Sanofi has entered into a collaboration with the USA's Selecta Biosciences, to discover "highly-targeted, antigen-specific immunotherapies for life-threatening allergies".

Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi has obtained an exclusive license to develop an immunotherapy against a life-threatening food allergen and an option to develop two others for allergies each to a specific food. Cashwise, Watertown, Massachusetts-based Selecta is eligible to receive clinical, regulatory and sales milestones totalling $300 million per allergen indication for up to three immunotherapy candidates. The company is also entitled to up to double-digit tiered royalties.

Sanofi said the collaboration leverages its Boston-based R&D capabilities, while Selecta chief executive Werner Cautreels added that his firm's technology "can restore balance to dysregulated immune systems by producing immune tolerance to specific antigens".

He concluded by saying that "our approach addresses the underlying causes of these diseases and thereby makes advances beyond today’s symptomatic treatments and allergen avoidance strategies". Selecta’s pipeline currently contains vaccines for smoking cessation, malaria and tolerogenic immunotherapies for type-1 diabetes, as well as for allergies.