Sanofi has decided to take up its option to license and develop an experimental immunotherapy owned by Selecta Biosciences for the treatment of Coeliac disease.

The firms entered a strategic global collaboration in 2012 to discover highly-targeted, antigen-specific immunotherapies for life threatening allergies, giving Sanofi an exclusive license to develop an immunotherapy to abate acute immune responses against a life-threatening food allergen, as well as the option to develop two additional immunotherapies for allergies and Coeliac disease. 

The products are based on Selecta’s Synthetic Vaccine Particle platform, which can uniquely engineer nanoparticles with the structure and composition to produce immune tolerance by reducing the overactive response to specific antigens. 

As per the terms of the deal, Sanofi’s take up of a third programme could see Selecta receive research support and several preclinical, clinical, regulatory and sales milestones totalling up to $300 million, as well as double-digit tiered royalties as percentage of product net sales for any product making it to market. 

Coeliac disease, a gluten induced chronic inflammatory disorder of the small bowel, affects around 1% of the population in the US and Europe, causing a wide range of symptoms including diarrhoea, abdominal pain, weight loss, and hypoproteinaemia.