of Senti’s hMSC-based technology. Production will be done through RoosterBio’s CliniControl hMSC platform, which was introduced in 2017 aiming to simplify and accelerate the development and production of treatments.

“Our collaboration reflects the importance of strategically positioned gene engineering platforms that are designed for rapid clinical translation. RoosterBio’s goal of radically simplifying hMSC product development, process development and clinical manufacturing are being leveraged to move the field of cell therapy forward,” Rowley said.

The CliniControl hMSC manufacturing platform is a working cell bank, compliant with good manufacturing practices (cGMP) that produces an off-the-shelf product.

“We look forward to continuing our collaboration with RoosterBio to accelerate clinical development of our novel gene circuit MSC-based therapies to help bring those therapies to patients as efficiently and safely as possible,” Lee added.

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José is a science news writer with a PhD in Neuroscience from Universidade of Porto, in Portugal. He has also studied Biochemistry at Universidade do Porto and was a postdoctoral associate at Weill Cornell Medicine, in New York, and at The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. His work has ranged from the association of central cardiovascular and pain control to the neurobiological basis of hypertension, and the molecular pathways driving Alzheimer’s disease.

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