Sobi selects a gout candidate

Taking a punt on an asset just before the readout of a head-to-head trial against the potential market leader might be regarded as risky. Perhaps this is why Swedish Orphan Biovitrum was able to license Selecta Biosciences’ gout project SEL-212 for just $75m up front, plus a $25m equity investment. Sobi is to take over development, regulatory and commercial activities for SEL-212 everywhere except China, and milestones could total a further $630m with royalties on top. SEL-212, a combination of Selecta’s ImmTOR immune tolerance technology, intended to mitigate the formation of anti-drug antibodies, and a pegylated uricase enzyme, is in the phase II Compare trial, pitting it against Horizon Therapeutics’ Krystexxa. Compare is to be toplined next quarter, and a Selecta-run phase III programme is to start this year. Horizon’s drug, also a pegylated uricase, was approved in 2010 and is forecast to rack up 2026 sales more than double those of SEL-212, according to consensus data compiled by EvaluatePharma. This is despite Krystexxa having to be infused fortnightly, whereas in trials SEL-212 has been administered monthly.

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