Selecta inks $900M immunotherapy deal with Sanofi

Selecta Biosciences, a U.S. vaccine company, inked a deal worth as much as $900 million with Sanofi ($SNY) to work on immunotherapies for life-threatening food allergies.

Under the agreement, Sanofi lands exclusive license to design a first food allergy immunotherapy, with the option to develop two more, according to Selecta's statement. And Selecta is eligible to receive milestones totaling $300 million per allergy indication for up to three immunotherapy candidates, along with royalties from sales.

Sanofi will have access to Selecta's Synthetic Vaccine Particle platform, which enables researchers to engineer nanoparticles that produce tolerance to specific substances that provoke allergies.

"In allergies, as well as auto-immune diseases, organ transplantation, and protein replacement therapies, there is a lack of specific, effective and safe treatments to prevent undesired immune reactions," Werner Cautreels, Selecta's president and CEO, said in a statement. "Our approach addresses the underlying causes of these diseases and thereby makes advances beyond today's symptomatic treatments and allergen avoidance strategies."

- see the release
- get more from Reuters
- here's FierceBiotech's take

Special Report: Selecta Biosciences - 2011 Fierce 15