Watertown, Mass.-based Selecta Biosciences Inc. has closed on up to $47.25 million financing round from investors including RUSNANO, a $10-billion Russian Federation fund. The funding will be used for research and development efforts around the company’s vaccines and immunotherapies. Selecta’s financing breaks down into a $22 million Series D, and additional funding up to $25.25 million for strategic activities in Russia, the company said.
Selecta Biosciences, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing an entirely new class of targeted vaccines and immunotherapies, today announced that it has secured new funding from RUSNANO, existing investors, and additional new investors. RUSNANO, a $10-billion Russian Federation fund that supports nanotechnology advances, entered as a significant new investor in Selecta in this new $47.25 million financing which will broaden Selecta’s research and development (R&D) capabilities and advance its new class of vaccines and immunotherapies.
Selecta will use the proceeds from these financings to accelerate its pipeline of products and expand the applications of its Synthetic Vaccine Particle (SVP™). The company is expanding its capabilities by establishing a wholly-owned subsidiary in Moscow, Russia. The increased ability to grow Selecta’s pipeline and improved international market access provide competitive advantages for Selecta to build its business.
“I am delighted this financing recognized the shareholder value that our team has created by expanding our platform to create a potentially revolutionary new class of vaccines and immunotherapies. With this deal, we are seizing a unique opportunity to chart a course for our business, expand our global footprint and significantly accelerate our pipeline development,” said Werner Cautreels, PhD, President and CEO of Selecta Biosciences. “Selecta now has the resources, expanded expertise and capabilities to fully realize the potential of our SVP platform which has broad applications to global health problems such as nicotine dependence, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and infectious diseases.”
Selecta’s $22 million Series D round is with RUSNANO, additional new investors, and full support by all of Selecta’s existing investors. In addition to the Series D round, Selecta has additional funding up to $25.25 million for strategic activities in Russia. Proceeds from this transaction enable Selecta to accelerate its product development timelines. This funding allows Selecta to advance SEL-068, a vaccine candidate for smoking cessation and relapse prevention, more rapidly through clinical studies to evaluate efficacy and safety. In addition, Selecta is now able to significantly expand its pipeline and advance additional drug candidates into development. Selecta’s current pipeline includes novel compounds for indications such as autoimmune diseases, cancer, allergies, and infectious diseases.
Selecta’s subsidiary in Russia will have the capacity to manage and conduct R&D for additional SVP product development programs. With its presence in Russia, the company will integrate the specific needs of patients in emerging markets into its product profiles for vaccines and immunotherapies to treat conditions such as nicotine dependence and infectious diseases. Selecta’s Russian presence will further enable access to innovative funding sources and partners, including pharmaceutical companies and economic development organizations with interest in emerging countries.
“These agreements announced today are both remarkable and transformational for Selecta in taking novel vaccines to patients in need around the globe,” said Professor Robert Langer, David H. Koch Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a recipient of the U.S. National Medal of Science, and a founder and Director of Selecta Biosciences. “Selecta’s progress to date has been impressive, and the international presence and additional resources from this financing will only expand the already strong interest in partnerships and collaborations that Selecta has been generating.”
Selecta’s financing to date totals $79.85 million in private funding, including the proceeds from this transaction. Selecta is backed by top-tier venture investors, including Polaris Venture Partners, Flagship Ventures, OrbiMed Advisors, NanoDimension, and Leukon Investments.
Global Operating Experience
The Selecta team has a wealth of experience in launching, building and managing global business operations in the biopharmaceutical industry. Dr. Cautreels is the former CEO of Solvay Pharmaceuticals, and during his tenure at Solvay, oversaw global operations with significant presence throughout the European Union, North America, and Russia, playing a vital role in the development of Russia based operations, including R&D, manufacturing, and commercial competencies. Dr. Cautreels was also president of the Belgian Chamber of Commerce for Russia. Robert Rosen will serve as General Director of Selecta’s Russian subsidiary and he brings a strong track record of successfully building the Russian operations for Genzyme and Medtronic.
RUSNANO was established in March 2011 as an open joint stock company created through reorganization of the state corporation Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies. RUSNANO’s mission is to develop the Russian nanotechnology industry through co-investment in nanotechnology projects with substantial economic potential or social benefit. The Government of the Russian Federation owns 100 percent of the shares in RUSNANO. Anatoly Chubais is CEO and chairman of the Executive Board of RUSNANO.
Work to establish nanotechnology infrastructure and training for nanotechnology specialists, formerly conducted by the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies, has been entrusted to the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs, a non-commercial fund also established through reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies. More information about RUSNANO may be found at www.rusnano.com/Section.aspx/Show/17872.
Selecta Biosciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company developing an entirely new class of targeted vaccines that induces an antigen-specific immune activation or antigen-specific immune tolerance for therapeutic and prophylactic applications. Selecta’s proprietary Synthetic Vaccine Particle (SVP™) platform creates a new paradigm in vaccine development, enabling completely new therapeutic applications while offering the potential of improved efficacy and safety profiles. Selecta’s fully synthetic engineering of novel vaccines offers a number of compelling benefits, including flexible modular vaccine design and accelerated development timelines using robust manufacturing processes. Selecta’s SVP™ platform technology is flexible to enable diverse vaccines and the company has created antigen-specific targeted Synthetic Vaccine Particles (tSVP™) and antigen-specific targeted tolerogenic Synthetic Vaccine Particles (t2SVP™).
Targeted Synthetic Vaccine Particles (tSVP™) activate immune responses to a wide array of relevant antigens, including small molecules, peptides, oligosaccharides, and proteins. These particles can target humoral or cellular pathways of the immune system. Examples for applications include cancer, infectious diseases and addiction. Targeted tolerogenic Synthetic Vaccine Particles (t2SVP™) are designed to induce antigen-specific immune tolerance. Examples for applications include autoimmune diseases, allergies and transplant rejection.
Selecta’s pipeline currently contains a vaccine for smoking cessation and relapse prevention, a vaccine for Type 1 Diabetes, vaccines for several infectious diseases (universal influenza, universal human papillomavirus, and malaria), and research approaches with cancer vaccines and in the field of allergies.
Building on the company’s novel approach, Selecta’s product candidates have the potential to become first-in-class or best-in-class therapeutics to treat and prevent diseases.
Selecta was founded based on the advanced nanoparticle technology from the laboratories of two leaders in the field of targeted nanotechnology, Professor Robert Langer, Institute Professor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Professor Omid Farokhzad of Harvard Medical School as well as immunology research of Professor Ulrich von Andrian at Harvard Medical School. Selecta Biosciences Inc. is based in Watertown, Massachusetts, USA.