Pharma Focus Asia
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Sensei Biotherapeutics Completes Acquisition of Alvaxa Biosciences, a Camelid Antibody Therapeutics Company

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Sensei Biotherapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing precision immuno-oncology therapies, announced the acquisition of Alvaxa Biosciences, Inc., a camelid antibody therapeutics company with technology licensed from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sensei will acquire Alvaxa Biosciences and its existing camelid nanobody libraries, expertise in nanobody discovery, as well as its partnership with Hope Farms, LLC, a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) licensed Alpaca farm, for the generation of future alpaca-derived nanobodies.

Alvaxa’s nanobodies, or camelid antibodies, are small, highly-specific antigen-binding domains with high-affinity binding. In addition to the ability to access historically unreachable nanoscale protein and tissue compartments, they have superior solubility, stability and ease of manufacturing compared to traditional antibodies.

“We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Alvaxa Biosciences. Nanobodies are the next stage of our strategy to build out our proprietary ImmunoPhage™ platform, a next-generation universal vaccine platform capable of driving precise antigen-specific immunity while also amplifying or attenuating key immune signals, all within a vaccine,” said John Celebi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sensei Biotherapeutics. “The existing nanobody libraries alone give us a clear path to further realizing this capability and we look forward to implementing these into our next-generation platform.”

“Alvaxa’s technology is a natural fit for Sensei’s existing ImmunoPhage™ platform. We plan to use the alpaca-derived nanobodies to further enhance the immunostimulatory activity of our ImmunoPhage™ platform to precisely target and activate dendritic cells as well as to modulate the tumor microenvironment,” said Dr. Robert Pierce, Chief Scientific Officer of Sensei Biotherapeutics and Co-Founder of Alvaxa Biosciences. “In addition, we will now have the ability to internally generate unique nanobodies against any target of choice, which not only enhances our platform, but provides us with greater flexibility and the potential for pipeline expansion.”

About Sensei Biotherapeutics

Sensei Biotherapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and delivery of precision immuno-oncology therapies to transform the cancer treatment landscape. The company has developed a unique phage-based platform, ImmunoPhage™, that enables the generation of immune activating agents that fully engage the immune system. Its most advanced program, SNS-301, is currently enrolling patients in Phase 2 clinical trials. The company brings together scientific leaders in biology, immunology, and oncology along with a highly experienced management team and scientific advisors. For more information, please visit

About Alvaxa Biosciences

Alvaxa Biosciences is a Seattle, WA based biotechnology company spun out of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The company develops camelid antibodies, or nanobodies, through a partnership with Hope Farms, LLC, a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) licensed Alpaca farm.


Kathryn Morris
The Yates Network

Julie Seidel
Stern Investor Relations, Inc.

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