Selecta Biosciences has received a $3.2 million grant from the Skolkovo Foundation to develop an immunotherapy to treat cancers caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), such as cervical, head, and neck cancers.
Selecta develops drugs that use immune-modulating nanomedicines based on Synthetic Vaccine Particles (SVP), according to a press release.
The grant will help advance an SVP cancer immunotherapy from preclinical through early clinical evaluation. The program is designed to develop SVP immunotherapies capable of harnessing cytolytic T-lymphocytes (CTL), to attack HPV-transformed tumor cells.
In preclinical studies, SVP immunotherapeutics demonstrated synergistic effects with anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1 antibodies, a family of checkpoint inhibitors under development for various cancers, the company said. Based on its SVP immunotherapeutics, Selecta intends to broaden its CTL program to other cancer types and chronic infections in parallel to the HPV program.