Selecta Biosciences is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing targeted immunotherapies and vaccines that are designed to modulate immune responses to treat and prevent disease. Selecta’s proprietary Synthetic Vaccine Particle (SVP™) platform has the potential to create a new paradigm in immunology and may enable a novel approach for selectively targeting the immune system to effectively and safely treat and prevent rare and serious diseases.
Conventional vaccines have been successfully applied to provide prophylactic protection from childhood infectious diseases. Selecta’s technology is designed to communicate precise instructions to the immune system and to expand the use of vaccines to immunotherapies that enable a new generation of biologic therapies to treat autoimmune diseases, allergies, and cancer. The Company’s SVP technology is a highly flexible nanoparticle platform, capable of incorporating a wide range of antigens and immunomodulators, allowing SVP products to be tailored to either stimulate an immune response to a specific antigen or to induce immune tolerance to an antigen to inhibit an undesired immune response.
Focusing on Immune Tolerance Applications
For Selecta’s proprietary programs, the initial focus is to develop SVP therapies that are designed to mitigate the formation of anti-drug antibodies (ADAs) against biologic drugs, which can compromise the efficacy and safety of life-sustaining therapies. SVP therapies are designed to specifically inhibit harmful, potentially life-threatening, immune responses caused by the administration of a biologic drug, while retaining the effectiveness of the drug and avoiding other unwanted reactions of the immune system. In 2015, the Company initiated clinical trials of SEL-212, the lead immunotherapeutic product candidate from Selecta’s SVP platform, which combines its tolerogenic nanoparticles with a proprietary enzyme therapy to treat refractory and chronic tophaceous gout. In gene therapy, Selecta is pursuing proprietary programs based both on Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) vectors and next generation engineered gene therapy vectors, including Anc80. Selecta’s goal is to enable new applications by mitigating immunogenicity to the transgene and gene vector, including the ability to repeatedly and effectively administer gene therapies. Additionally, Selecta has tolerance programs for allergies and autoimmune diseases.
Pursuing Opportunities in Immune Stimulation Applications
Selecta’s technology also allows for the design of SVP therapies that can stimulate immune responses against a wide array of relevant antigens. Selecta’s initial immune-stimulating product candidate is a synthetic vaccine against nicotine for the market of smoking cessation and relapse prevention. The Company is also developing and optimizing candidates for a variety of other applications, including cancer and infectious diseases.
Advancing a Robust Pipeline
Building on the pioneering research performed by its scientific founders at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Selecta is advancing a robust pipeline of therapeutics. The Company is developing its novel targeted immunotherapeutics and vaccines for worldwide markets at its facilities in Watertown, Massachusetts, USA, and Moscow, Russia.