Selecta Biosciences raises $38m in Series E funding and also appoints Earl (‘Skip’) Sands, MD, as Chief Medical Officer (CMO). The company is a clinical stage biotech developing a novel class of targeted antigen-specific immune therapies. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance multiple product candidates from Selecta’s Synthetic Vaccine Particle (SVP) platform, which creates antigen-specific immunotherapeutics, with priority implementation of the clinical program for Selecta’s lead immunotherapeutic candidate, SEL-212, which is designed to be the first nonimmunogenic biologic therapy for gout.
The largest investor in this Series E round is OrbiMed, a leading institutional healthcare investor, and includes new investors, Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures, Ridgeback Capital Management, Osage University Partners, AJU IB Investment and Sphera Global Health Care Fund, along with participation from all of Selecta’s existing investors. The Series E financing will allow Selecta to complete the on-going Phase 1 clinical program for SEL-212 in refractory and tophaceous gout, and then initiate a multi-dose ascending phase 2 study which is planned to start in 2016. In addition to the crossover and strategic investors who participated in this round, Selecta is backed by top-tier venture investors, including Polaris Venture Partners, Flagship Ventures, NanoDimension, Rusnano and Leukon Investments, who all participated in this round.
“With this oversubscribed round that includes a balance of crossover, strategic and venture investors, we are very pleased to see this strong support from the investor community for our antigen-specific immunotherapies. We now have the resources and investor base that will see us through the Phase 2 clinical development of SEL-212, the first non-immunogenic biologic therapy for gout, and the extension of our clinical pipeline into first ever non-immunogenic gene therapies and therapeutic biologics,” noted Werner Cautreels, PhD, President and CEO at Selecta.
In terms of the appointment of Dr. Sands, before joining Selecta, Dr. Sands was most recently CMO of Targacept (2014-2015) and of Plasma Surgical (2013-2014). From 2011 to 2013, he was a consultant to biotechnology, pharmaceutical and health care companies, leading protocol development and execution for Phase 1-4 studies in a number of areas, including women’s and men’s health, oncology, neuroscience and gastroenterology. From 2003 to 2011, Dr. Sands was with Solvay Pharmaceuticals/Abbott Laboratories (following its acquisition of Solvay) in a series of roles of increasing responsibility culminating as Executive Vice President, Market Access and including Senior Vice President of Research and Development. Earlier in his career, he worked with Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, founded a medical education company, and was a managing partner in a medical practice. He earned his Medical Doctor Degree from Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA, and has completed courses in the Executive MBA program at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.