WATERTOWN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Selecta Biosciences, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company developing a novel class of targeted antigen-specific immune therapies using Synthetic Vaccine Particles (SVP), today announced the appointment of Earl (‘Skip’) Sands, MD, as Chief Medical Officer (CMO). As CMO, Dr. Sands will oversee all clinical development and regulatory activities for the company, as Selecta rapidly advances its product candidates in and toward human clinical trials for a range of diseases, including refractory gout, gene therapy, smoking cessation, human papillomavirus (HPV) associated cancers, and others. Dr. Sands is a seasoned biopharmaceutical executive with experience advancing early stage R&D programs successfully through clinical development and product commercialization. He will report directly to Selecta’s CEO Werner Cautreels, PhD, and will serve as a member of the company’s executive management team.
“The breadth of Skip’s expertise in developing, advancing and commercializing products for a wide range of indications is an ideal fit for his role with Selecta,” said Werner Cautreels, PhD, President and CEO of Selecta Biosciences. “His proven leadership will be critical to our success as we work to advance our proprietary pipeline of SVP immunotherapeutics and vaccines through clinical development.”
With over two decades of experience, Dr. Sands’ professional career has spanned the corporate biopharmaceutical, academic, and private medical practice worlds. During his career, he led and contributed to numerous clinical programs from IND through sNDA/sBLA/MAA, including programs in neuroscience, cardio-metabolic, vaccines, cancer and others.
“Selecta’s proprietary SVP technology platform offers significant potential to meet unmet medical needs in a diverse array of diseases as it is a robust product engine for the durable and antigen-specific treatment of undesired immune responses,” said Dr. Sands. “I look forward to working with the Selecta team to advance our lead clinical compounds, SEL-212 for refractory gout and SEL-068 for smoking cessation and relapse prevention, as well as our other promising development programs.”
Prior to joining Selecta, Dr. Sands was most recently CMO of Targacept (2014-2015) and of Plasma Surgical (2013-2014). From 2011 to 2013, he was a consultant to biotechnology, pharmaceutical and health care companies, leading protocol development and execution for Phase 1-4 studies in a number of areas, including women’s and men’s health, oncology, neuroscience and gastroenterology. From 2003 to 2011, Dr. Sands was with Solvay Pharmaceuticals/Abbott Laboratories (following its acquisition of Solvay) in a series of roles of increasing responsibility culminating as Executive Vice President, Market Access and including Senior Vice President of Research and Development. Earlier in his career, he worked with Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, founded a medical education company, and was a managing partner in a medical practice. He earned his Medical Doctor Degree from Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA, and has completed courses in the Executive MBA program at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.
Selecta Biosciences, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel drugs that use immune modulating nanomedicines to generate targeted antigen-specific immune responses to prevent and treat disease. Selecta’s proprietary Synthetic Vaccine Particle (SVP) platform creates a novel paradigm in immunotherapeutics and vaccines, enabling completely new applications while offering the potential of improved efficacy and safety profiles.
Selecta’s immunomodulatory SVPs can induce antigen-specific immune tolerance, enabling them to be applied in a variety of therapeutic areas with large unmet medical need. The company is focused on three key near-term applications: inhibition of immunogenicity of biologic therapies, treatment of allergies, and treatment of autoimmune diseases. Immunogenicity adversely affects the safety and efficacy profile for many biological therapies, and is known to have caused the termination of a number of promising biological therapies in clinical development. Selecta’s SVP is a product engine that has the potential to unlock the full therapeutic value of biologic therapies.
Through proprietary products and collaborations with leading pharmaceutical companies and research organizations, Selecta is building a pipeline of product candidates to address unmet medical needs in serious and chronic diseases. Selecta Biosciences, Inc. is based in Watertown, Massachusetts, USA. For more information, please visit www.selectabio.com.