Hot deal to cool immune response
30.11.2012 - Selecta Biosciences and Sanofi have signed a global collaboration to develop antigen-specific immunotherapies for up to three allergy indications.
The US-based biotech has developed a synthetic vaccine particle technology which is now being licensed to the French pharma for up to US$900m including a number of milestone payments. The agreement gives Sanofi the right to develop a therapy to fight an immune response triggered by a life-threatening food allergen. Furthermore, Sanofi may develop two other compounds. The pharma got in touch following the lure of the technology discovered in the lab of Bob Langer at the MIT.
Selecta engineers nanoparticles with the structure required to stimulate immune tolerance thereby controlling overactive response to antigens. Selecta won substantial backing from RusNano last autumn, agreeing to set up operations in Russia as part of the deal. Privately held Selecta is a shooting star since its foundation in 2008, raising more than US-$32m in three venture rounds, finally attracting the attention of Rusnano. Last year, the US$10bn Russian fund joined Selecta’s existing investor base. The consortium spent US$47.25m to broaden the company’s R&D capabilities and accelerate its pipeline of vaccines and immunotherapies.