Senti Biosciences Secures $53M Series A to Build the Future of Gene and Cell-Based Therapies

February 27, 2018

Founded by pioneers in the field of synthetic biology, Senti Biosciences’ platform enables the design of adaptive therapies for challenging diseases. Series A round led by prominent investment firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA) along with other top investors.

South San Francisco, February 27, 2018 -- Senti Biosciences, the synthetic biology company developing next-generation adaptive therapies for important diseases, today announced the completion of a $53M round of funding to support them as they expand their therapeutic design platform. The round was led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from 8VC, Amgen Ventures, Pear Ventures, Lux Capital, Menlo Ventures, Allen & Company, Nest.Bio, Omega Funds, Goodman Capital, and LifeForce Capital.

Most of the major diseases facing humanity are complex in nature, and existing treatments have found limited success in overcoming them. Recent breakthroughs in cell and gene therapy provide optimism for a new class of advanced medicines, but will require far greater functionality and control to enable widespread adoption. Current approaches are not readily targeted to specific tissues, are not adjustable to the severity of disease, cannot be modulated once they are introduced, and lack the ability to have multiple mechanisms of action. This can lead to poor efficacy, safety issues, and negative side effects. 

“Adaptive therapies have the potential to transform the treatment of challenging diseases,” said Dr. Tim Lu, co-founder and CEO of Senti Biosciences. “Synthetic biology has advanced significantly over the last several years, and the team we have assembled at Senti is uniquely capable of capitalizing on its progress to turn adaptive therapies into commercial reality. This funding round will accelerate the scaling of our genetic circuit programming platform and its translation into clinical treatments.”

If the genetic programs that underwrite human biological functions are thought of as code, disease is the equivalent of errors in the execution of the code. Senti Biosciences is designing the future of medicine by programming adaptive therapies to fix these errors. Senti’s technology platform enables them to rapidly design, build, and test various genetic circuits to enhance human cell and gene therapies. These adaptive therapies can act locally, sense-and-respond to a variety of disease conditions, be controlled externally, and implement multi-factorial therapeutic functions. Senti’s iterative design-driven approach further enables continuous improvements in the scalability and efficiency of their adaptive therapies. 

Senti has developed a world-leading technology base that builds off of nearly two decades of its team’s pioneering synthetic biology research across MIT, the Wyss Institute at Harvard, MD Anderson, Boston University, ETH Zurich, and other institutions. It brings together pioneers across the fields of mammalian synthetic circuit engineering, therapeutic synthetic biology, immune cell engineering, and engineered cell therapies. Senti’s platform functions across a wide range of cell and gene therapy modalities to address applications such as cancer, regenerative medicine, and autoimmune disease. Senti is currently advancing several internal therapeutic programs toward the clinic and welcomes the opportunity to partner with companies to realize the broad impact of their platform. 

“Senti has built a world-class interdisciplinary team, uniquely capable of tackling the challenge of creating adaptive therapies,” said Ed Mathers, partner at NEA and member of Senti’s board of directors. “We are excited to support them in their extraordinary vision to change how difficult diseases are treated.”

Added Alex Kolicich, partner at 8VC and Senti board member, “Adaptive medicines will be transformational to the biopharma landscape. Senti’s pioneering technologies and platform combine deep insights into biological systems with the tools and mindset that have made the computing industry so successful.”