WATERTOWN, Mass., Aug. 04, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Selecta Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: SELB), a biotechnology company pioneering precision immune tolerance with its clinically validated ImmTOR® platform to develop tolerogenic therapies for autoimmune diseases, unlock the potential of gene therapies and amplify the efficacy of biologic therapies, today reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2022 and provided a business update.
“We continued to make steady progress in the second quarter of 2022, highlighted by the completion of enrollment in DISSOLVE II, triggering a $10 million milestone payment obligation from Sobi, and the completion of an underwritten equity offering raising gross proceeds of $38.7 million,” said Carsten Brunn, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Selecta. “Building on this momentum, we enter the second half of 2022 with a focused portfolio of proprietary programs and an expected financial runway into mid-2024. We remain on track clinically, with joint topline data from DISSOLVE I and II anticipated in Q1 2023 and the initiation of a Phase 1 trial of SEL-302, our wholly owned gene therapy in combination with ImmTOR for the treatment of MMA, anticipated in Q4 2022. We continue preclinical development across all three pillars of our pipeline: In partnership with Cyrus Bioscience we are progressing in identifying a proprietary IL-2 to combine with ImmTOR; we have progressed to IND-enabling studies and manufacturing scale-up work for Xork, our proprietary IgG protease as a pre-treatment to enable AAV gene therapies; and our collaborations toward the identification of a next-generation IgA protease for the treatment of IgA Nephropathy continue apace with candidate selection anticipated by year-end. We believe that collectively, these advancements bring us one step closer to our mission of re-imagining immunotherapy for autoimmune disease, unlocking the potential of AAV gene therapy and amplifying the efficacy of biologics.”
Recent Program Highlights and Anticipated Upcoming Milestones:
Tolerogenic Therapies for Autoimmune Disease:
- ImmTOR with proprietary IL-2 protein agonist (ImmTOR-ILTM): Preclinically, Selecta has observed synergistic activity when ImmTOR is combined with engineered IL-2 molecules that are selective for Tregs. Furthermore, when ImmTOR-IL was co-administered with an antigen of interest, the resulting data suggested that ImmTOR-IL may have profound synergistic effects in expanding antigen-specific Tregs when compared to ImmTOR alone, positioning ImmTOR-IL as a potential first-in-class antigen-specific therapy for the treatment of autoimmune disease.
- Selecta is working with its partner, Cyrus Biotechnology, to develop a next generation IL-2 molecule to combine with ImmTOR and anticipates selecting an IL-2 candidate by year end 2022.
- Selecta continues internal work on identifying additional target indications in autoimmune disease. Selecta plans to adopt a staged development approach, starting first with diseases driven by a single pathogenic antigen, such as Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC), then accelerating the development of across related indications.
- Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC): Selecta intends to co-administer ImmTOR-IL with PDC-E2, the autoantigen implicated in PBC and continues IND-enabling work for this combination.
- SEL-302 for MMA: Selecta expects to initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial of SEL-302, an AAV gene therapy combined with ImmTOR for the treatment of MMA, in the fourth quarter of 2022.
- SEL-018 IgG Protease (Xork): In collaboration with Genovis, Selecta continues to advance Xork, a next-generation IgG protease, to help address disease in patients who are ineligible for gene therapies due to pre-existing anti-AAV antibodies. Selecta believes the novel combination of Xork and ImmTOR has the potential to address two of the key hurdles in gene therapy today: pre-existing immunity and the inability to re-dose AAV gene therapies due to the immune response to AAV capsids.
- IND-enabling studies and manufacturing scale-up activities are ongoing.
- ImmTOR-IL in Gene Therapy: Building on our pre-clinical studies of ImmTOR-IL in inhibiting the formation of neutralizing antibodies to AAV gene therapies, we are pleased to announce that we continue to see mitigating effects in mice at gene therapy doses of 10x our prior studies.
- SEL-212 for chronic refractory gout: Selecta continues to advance DISSOLVE, the Phase 3 development program of SEL-212, which has been licensed to Sobi.
- Selecta completed enrollment for DISSOLVE II in June 2022, with 153 study participants, triggering a $10 million milestone payment obligation from Sobi which has been received in Q3 2022.
- DISSOLVE I & II trials are on track for completion in Q4 2022 with joint topline readout expected in Q1 2023.
- ImmTOR with IgA1 protease for IgA nephropathy: Selecta is working with both Ginkgo Bioworks and IGAN Biosciences to identify and develop a next generation IgA protease to combine with ImmTOR.
- Selecta anticipates enzyme candidate selection by year end 2022.
Further Corporate and Partnership Updates:
- Sarepta extended its Research License and Option Agreement for ImmTOR in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and certain Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophies (LGMD) by nine months.
- Additionally, in June 2022 Selecta was informed by Sarepta of the achievement of certain pre-clinical milestones.
- Selecta expects to receive a $2 million payment for extending Sarepta’s option periods under the agreement to Q1 2023, and an additional $4 million payment for achievement of the pre-clinical milestone. Receipt of both payments is expected in Q3 2022.
- At the 25th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT) Selecta showcased six presentations, including three joint presentations with its partner Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio). These presentations highlighted the immunogenic potential of empty AAV and the potential of ImmTOR and ImmTOR-IL in addressing key efficacy and safety challenges in gene therapy.
- Our CSO, Kei Kishimoto, was awarded an ‘Outstanding Poster Presentation Award’ for the abstract titled: Combination of ImmTOR Tolerogenic Nanoparticles and IL-2 Mutein Synergistically Inhibits the Formation of Anti-AAV Antibodies.
Second Quarter 2022 Financial Results:
Cash Position: Selecta had $143.4 million in cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, and restricted cash as of June 30, 2022, as compared to cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, and restricted cash of $129.4 million as of December 31, 2021. The increase in cash was primarily due to proceeds from the completion of an equity offering during the second quarter, raising gross proceeds of $38.7 million. Net cash used in operating activities was $24.1 million for the six months ended June 30, 2022, as compared to $18.2 million of cash used in operating activities for the same period in 2021. Selecta believes its available cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and marketable securities will be sufficient to meet its operating requirements into mid-2024.
Collaboration and License Revenue: Collaboration and license revenue for the second quarter of 2022 was $39.3 million, as compared to $19.7 million for the same period in 2021. Revenue was primarily driven by the shipment of clinical supply and the reimbursement of costs incurred for the Phase 3 DISSOLVE clinical program under the license agreement with Sobi and the shipment of manufactured supply under the Sarepta Agreement.
Research and Development Expenses: Research and development expenses for the second quarter of 2022 were $19.2 million, as compared to $14.5 million for the same period in 2021. The increase in cost was primarily the result of expenses incurred for the SEL-212 clinical program, stock compensation, and salaries.
General and Administrative Expenses: General and administrative expenses for the second quarter of 2022 were $6.2 million, as compared to $4.7 million for the same period in 2021. The increase in costs was primarily the result of expenses incurred for issuance costs for the 2022 equity offering and stock compensation.
Net Income (loss): For the second quarter of 2022, Selecta reported net income of $8.6 million, or basic net income per share of $0.06, compared to net income of $4.6 million, or $0.04 basic net income per share, for the same period in 2021.
About Selecta Biosciences, Inc.
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.