Senti Bio, Spark Therapeutics to develop next-gen gene therapies

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

April 13, 2021 -- Senti Biosciences (Senti Bio) and Spark Therapeutics are collaborating to develop next-generation precision gene therapies directed toward specific cell targets in the central nervous system (CNS), eye, and liver.

Under the collaboration and option agreement, Senti Bio's gene circuit technology platform and synthetic promoter design capabilities will be combined with Spark's investigational gene therapies. Created from 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.

Specifically, Spark will utilize Senti Bio's Smart Sensors gene-circuit platform to develop gene therapies that achieve cell type- or disease-selective expression of therapeutic payloads, Senti Bio said. Senti Bio will be responsible for designing, building, and testing cell type- and disease-specific synthetic promoters for use in certain CNS, ocular, or liver-directed gene therapies.

Spark, a Roche subsidiary, gains the option to exclusively license a defined number of synthetic promoters produced from the collaboration for use in developing gene therapy products for specific indications. Upon exercising this option, Spark will be responsible for preclinical, clinical, and commercialization activities for any gene therapy candidates that incorporate Senti Bio's licensed synthetic promoters.

Senti Bio said it could receive over $645 million from upfront, opt-in, and milestone payments under the deal.

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