– GeneFab’s cGMP facility in the San Francisco Bay Area has available capacity to support new customers with complex cell and gene therapy manufacturing, including allogeneic and autologous cell therapy, viral vector and critical starting materials –
– GeneFab CRDMO will be led by Philip Lee, PhD, former Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Senti Bio –
ALAMEDA, Calif., Aug. 10, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — GeneFab, LLC (“GeneFab”), a contract research, development and manufacturing organization (CRDMO) partnering with the cell and gene therapy industry and backed by private equity firm Celadon Partners, LLC (“Celadon Partners”), today announced a transaction with Senti Biosciences, Inc. (“Senti Bio”) in which GeneFab would sublease Senti Bio’s current good manufacturing practice (“cGMP”) facility, a portion of which is subject to certain conditions. In addition, pursuant to the transaction, GeneFab would acquire Senti Bio’s chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) capabilities for aggregate deal consideration of approximately $38 million. As part of the transaction, departing Senti Bio Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Philip Lee, PhD, will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer of GeneFab.
GeneFab has an extensive technology platform and know-how spanning early stage product design, technical development and GMP production. The Company will operate from a 92,000 square foot state-of-the-art cGMP manufacturing facility in Alameda, California that includes 42,000 square feet dedicated to the manufacturing of innovative Phase 1/2 clinical trial materials. The facility has additional capacity to support complex cell and gene therapy manufacturing, including allogeneic and autologous cell therapy, viral vector and cell banking.
“The formation of GeneFab is an exciting step forward to accelerate the design, development and manufacturing of innovative genetic medicines. Our unique capabilities enable us to provide specialized synthetic biology and manufacturing expertise to a wide range of cell and gene therapy companies,” said Dr. Lee, CEO of GeneFab. “As an extension of our customers’ teams, we believe that our advanced capabilities and expertise will enable the translation of scientific innovation into tangible treatments, and help our customers bring life-changing therapies to patients in need.”
The Alameda-based facility was initiated by Senti Bio in 2021 as a customized end-to-end clinical and commercial-scale cell therapy manufacturing solution; the buildout was completed earlier this year. With Celadon Partners’ backing, GeneFab will acquire the facility (via a sublease) and will employ approximately 50 employees, including experts in cell therapy, CMC and synthetic biology. GeneFab will be supporting the clinical manufacturing of Senti Bio’s off-the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor natural killer cell (CAR-NK) pipeline through a service contract.
“Celadon Partners has been an active investor in supply chain transformation, and I am very excited about the opportunity to support GeneFab to lead the future of biomanufacturing. Next generation cell and gene therapies are poised to deliver ‘miracle medicines’ — GeneFab accelerates that objective and enables its clients to focus capital on delivering future milestones, while outsourcing the complex design and manufacturing processes to a highly-specialized and engaged service provider. This transaction demonstrates how Celadon Partners can work together with management teams and shareholders to deliver bespoke solutions tailored to changing business needs and objectives,” said Donald Tang, Managing Partner at Celadon Partners.
Jonathan Su, Managing Director at Celadon Partners, added, “GeneFab’s capability to offer end-to-end cell and gene therapy development and manufacturing enables the Company to stand at the forefront of innovation, supporting drug developers at every stage of their journey. We look forward to GeneFab’s involvement in groundbreaking treatments that may heal, restore and revolutionize the lives of patients.”
GeneFab is a contract manufacturing and synthetic biology biofoundry focused on cell and gene therapies. GeneFab was formed in 2023 with a vision to combine industry leading expertise in synthetic biology with advanced cGMP capabilities in order to accelerate the development and commercialization of genetic medicines. GeneFab offers its customers an extensive technology platform and know-how that spans early stage product design, technical development and cGMP compliant production. GeneFab’s technology platform includes bioinformatic-guided discovery of cell type promoters, directed evolution of small molecule-regulated gene switches, and the engineering of highly sensitive kill switches for enhanced safety and control of cellular therapies. For more information, visit www.genefab.com.
About Celadon Partners
Founded in 2018, Celadon Partners is a private equity firm focused on investments in traditional industries ready to adopt transformative technology to upgrade business models and unlock fundamental value. With approximately US$1 billion of assets under management, Celadon Partners primarily invests across the industrial, healthcare, consumer and business services sectors and provides portfolio companies with strategic, capital markets and operational expertise as long-term, partnership-oriented investors. For more information, visit www.celadonpartners.com.
About Senti Bio
Senti Biosciences is a biotechnology company developing a new generation of cell and gene therapies for patients living with incurable diseases. To achieve this, Senti Bio is leveraging a synthetic biology platform called Gene Circuits to create therapies with enhanced precision and control. These Gene Circuits are designed to precisely kill cancer cells, spare healthy cells, increase specificity to target cells and control the expression of drugs even after administration. Senti Bio’s wholly-owned pipeline utilizes off-the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor natural killer (CAR-NK) cells, outfitted with Gene Circuits, to target challenging liquid and solid tumor indications. Senti Bio has also preclinically demonstrated the potential breadth of Gene Circuits in other modalities and in diseases outside of oncology, and continues to advance these capabilities through partnerships with Spark Therapeutics and BlueRock Therapeutics.
Morrison & Foerster LLP served as legal advisor to Celadon Partners and GeneFab. Cooley LLP and Goodwin Procter LLP served as legal advisors to Senti Bio.
CONTACT: Contact: Denise Powell Red House Consulting [email protected]