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Senti Bio Receives $8 Million CIRM Grant to Advance Logic-Gated CAR-NK Cell Therapy for AML

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Senti Biosciences, Inc., a leader in next-generation cell and gene therapies, has been awarded an $8 million grant by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

This significant funding will propel the clinical development of SENTI-202, an innovative off-the-shelf CAR-NK cell therapy designed to treat relapsed/refractory hematologic malignancies, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Pioneering Cell Therapy with SENTI-202

SENTI-202 stands out in the realm of cancer treatment due to its unique Logic Gated CAR-NK cell therapy approach. This therapy is engineered to target and eliminate CD33 and/or FLT3 expressing hematologic malignancies while sparing healthy bone marrow cells.

The ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial is focused on adult patients with relapsed or refractory CD33 and/or FLT3 expressing hematologic cancers in the United States and Australia. Initial efficacy data is anticipated by the end of 2024, with durability data following in 2025.

How SENTI-202 Works

SENTI-202 integrates three key components:

  1. OR GATE: An activating CAR that targets CD33 and FLT3, effectively killing both leukemic blasts and stem cells crucial to AML.
  2. NOT GATE: Designed to protect healthy cells from being attacked.
  3. Calibrated-Release IL-15 Technology: Enhances cell persistence, expansion, and activity of both the CAR-NK cells and the host immune cells.

The NK cells for SENTI-202 are sourced from healthy adult donors, ensuring high-quality and consistent therapy production.

The Urgent Need for New AML Treatments

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the most common type of acute leukemia in adults, with an estimated 20,800 new cases in the US in 2024. Current treatments, including chemotherapy and stem cell transplants, offer limited options for relapsed or refractory AML, with a five-year survival rate of only about 30%. SENTI-202 represents a promising new hope for these patients.

Senti Bio’s Mission and Future

Timothy Lu, M.D., Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder of Senti Bio, expressed profound gratitude to CIRM for their support and recognition of SENTI-202’s potential. Senti Bio continues to leverage its Gene Circuit platform to develop therapies with unprecedented precision and control, aiming to bring potentially lifesaving treatments to those battling cancer.

About Senti Bio and CIRM

Senti Bio is dedicated to creating a new generation of cell and gene therapies using its synthetic biology platform, Gene Circuits. These circuits enhance therapy specificity, control drug expression, and spare healthy cells, offering a groundbreaking approach to cancer treatment.

CIRM, created by California voters, focuses on accelerating stem cell treatments for unmet medical needs, with a $5.5 billion fund supporting over 150 active programs.

Stay updated with Senti Bio through their website.


The $8 million grant from CIRM to Senti Bio marks a significant milestone in the fight against AML, underscoring the potential of innovative Logic Gated CAR-NK cell therapies. As Senti Bio advances through clinical trials, the future looks promising for new, effective cancer treatments.

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