Sensei Biotherapeutics announced the successful closing of a $30 million Series B financing. The financing was co-led by existing investor Apeiron Investment Group and new investor Catalio Capital Management. Additional investments included new investors Pura Vida Investments and several international family offices, as well as existing investors Cambrian Biopharma, Moore Strategic Ventures, Steve Jurvetson’s Future Ventures, and Presight Capital. The proceeds will be used to support the advancement of the company’s lead ImmunoPhage product candidate, SNS-301, and a next-generation platform for personalized yet off-the-shelf cancer immunotherapies.
Sensei Biotherapeutics has developed a proprietary phage-based platform, ImmunoPhage, that enables the rapid generation of immune activating agents that fully engage the immune system. Using its proprietary ImmunoPhage platform, Sensei is developing a library of ImmunoPhage called Phortress targeting multiple tumor associated antigens to treat patients using a personalized yet off the shelf cocktail approach. The platform enables delivery of a potent immunotherapy to the patient in a rapid and cost-effective manner.
Sensei’s lead ImmunoPhage product candidate, SNS-301, is being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 trial for the treatment of locally advanced unresectable or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) in combination with pembrolizumab. Interim results were reported in Q4 2020, and topline results from this trial are expected by the end of 2021.
Sensei is also advancing two preclinical programs generated from its platform, including SNS-401, an ImmunoPhage cocktail for the treatment of merkel cell carcinoma, and SNS-VISTA, a monoclonal antibody targeting V-domain Ig suppressor of T cell activation (VISTA), an immune checkpoint protein that inhibits the anti-tumor T cell response.
“We believe Sensei’s ImmunoPhage platform represents the future of personalized cancer therapies. With our technology, once a patient’s cancer is genetically profiled we can have a personalized cocktail of ImmunoPhage delivered to that patient within a week. This is a critical improvement over the months it takes for existing personalized approaches in cancer, where every day matters for patients,” said John Celebi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sensei Biotherapeutics. “I’m delighted to be working with this fantastic group of both new and existing investors to advance Sensei’s platform and provide life-changing therapies to more patients.”