Selecta Biosciences, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company developing a novel class of targeted antigen-specific immune therapies, announced today that its Chief Scientific Officer, Takashi Kei Kishimoto, PhD, presented new advancements related to Selecta’s pipeline of novel immunotherapeutic candidates at the 5th Annual American Society for Nanomedicine Meeting in Crystal City, Virginia.
In his presentation, Dr. Kishimoto detailed how Selecta was developing and advancing multiple immunotherapeutic candidates from its proprietary Synthetic Vaccine Particles (SVP) platform. Selecta is applying its SVP platform to create first-in-class antigen-specific tolerogenic immunotherapeutics that are designed to prevent undesired immune responses in auto-immune diseases, biologic therapy and allergies. The underlying mechanisms of tolerance induction using SVP were described in a peer-reviewed journal article co-authored by Dr. Kishimoto which was published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) (abstract at http://www.pnas.org/content/112/2/E156.abstract).
The presentation and article describe how SVP that encapsulate a tolerogenic immunomodulator induce durable and antigen-specific immune tolerance. The novel SVP product has been validated over a number of relevant disease models in work performed in several independent laboratories. The treatment elicits antigen-specific T regulatory cells, resulting in the inhibition of both humoral and cellular immune responses. Dr. Kishimoto presented two potential applications: immune tolerance induction directed against a pathogenic autoantigen for the treatment of autoimmune disease, and tolerance induction directed against an immunogenic biologic therapy. In the first example, therapeutic administration of SVP completely inhibited disease relapse in a model for multiple sclerosis. In the second example, administration of SVP and pegsiticase, a pegylated uricase being developed for the treatment of refractory gout, prevented the antibody response against pegsiticase, resulting in normalization of serum uric acid levels in uricase deficient mice. Selecta has initiated clinical development of this application of SVP to pegsiticase. SEL-212 is designed to become the first non-immunogenic biologic therapy for gout addressing important unmet needs.
“Current treatments to control pathological or unwanted immune responses unfortunately often employ broadly immunosuppressive drugs,” said Takashi Kei Kishimoto, PhD, Selecta’s Chief Scientific Officer. “Selecta’s proprietary SVP therapy represents a truly novel approach for the antigen-specific treatment of autoimmune diseases and for the prevention of anti-drug antibodies (ADA) which can compromise the efficacy and safety of biologic therapies used in the treatment of autoimmune and other diseases. Selecta is continuing to actively advance a number of immunotherapeutic programs, with the potential to be first-in-class therapies.”
Selecta has an on-going Phase 1 clinical program for SEL-212 in subjects with hyperuricemia (elevated serum uric acid), and is planning to initiate a multi-dose ascending Phase 2 study of SEL-212 in gout patients in 2016. Additionally, the company is building a robust preclinical pipeline of antigen-specific immunotherapeutics which it is actively advancing toward clinical development. The company’s pipeline currently includes candidates that are designed to prevent the formation of anti-drug antibodies (ADAs) that are a key unmet medical need in the treatment of rare diseases, such as hemophilia A and lysosomal storage diseases, and for novel therapeutic modalities, such as gene therapy. Selecta is additionally developing first-in-class therapies for a food allergy, celiac disease and type 1 diabetes in collaboration with Sanofi.