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Selecta Biosciences and Astellas Announce Exclusive Licensing and Development Agreement for Xork IgG Protease

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Selecta Biosciences, Inc., and Astellas Pharma Inc., announced an exclusive licensing and development agreement for IdeXork (Xork). Xork is being studied as a potential next generation immunoglobulin G (IgG) protease that will be developed by Astellas for use with AT845, an investigational, adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based treatment for Late-Onset Pompe disease (LOPD) in adults.

"Currently many patients are ineligible for clinical trials with investigational AAV gene therapy products due to the presence of naturally occurring antibodies against AAV gene therapy capsids," said Carsten Brunn, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Selecta. "Xork has the potential to expand access to life-changing gene therapies by addressing pre-existing immunity to AAV. Most other IgG proteases in development are derived from common human pathogens, and as a result there is a high prevalence of pre-existing antibodies against these proteases that can restrict their use. Xork is differentiated by its low cross-reactivity to pre-existing antibodies in human serum. We are thrilled to partner with Astellas as they advance their robust gene therapy portfolio through the clinic."

Naoki Okamura, Chief Strategy Officer of Astellas added, "We are looking forward to partnering with Selecta as we strive to expand our therapies to a broader range of patients living with debilitating diseases, who have limited treatment options. This agreement provides an opportunity to deliver potentially transformative gene therapy treatments to a specific population of LOPD adult patients who might otherwise be ineligible for clinical trials or treatment with Astellas' investigational product."

Under the terms of the agreement, Selecta will receive a $10M upfront payment and is eligible to receive up to $340M for certain additional development and commercial milestones plus royalties on any potential commercial sales where Xork is used as a pre-treatment for AT845. Selecta is responsible for the development and manufacturing of Xork and will maintain the rights for the development of additional indications beyond Pompe disease. Astellas would have the sole and exclusive right to commercialize Xork for use in Pompe disease with an Astellas gene therapy investigational or authorized product, with a current focus on AT845.

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