Selecta signs with Sanofi

Companies collaborate to target up to three immunotherapies for allergy suppression

Kelsey Kaustinen
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WATERTOWN, Mass.—Biopharmaceutical company SelectaBiosciences, Inc., a clinical-stage organization focused on the development ofa new class of synthetic vaccines and immunotherapies, has announced thesigning of a strategic global collaboration with Sanofi. The companies will beworking together to discover highly targeted, antigen-specific immunotherapiesfor life-threatening allergies.
Per the terms of the agreement, Selecta will be eligible toreceive preclinical, clinical, regulatory and sales milestones totaling $300million per allergen indication for up to three immunotherapy candidates in thecollaboration. The company will also be eligible for double-digit tieredroyalties as a percentage of product net sales on each immunotherapy thatresults from the agreement and is successfully commercialized.
The agreement provides Sanofi with an exclusive license forthe development of an immunotherapy designed to stop acute immune responses toa life-threatening food allergen, and an option to develop two additionalimmunotherapeutic candidates for allergies each to a specific food oraeroallergen. Sanofi will be granted access to Selecta's proprietary SyntheticVaccine Particle platform, and will work with Selecta to designantigen-specific immunotherapies that address unmet needs in instances wherethe technology could provide a new therapeutic option for life-threatening andsevere allergies.
"We are very pleased that Sanofi, a global leader invaccines and immunology is entering into a partnership with Selecta to developand commercialize products from our immunotherapy platform," Werner Cautreels,Ph.D., president and CEO, said in a press release regarding the deal. "Inallergies, as well as auto-immune diseases, organ transplantation, and proteinreplacement therapies, there is a lack of specific, effective and safetreatments to prevent undesired immune reactions. Selecta's SVP technology canrestore balance to dysregulated immune systems by producing immune tolerance tospecific antigens. Our approach addresses the underlying causes of thesediseases and thereby makes advances beyond today's symptomatic treatments andallergen avoidance strategies."
The Synthetic Vaccine Particle platform engineersnanoparticles with ideal structure and composition to induce immune toleranceby balancing the body's overactive response to allergy-causing antigens. Thesystem allows the immunotherapies to be engineered "to induce either humoral orcellular immunity for therapeutic as well as prophylactic applications."Selecta works in the fields of infectious diseases, cancer and respiratorydiseases, and as well as in the indications of allergies, autoimmune diseases, transplantationand orphan indications such as protein replacement therapy and hemophilia.
In other recent news for Selecta, the company also announcedon Nov. 28 that Selecta (RUS) LLC, its Russian subsidiary, has become the firstof RUSNANO's portfolio companies in the pharmaceutical field to open a researchcenter in Russia. The new center will focus on the development ofimmunotherapies and vaccines for the "treatment and prevention of cancer aswell as respiratory, infectious, autoimmune and allergic diseases," the companynoted in a press release. RUSNANO may make a total co-investment in Selecta ofup to $25 million in several tranches.

Kelsey Kaustinen

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