Selecta Biosciences Sinks Despite Positive Midstage Data

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Selecta Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ: SELB) saw its shares sink on Tuesday after the company presented new data from patients receiving SEL-212 for the treatment of chronic severe gout at the Pan American League of Associations for Rheumatology (PANLAR) 2018 Congress in Argentina. Although the data seems positive, investors sent the stock lower.

According to the study, roughly 75% of evaluable patients maintained serum uric acid level control below 6 mg/dl during the initial three months of therapy with concurrent mitigation of ADAs against the pegsiticase enzyme. Even then, 91% of patients dosed with pegsiticase alone in month four after the initial three monthly doses of SEL-212 maintained serum uric acid control demonstrating the potential of SVP technology for the induction of immune tolerance.

Approximately 25% of the patient population treated with SEL-212 in the ongoing Phase 2 trial experienced gout flares during the first month after treatment with continued reduction of gout flare rates over months two to five. This low rate of gout flares appears to be in contrast with higher incidence of gout flares reported in clinical trials involving other urate lowering therapies.

Werner Cautreels, Ph.D., president and CEO of Selecta, commented:

We are very pleased by the clinical activity seen in the data presented today at PANLAR, not only in SEL-212’s ability to control serum uric acid levels but also in the reduced incidence of gout flares compared to the current FDA-approved uricase. We believe that SEL-212 has the potential to change the treatment paradigm for patients with chronic severe gout since there remains a high unmet need for a monthly-dosed therapy that can provide better and sustained serum uric acid control in these patients. Today’s reported data show that approximately 75% of evaluable patients maintained serum uric acid control through three months.

Ultimately, this will position the firm to execute on its Phase 3 trial, which is expected to start later this year. Management believes this evidence of immune tolerance to a highly immunogenic enzyme has positive implications for the overall platform and its potential for combination with other immunogenic biologic therapies.

Shares of Selecta Bio were last seen down 6.7% at $10.30, with a consensus analyst price target of $25.20 and a 52-week range of $7.95 to $24.02.