Opening of New Boston Facility Focused on Cancer Drug Development and Expansion of Expert Oncology Team

GAITHERSBURG, Md. & BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sensei Biotherapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing precision immuno-oncology therapies, today announced the appointment of Robert Pierce, M.D., as chief scientific officer and the opening of its Boston office. Sensei’s facility in Boston will include office space and laboratories for conducting immuno-oncology drug discovery and development, as the company builds an expert team under Dr. Pierce’s leadership focused on developing innovative cancer treatments.

“Sensei is taking a promising, differentiated strategy to cancer treatment with broad applicability across a wide variety of cancer types and I am eager to be joining Sensei at this exciting time in its growth”

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“We are thrilled to welcome Rob, an accomplished physician-scientist and long-time collaborator of Sensei, as chief scientific officer. We are also delighted to establish our R&D hub in Boston and join this world-class community for life sciences innovation,” said John Celebi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sensei Biotherapeutics. “Rob’s deep experience in immuno-oncology drug development will be critical as we continue to advance our lead product candidate, SNS-301, currently in Phase 1/2 clinical testing for the treatment of ASPH-positive head and neck cancer, as well as work to develop new approaches and pipeline for treating cancer patients with unmet needs.”

Dr. Pierce is an anatomic pathologist who brings more than two decades of scientific leadership and experience managing large teams dedicated to translation medicine platforms in academia and industry to Sensei, particularly in the area of immuno-oncology. He joins Sensei from the faculty of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where he was the Scientific Director of the Immunopathology Lab in the Clinical Research Division. His research is focused on the mechanisms of tumor-induced immune tolerance and he has longstanding expertise in the development of biomarkers to predict responses to immuno-oncology treatments. While at Merck, Dr. Pierce led a team focused on the development of tissue-based biomarker approaches for Merck’s anti-PD1 therapeutic antibody (pembrolizumab; KEYTRUDA®) to define response and non-response phenotypes to anti-PD1 blockade, including the 22C3 PD-L1 companion diagnostic IHC assay. He was also the medical lead responsible for the early clinical development of pembrolizumab in Merkel cell carcinoma and cutaneous T cell lymphoma. He also previously served as the Chief Scientific Officer of OncoSec Medical, Inc. Dr. Pierce has a B.A. from Yale University and an M.D. from Brown University School of Medicine. Following graduation from medical school, he completed a residency program in Anatomic Pathology and a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle.

“Sensei is taking a promising, differentiated strategy to cancer treatment with broad applicability across a wide variety of cancer types and I am eager to be joining Sensei at this exciting time in its growth,” said Dr. Robert Pierce. “From my experience on the company’s Immuno-Oncology Advisory Board, I have been impressed by Sensei’s innovation and commitment to data-driven decision making, which is deeply rooted in strong leadership and expertise in biological science. I look forward to working alongside the rest of the Sensei team as we further advance SNS-301 and the broader pipeline.”

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 activation of both the innate and adaptive immune systems. 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


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