Sana Biotechnology Announces Acquisition of Oscine

October 30, 2020


  • Sana will leverage Oscine’s technologies to develop stem cell derived therapies for CNS disorders 
  • Steve Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., joins Sana as the Head of CNS Therapy

SEATTLE — Sana Biotechnology, Inc. (Sana), focused on creating and delivering engineered cells as medicines, announced today the acquisition of Oscine Corp., a company developing potentially curative or disease modifying cell therapies for diseases of the brain and central nervous system (CNS). The combination will integrate Oscine’s glial progenitor cell program and underlying technologies together with Sana’s broader platform and programs. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“We are excited about the potential of the glial progenitor cell program Oscine has been developing to help patients with a number of different diseases of the brain. Glial progenitor cells and their downstream products disappear or malfunction in many diseases ranging from rare genetic disorders to more common diseases like multiple sclerosis,” said Sana President and CEO Steve Harr. “Steve Goldman is a world-leading scientist and clinician in this area, and we are thrilled to welcome him to Sana to oversee both our efforts with this program and our CNS strategy more broadly.”

Steve Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., was Oscine’s scientific founder and joins Sana as the Head of CNS Therapy. Dr. Goldman is a world leader in central nervous system research with a focus on glial cells. During a 30-year career, he has worked at the University of Rochester as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology, and as Chief of its Division of Cell and Gene Therapy. He also serves as Co-Director of Rochester’s Center for Translational Neuromedicine, a joint enterprise with the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. He has published over 250 papers, holds over 30 patents, and has served as a voting member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Cellular, Tissue, and Gene Therapy Advisory Committee. Dr. Goldman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, received his M.D. from Cornell University and his Ph.D. from Rockefeller University, and completed his neurology residency at New York Hospital-Cornell and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is board certified in neurology and neuro-oncology, and continues to work on the inpatient service at the University of Rochester Medical Center.  

“I am delighted to be joining Sana at this critical juncture in bringing stem cell-based therapeutics to the clinic,” Goldman noted. “After three decades of research into how to repair the cellular structure of the diseased brain, it is heartening to know that Sana plans to urgently drive these therapies to the clinic to explore their potential benefit for the many patients and their families stricken with these largely incurable diseases.” 

Glial progenitor cells are a key support system of the brain. They differentiate into the major support cells of the central nervous system: oligodendrocytes, which are the only source of myelin production in the adult CNS, and astrocytes, which support neurons and are at the root of many neurodegenerative as well as myelin diseases. These cells either disappear or malfunction in a host of brain disorders. Glial progenitor cells thus have the potential to treat not only myelin disorders, but a broad array of neurodegenerative and even neuropsychiatric diseases of the brain. 

About Sana
Sana Biotechnology, Inc. is focused on creating and delivering engineered cells as medicines for patients. We share a vision of repairing and controlling genes, replacing missing or damaged cells, and making our therapies broadly available to patients. We are more than 250 people working together to create an enduring company that changes how the world treats disease. Sana has operations in Seattle, Cambridge, and South San Francisco.