Selecta Biosciences and Ginkgo Bioworks Announce New Collaboration to Develop Next-Generation Gene Therapy Capsids

Jan 10, 2022
Leveraging Ginkgo’s high throughput screening and cell engineering capabilities and Selecta’s ImmTOR platform to advance gene therapy delivery with the goal of improved transduction, enhanced tissue tropism and reduced immunogenicity

WATERTOWN, Mass. and BOSTON, Jan. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Selecta Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: SELB), a biotechnology company leveraging its clinically validated ImmTOR™ platform to develop tolerogenic therapies that selectively mitigate unwanted immune responses, and Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, today announced a collaboration to develop safer and more effective next-generation gene therapy viral capsids. This partnership leverages the unique platforms of both companies as they seek to develop next-generation viral capsids with improved transduction, enhanced tissue tropism and reduced immunogenicity. Ginkgo plans to design and engineer the capsids and Selecta will conduct all pre-clinical and clinical studies thereafter.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Ginkgo in a second collaboration that leverages Ginkgo’s leading cell engineering platform to design viral vector capsids with the goal of improved transduction, enhanced tissue tropism and reduced immunogenicity,” said Carsten Brunn, CEO of Selecta Biosciences. “By combining ImmTOR with next-generation, fit-for-purpose AAV vectors, we hope to further improve the safety and efficacy of AAV-mediated gene therapies.”

Jason Kelly, CEO of Ginkgo Bioworks, added, “Gene therapies utilize naturally occurring viral capsids that elicit immune responses and often exhibit safety and toxicity issues. We believe our collaboration with Selecta has the potential to confront major challenges within the gene therapy space and represents an important application of our cell programming platform. We look forward to executing on our shared vision and offering a potential solution for challenges in gene therapies in order to enable treatment for millions of patients.”

Under the terms of the collaboration, Ginkgo is eligible to earn upfront research and development fees and milestone payments, including certain milestone payments in the form of Selecta common stock. In addition, Ginkgo is eligible to earn clinical, regulatory and commercial milestone payments of up to $200 million in cash for each of a specified number of products, which have the potential to total, in the aggregate, up to $1.1 billion. Ginkgo is also entitled to potential further downstream value in the form of royalties on sales.

About Selecta Biosciences

Selecta Biosciences Inc. (Nasdaq: SELB) is a clinical stage biotechnology company leveraging its ImmTOR platform to develop tolerogenic therapies that selectively mitigate unwanted immune responses. With a proven ability to induce tolerance to highly immunogenic proteins, ImmTOR has the potential to amplify the efficacy of biologic therapies, including redosing of life-saving gene therapies, as well as restore the body’s natural self-tolerance in autoimmune diseases. Selecta has several proprietary and partnered programs in its pipeline focused on enzyme therapies, gene therapies, and autoimmune diseases. Selecta Biosciences is headquartered in the Greater Boston area. For more information, please visit www.selectabio.com.

Forward-Looking Statements of Selecta Biosciences
Any statements in this press release about the future expectations, plans and prospects of Selecta Biosciences, Inc. (“the Company”), including without limitation, statements regarding the unique proprietary technology platform of the Company, and the unique proprietary platform of its partners, the programs and targets anticipated under this agreement, the ability of the collaboration to discover, engineer, or develop capsids, the therapeutic benefit from any capsids or products which incorporate capsids developed under this agreement, the potential treatment applications of product candidates utilizing the ImmTOR platform in areas such as gene therapy, the ability of the Company and its partners where applicable to develop gene therapy products using ImmTOR, the novelty of treatment paradigms that the Company is able to develop, the potential of the ImmTOR technology platform generally and the Company’s ability to grow its strategic partnerships, and other statements containing the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “hypothesize,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “would,” and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including, but not limited to, the following: the unproven approach of the Company’s ImmTOR technology, our partners’ ability to develop products under the agreement, undesirable side effects of the Company’s technology, its reliance on third parties to manufacture its product candidates and to conduct its development activities, the Company’s inability to maintain its existing or future collaborations, licenses or contractual relationships, its inability to protect its proprietary technology and intellectual property, the availability of funding sufficient for its foreseeable and unforeseeable operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements, the Company’s recurring losses from operations and negative cash flows from operations, substantial fluctuation in the price of its common stock, and other important factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, and in other filings that the Company makes with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, any forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company’s views only as of the date of its publication and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. The Company specifically disclaims any intention to update any forward-looking statements included in this press release.

About Ginkgo Bioworks

Ginkgo is building a platform to enable customers to program cells as easily as we can program computers. The company's platform is enabling biotechnology applications across diverse markets, from food and agriculture to industrial chemicals to pharmaceuticals. Ginkgo has also actively supported a number of COVID-19 response efforts, including K-12 pooled testing, vaccine manufacturing optimization and therapeutics discovery. For more information, visit www.ginkgobioworks.com.

Forward-Looking Statements of Ginkgo Bioworks 
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding the potential success of the partnership and Ginkgo's cell programming platform. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words "believe," "project," "potential," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," "strategy," "future," "opportunity," "plan," "may," "should," "will," "would," "will be," "will continue," "will likely result," and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this document, including but not limited to: (i) the effect of the business combination with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. ("Soaring Eagle") on Ginkgo's business relationships, performance, and business generally, (ii) risks that the business combination disrupts current plans of Ginkgo and potential difficulties in Ginkgo's employee retention, (iii) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against Ginkgo related to its business combination with Soaring Eagle, (iv) volatility in the price of Ginkgo's securities now that it is a public company due to a variety of factors, including changes in the competitive and highly regulated industries in which Ginkgo plans to operate, variations in performance across competitors, changes in laws and regulations affecting Ginkgo's business and changes in the combined capital structure, (v) the ability to implement business plans, forecasts, and other expectations after the completion of the business combination, and identify and realize additional opportunities, and (vi) the risk of downturns in demand for products using synthetic biology. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. You should carefully consider the foregoing factors and the other risks and uncertainties described in the "Risk Factors" section of Ginkgo's quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on November 15, 2021 and other documents filed by Ginkgo from time to time with the SEC. These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and Ginkgo assumes no obligation and does not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Ginkgo does not give any assurance that it will achieve its expectations.

Selecta Biosciences Contacts:

For Investors:
Bruce Mackle
LifeSci Advisors, LLC
+1-929-469-3859
bmackle@lifesciadvisors.com

For Media:
Brittany Leigh, Ph.D.
LifeSci Communications, LLC
+1-646-751-4366
bleigh@lifescicomms.com

GINKGO BIOWORKS INVESTOR CONTACT:
investors@ginkgobioworks.com

GINKGO BIOWORKS MEDIA CONTACT:
press@ginkgobioworks.com


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Source: Selecta Biosciences, Inc.