Will the Selecta Biosciences Restructuring Pay Off?

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Selecta Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ: SELB) shares pushed higher on Friday after the company provided an update on its new streamlined structure under its new president and chief executive officer.

In its midstage gout study, Selecta showed interim data that reduced total urate burden and lowered flare rates and severity. This was all observed in the Phase 2 clinical trial, and SEL-212 continued to be generally well tolerated.

Back in September, Selecta announced a collaboration with the European consortium, CureCN, for an ImmTOR+AAV gene therapy combination product candidate in Crigler-Najjar syndrome.

Also effective, December 1, 2018, Carsten Brunn, Ph.D., assumed the role of president and CEO of Selecta, following his previous position as president of Pharmaceuticals for the Americas and member of the Global Pharmaceutical Executive Committee at Bayer.

Overall, the company is restructuring to reduce the current workforce by 36% as of January 3, 2019.  This reduction, coupled with a reprioritization of the company’s pipeline programs, is projected to reduce the yearly cash burn by 19% going forward.

Brunn commented:

We believe 2019 will be a transformative year for Selecta with key milestones anticipated for both our chronic refractory gout and gene therapy programs. We intend to focus on executing our strategic priorities, advancing our ImmTOR platform, and growing our strategic partnerships. With this renewed focus, we plan to deprioritize our oncology pipeline and undergo a restructuring to better align with our new priorities. The restructuring was a difficult decision and I want to personally thank all those who are affected for all their contributions to Selecta,

Shares of Selecta were last seen up about 21% at $2.78, in a 52-week range of $2.28 to $16.54. The consensus analyst price target is $26.33.