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Selecta Biosciences Eliminates 36% Of Workforce

Selecta Biosciences, Inc. (SELB) said that it restructured to reduce the current workforce by 36% as of January 3, 2019. The reduction, coupled with a reprioritization of the company's pipeline programs, is projected to reduce the yearly cash burn by 19% going forward.

SELB closed Thursday regular trading at $2.29, down $0.61 or 21.03 percent.

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. He has also held senior executive positions at Eli Lilly, Novartis, Basilea, and Bausch and Lomb in Europe, Asia and the United States.

President and CEO, Carsten Brunn, said, "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."

Following a December 2018 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) meeting, the company plans to initiate a head-to-head superiority trial of SEL-212, utilizing revised stopping rules, compared to the current FDA-approved uricase therapy, Krystexxa, in the first quarter of 2019.

In September 2018, Selecta announced a collaboration with the European consortium, CureCN, for an ImmTOR+AAV gene therapy combination product candidate in Crigler-Najjar Syndrome. Selecta expects CureCN to initiate preclinical toxicology studies in the first half of 2019 and for the combination product candidate to enter the clinic in the second half of the year.

Selecta plans to deprioritize its SEL-403 Phase 1 oncology program. The trial, which was placed on clinical hold by the FDA, was being conducted by the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.

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