GeneFab, a contract manufacturing and synthetic biology biofoundry focused on cell and gene therapies, signed an agreement with Senti Biosciences under which GeneFab will sublease Senti Bio’s cGMP facility. GeneFab would also acquire Senti Bio’s chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) capabilities for a total deal of approximately $38 million. Departing Senti Bio co-founder and CTO, Philip Lee, PhD, has become the CEO of GeneFab.

GeneFab will operate from a 92,000 ft2 cGMP manufacturing facility in Alameda, CA, that includes 42,000 ft2 dedicated to the manufacturing of Phase I/II 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, according to Lee.

“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,” continued Lee.

Senti Bio began operations at the Alameda-based facility in 2021 as a customized end-to-end clinical- and commercial-scale cell therapy manufacturing solution; the buildout was completed earlier this year. With the backing of Celadon Partners, 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.

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