Selecta Wins SAIC Subcontract to Develop Synthetic Nanoparticle Malaria Vaccine

Selecta Biosciences won a subcontract from Science Applications International (SAIC) to develop a targeted synthetic nanoparticle vaccine against malaria, using its targeted Synthetic Vaccine Particle (tSVPTM) platform. The project will be funded by SAIC through its Malaria Vaccine Production and Support Services contract with the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and is part of a collaborative effort by NIAID and the U.S. Agency for International Development to develop novel therapeutics and vaccines for malaria. Under terms of the contract, Selecta will develop the tSVP malaria vaccine, which will be tested in preclinical studies by SAIC collaborators.

Selecta's SVP vaccine technology has been developed to enable the induction of either antigen-specific immune activation or antigen-specific immune tolerance, for therapeutic and prophylactic application. The technology is being exploited through two platforms. tSVPTM products are designed to elicit immune responses to a wide array of small molecule, peptide, oligosaccharide, and protein antigens, and target humoral or cellular pathways of the immune system.

In contrast, targeted tolerogenic Synthetic Vaccine Particles (t2SVPTM) are designed to induce antigen-specific immune tolerance, for applications in areas such as autoimmune diseases, allergies, and transplant rejection.

tSVP candidates are designed as synthetic nanoparticle vaccines engineered to mimic the properties of natural pathogens. The resulting nanoparticle contains a B-cell antigen, adjuvant, and T-cell antigen.

Selecta's preclinical in-house and partnered pipeline includes tSVP and t2SVP candidates for nicotine addiction, HPV, cancer, type 1 diabetes, allergy, influenza, and malaria. First-in-man studies evaluating the tSVP candidate for nicotine addiction, SEL-068, are expected to start during the latter part of 2011. The smoking cessation vaccine program has been funded in part by a $3 million grant awarded in 2010 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

In June Selecta announced a research collaboration with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to support development of a therapeutic tolerogenic vaccine that acts to prevent or stop the autoimmune response that causes type 1 diabetes.

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