Sensei Biotherapeutics is developing a pipeline of investigational medicines that work by “awakening” the immune system to defend and defeat cancer and infectious diseases.


Cocktail with MCPyV
Merkel Cell Carcinoma
  • First custom MCC vaccine consisting of Merkel Cell Polyoma Virus (MCPyV) epitopes together with other patient-specific antigens.
  • MCC is a rare but highly aggressive neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin in which MCPyV infection and chronic exposure to ultraviolet radiation are key risk factors.
  • Although systemic PD-1/PD-L1 inhibition therapy is associated with a high overall response rate, prolonged durable responses, and good tolerability in advanced-stage MCC, refractory PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor disease remains a significant unmet medical need with an aggressive clinical course.
Evaluating indications: HN, lung, melanoma, TNBC
Solid Tumors
  • VISTA is an immunoregulatory receptor and is highly expressed on various immune system cells including neutrophils, monocytes, macrophages, basophils, and dendritic cells.
  • VISTA blockade appears to dramatically modulate the tumor microenvironment toward a state that favors an immune system response, resulting in improved T cell effector function and anti-tumor activity.
Solid Tumors
Nanobodies & Antibodies
Discovery & validation of multiple antibodies & nanobodies utilizing ImmunoPhage platform
  • Proprietary nanobodies, derived from alpacas, are antibody-like structures that consist of a single monomeric variable domain located on the heavy chain.
  • We are developing nanobodies targeted to immune checkpoints and other immune-stimulatory molecules that can be packaged into the phage as immunomodulatory payloads to enhance immunogenicity.


SNS-401-NG is an ImmunoPhage™ being developed in collaboration with investigators at the University of Washington. The University of Washington is one of the premier cancer centers worldwide for the research and treatment of Merkel Cell Carcinoma. Researchers there have mapped the B- and T-cell epitopes of the Merkel Cell Polyoma Virus. Sensei intends to initiate IND-enabling studies for this product candidate in the second half of 2022. The first clinical application is directed to the treatment Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC), an aggressive form of skin cancer commonly driven by the Merkel Cell Polyoma Virus. If clinical proof of concept is achieved, Sensei plans to evaluate a broader basket study in patients with head and neck cancer, lung cancer, melanoma, and triple negative breast cancer.


Sensei is developing an antibody-based therapeutic targeting VISTA, currently in lead identification, in conjunction with Adimab. VISTA is a novel immune checkpoint that is expressed primarily on myeloid cells; it has been shown in multiple experimental mouse tumor models to be highly complementary to the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway.  In addition, preclinical studies have shown that VISTA is implicated in PD-1/PD-L1 resistance and that therapeutic intervention has the potential to be effective as a monotherapy and synergistic with PD-1/PD-L1 inhibition in vivo. Sensei has generated potent pH-dependent parental antibodies that block the interaction of VISTA with its receptor, PSGL1, which could result in a favorable pharmacokinetic (PK) profile and selective activity in the acidic tumor microenvironment – a critical feature of this product candidate. Sensei plans to present preclinical data from the SNS-VISTA program at a scientific conference in 2021 and to initiate IND-enabling studies by the end of 2021.


VSIG4 (V-Set And Immunoglobulin Domain Containing 4): VISG4 is a potent inhibitor of T cell activity, often overexpressed on macrophages within the tumor microenvironment. Sensei believes that a tumor-selective blocking monoclonal antibody will have potent anti-tumor immune effects. Sensei is extending its approach to developing antibodies with enhanced tumor selective activity to other candidate immune checkpoint targets, and anticipates selecting a product candidate from this program in 2023.