Senti Bio extends cash runway through $38m sublease deal with GeneFab

Senti Bio has agreed to sublease its recently opened Alameda, California facility to newly created CDMO GeneFab. 

During its Q2 results, cell and gene therapy developer Senti Bio confirmed the sublease of the recently opened facility to GeneFab – a newly formed contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) backed by private equity firm Celadon Partners.

The agreement will bring Senti Bio additional capital and reduced longer-term operating expenses, extending the company’s cash runway into the fourth quarter of 2024.

Image c/o Google

The company will receive $19.9 million at closing of 2025 and a further $18.9 million in instalments in 2024 and 2025, subject to satisfaction of certain conditions, plus $8 million in manufacturing credit.

The news comes after Senti Bio put on hold the development of its oncology program SENTI-301A for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) earlier this year in another effort to extend its cash runway.

GeneFab

Under terms of the deal, the CDMO will support the clinical manufacturing of Senti Bio’s active oncology programs from the 90,000 square-foot facility, including SENTI-202, targeting acute myeloma, and SENTI-401, targeting solid tumors.

Approximately 35% of Senti Bio’s employees will transfer to GeneFab, where they will continue to be actively engaged in the CMC and manufacturing components for the clinical manufacturing of Senti Bio’s product candidates.

Around half the newly acquired facility will support the manufacturing of Phase I/II clinical trial materials, with further capacity to support complex cell and gene therapy manufacturing, including allogeneic and autologous cell therapy, viral vector, and cell banking.

The company’s former chief technology officer and co-founder Philip Lee has assumed the role of GeneFab’s CEO.

Lee described the formation of GeneFab as an “exciting step forward to accelerate the design, development, and manufacturing of innovative genetic medicines,” adding the acquired facilities will allow the company to provide “specialized synthetic biology and manufacturing expertise” to the industry.

Senti Bio did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.