WATERTOWN, Mass., Jan. 02, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Selecta Biosciences, Inc.(NASDAQ:SELB), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on unlocking the full potential of biologic therapies by avoiding unwanted immune responses, today announced that President and CEO Werner Cautreels, Ph.D., intends to retire effective December 31, 2018. Selecta’s Board of Directors plans to retain an executive search firm to identify a successor. In conjunction with this succession process, Dr. Omid Farokhzad, a member of Selecta’s Board and a cofounder of the company, has been appointed Chairman of the Board effective December 31, 2017. Selecta expects Dr. Cautreels to remain a member of the Board following his retirement.
“Leading Selecta has been a privilege, and my time at the company has been extremely rewarding on both a personal and professional level,” said Dr. Cautreels. “Selecta remains on track to achieve significant milestones in 2018, with SEL-212 expected to enter a Phase 3 clinical trial in the second half of 2018 and SEL-403 expected to enter a clinical trial in the first quarter of 2018. We also have enhanced our team in recent months by naming John Leaman, M.D., as our Chief Financial Officer and Head of Corporate Strategy and adding Stephen Smolinski as our Chief Commercial Officer. This is the right time to identify my successor for the next phase of Selecta’s growth while also further strengthening our governance. I am grateful that Dr. Omid Farokhzad has agreed to serve as our new Chairman. Omid and I have been close partners in building Selecta. Together with the Board and management team, I look forward to helping Selecta continue its growth and progress.”
Dr. Farokhzad is one of Selecta’s cofounders and has served as a member of its Board of Directors since 2007, including serving as its Vice Chairman from 2008 to 2016. Dr. Farokhzad is a physician-scientist and serial entrepreneur. He has been directly involved in the launch and development of four biotechnology companies and, on occasion, has assumed additional roles in support of management. Dr. Farokhzad currently serves on the Board of Directors of Tarveda Therapeutics and Placon Therapeutics. From 2006 to 2014, Dr. Farokhzad also served on the Board of Directors of BIND Therapeutics, Inc. He is currently a Professor at Harvard Medical School and directs the Center for Nanomedicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He received his M.D. and M.A. from Boston University School of Medicine, and his M.B.A. from MIT.
“Werner has been an exemplary partner and an effective leader since joining Selecta in 2010,” said Dr. Farokhzad. “His ability to recognize the clinical and commercial importance of applying Selecta’s SVP technology platform to avoid unwanted immune responses against a myriad of biologics has been a key value driver for Selecta and of great importance to our patients. Under Werner’s leadership, we have built the company with a promising and diverse pipeline of proprietary product candidates as well as licensed product development opportunities. I have greatly enjoyed working with Werner over the past seven years. We are pleased that he will remain with Selecta as our President and CEO through 2018. I also am excited about the opportunity to serve Selecta as Chairman as we leverage our SVP platform to develop new treatment options for patients with chronic severe gout, cancer and other serious diseases.”
About Selecta Biosciences, Inc.
Selecta Biosciences, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that is focused on unlocking the full potential of biologic therapies by avoiding unwanted immune responses. Selecta plans to combine its tolerogenic Synthetic Vaccine Particles (SVP™) to a range of biologics for rare and serious diseases that require new treatment options. The company’s current proprietary pipeline includes SVP-enabled enzyme, oncology and gene therapies. SEL-212, the company’s lead candidate in Phase 2, is being developed to treat severe gout patients and resolve their debilitating symptoms, including flares and gouty arthritis. An investigational new drug (IND) application was recently accepted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a combination therapy consisting of SVP-Rapamycin and LMB-100 (Selecta’s SEL-403 product candidate) for the treatment of patients with malignant pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma. Selecta’s two proprietary gene therapy product candidates, SEL-302 and SEL-313, are being developed for rare inborn errors of metabolism and have the potential to enable repeat administration. The use of SVP is also being explored in the development of vaccines and treatments for allergies and autoimmune diseases. Selecta is based in Watertown, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit http://selectabio.com and follow @SelectaBio on Twitter.