Selecta Biosciences Prioritizes Programs, Reduces Workforce to Extend Cash Runway
May 4, 2023
Rare Daily Staff
Selecta Biosciences said it has instituted a program prioritization and capital allocation strategy that is expected to extend its cash runway into the second half of 2025, according to its first quarter 2023 financial report and business update.
“As the only immune tolerance platform with positive phase 3 data, we firmly believe in the potential of our pipeline of candidates powered by our ImmTOR technology,” said Carsten Brunn, president and CEO of Selecta. “As we continue to navigate the current market environment, we have undertaken the strategic decision to focus our resources in the areas where we believe we have the highest potential to succeed in delivering meaningful therapies to the patients we aim to serve.”
Following a comprehensive review of its portfolio and capital resources, Selecta plans to streamline operations and prioritize investments in select programs. This includes advancing its most advanced program SEL-212 in patients with chronic refractory gout in partnership with Sobi, for which a BLA submission remains on track for the first half of 2024.
Selecta will also prioritize development of the combination of ImmTOR and the company’s proprietary Treg-Selective IL-2 (ImmTOR-IL). The combination of ImmTOR and IL-2 represents an evolution of Selecta’s precision immune tolerance platform. The company expects to initiate Investigational New Drug (IND)-enabling studies in 2023, while also exploring multiple autoimmune indications that may be suitable for study with ImmTOR-IL, with an initial focus on diseases of the liver.
Development of SEL-018 IgG Protease (Xork) for late-onset Pompe disease (LOPD) in partnership with Astellas Gene Therapies will also continue. In January 2023, Selecta announced an exclusive licensing and development agreement for IdeXork (Xork), a next-generation immunoglobulin G (IgG) protease, to be developed for use with AT845, Astellas Gene Therapies’ investigational AAV-based treatment for LOPD in adults. Xork is designed to be differentiated by its low-cross reactivity to pre-existing antibodies in human serum, which Selecta believes has the potential to expand access to life-changing gene therapies for more patients.
Selecta also said it plans to advance its gene therapy programs through potential partnerships, pausing further development of its wholly owned gene therapy programs, including the ongoing phase 1/2 clinical trial of SEL-302, an AAV gene therapy combined with ImmTOR for the treatment of methylmalonic acidemia (MMA).
As part of the pipeline prioritization, Selecta said it reduced its headcount by approximately 25 percnet in order to align its workforce with its updated priorities. As a result of the reduction in force, the company expects to incur a cash charge of approximately $1.0 million related to severance and benefit-related expenses.
“The decision to enact these measures was extremely difficult, as we are losing many valued colleagues who helped advance Selecta to where it is today. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of these individuals,” said Brunn.
Photo: Carsten Brunn, president and CEO of Selecta Biosciences
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