Sanofi will use Selecta Biosciences’ Synthetic Vaccine Particle (SVP™) platform to develop one immunotherapy, and possibly two others, in a deal that could net Selecta as much as $900 million.

The two companies entered into a strategic global collaboration that calls for Sanofi to develop a vaccine designed to abate acute immune responses against a life-threatening food allergen. The accord also gives Sanofi an option to develop two additional candidate immunotherapies for allergies, each to a specific food or aeroallergen using SVP. The platform technology can engineer nanoparticles that balance overactive response to specific allergy-causing antigens, resulting in the structure and composition required to produce immune tolerance.

In return, Selecta is eligible for preclinical, clinical, regulatory, and sales milestones totaling $300 million per allergen indication, for up to three immunotherapy candidates. Selecta is also entitled to undisclosed up-to-double-digit tiered royalties as percentage of product net sales for each commercialized immunotherapy.

SVP uses technology based on nanotechnology developed by Robert Langer, Sc.D., of MIT and Omid Farokhzad, M.D., of Harvard Medical School, as well as immunologic research by Harvard’s Ulrich von Andrian, M.D., Ph.D.

In October 2011, Selecta and BIND Biosciences won $25 million each from Russia’s $10 billion state-owned technology fund Rusnano, with each company eligible for another $22.25 million from current and new investors, in a potential $94.5-million deal requiring the companies to establish subsidiaries in Russia to access scientific and clinical expertise toward speeding up development of drugs based on nanomedicine.

Separately today, Rusnano said Selecta’s Russian subsidiary Selecta RUS became the first pharmaceutical company in the tech fund’s portfolio to open a research center in Russia.

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