About Selectx Pharmaceuticals
SelectX Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery and development of small molecule antimicrobials and other therapeutics for unmet medical needs through the application of its Genetic Chemistry platform.
Latest Selectx Pharmaceuticals News
Feb 19, 2021
Associate Editor When Henry Skinner was in charge of antibiotics-focused SelectX Pharmaceuticals about 15 years ago, the company had “very good science,” but couldn’t keep it capitalized. So when the Big Pharma-backed AMR Action Fund was launched in July to spur the development of new antibiotics, he said it was a “clarion call.” The lack of progress across anti-infectives isn’t due to a shortage of innovation, Skinner said, “but because of the difficulty in capitalizing those innovations due to market constraints.” The fund is meant to “bridge that gap, and give our policymakers and governments time to make adjustments on a macro sense to reestablish the market.” Read More Max Gelman Associate Editor As more and more Covid-19 vaccines hurtle toward emergency approvals, the call for equitable access across the globe has only grown. And Thursday afternoon, one company stepped up for the second time. In a new non-binding agreement with COVAX, Novavax announced it has promised additional vaccine doses to the WHO’s distribution network for low- and middle-income countries, in conjunction with CEPI and Gavi. Novavax is working with the Serum Institute of India to deliver the doses, and its total commitment to COVAX — including binding purchase agreements and Thursday’s “memorandum of understanding” — now totals up to 1.1 billion shots. Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription Unlock this story instantly and join 101,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free. SUBSCRIBE John Carroll Editor & Founder Just a couple of weeks after Bristol Myers Squibb finally won an FDA OK for liso-cel, investigators at Penn posted a 5-year update on a small group of patients suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma who were treated with Novartis’ pioneering CAR-T Kymriah. And it’s impressive. For these advanced, treatment-resistant NHL patients, 46% had achieved a complete remission, with 31% marking progression free survival at the 5-year point. And researchers determined that durable success here hinges on patients’ response one year into the treatment. This is the longest stretch yet reported on for these patients. Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription Unlock this story instantly and join 101,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free. SUBSCRIBE Jason Mast Editor In the downtime between experiments, Kamel Khalili and his mentor traded their wildest ideas for curing HIV. It was the mid 1980s and Khalili was a postdoc at George Khoury’s National Cancer Institute lab, where he studied links between viruses and tumors, then one of the hottest fields in cancer research. But the epidemic was raging through New York and San Francisco, mounting the largest public health threat in decades. A couple buildings over, Robert Gallo was sequencing the virus for the first time. It felt impossible to stay away. There was one idea Khalili couldn’t stop thinking about. HIV posed a unique challenge in part because it integrated itself into human DNA, coiling away from the body’s defenses. Khalili had spent his grad days tinkering with one of the earliest tools biologists invented to manipulate DNA inside a living cell. In fact, the first experiment he was assigned to when he moved from Tehran to Philadelphia as a 27-year-old graduate student was to take a bacteria-infecting virus and use it to inactivate a gene inside E. coli. He wondered if he could do the same to the HIV genes inside a patient’s cells — an idea, he knew, was as ludicrous as it was elegant. “Obviously the tool wasn’t there,” Khalili recalls. The tools they had struck DNA randomly, subjecting the recipient to a scattershot of genetic artillery. “You’d kill the patient.” Then in 2012 came CRISPR, the so-called molecular scissors that could cut DNA wherever a researcher wanted. Khalili, who had risen to run a vast neuroscience department at Temple University without ever giving up on his youthful whim, rushing to examine a new gene editing tool whenever it appeared, got to work. Within a year and a half of Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier’s Nobel-winning Science paper, he submitted a manuscript to The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that would send ripples through the HIV field. He had taken CRISPR and used it to excise HIV out of human DNA. When he put it in HIV-infected mice a few years later, about a third were cured. “I’ve been working on HIV for close to 40 years,” says Khalili. Now 69, he has an easy, avuncular laugh even over Zoom and large expressive eyebrows, though colleagues tell me he can have a far harder edge in the lab. “For the first time we realized a cure was possible.” In November, Khalili gave the first evidence the approach could work in monkeys. Investors are now getting on board. Excision BioTherapeutics, the company founded around Khalili’s work, announced today a $50 million Series A to push the therapy into the clinic. If it works as intended, it could provide a long-sought single-shot cure for a virus that now infects 38 million people worldwide and set the stage for a similar approach for other chronic viruses, such as herpes and hepatitis B. In a field already burned countless times, outside researchers are understandably cautious: CRISPR is a powerful tool, they say, but trying to excise all the viral DNA lurking in a patient’s cells is like trying to plumb an oil spill; there’s always a bit left, tucked in hard-to-reach places. Still, many were impressed he got this far, having discounted the approach years before. And they broadly agreed that Khalili may have invented one of the weapons for the multi-pronged assault they think will one day take down the virus. The first test will come later this year, when a group of patients will be injected with Khalili’s therapy and, eventually, taken off the anti-retroviral medicines that have kept their infections at bay. If the infections don’t return, they will owe it to an immigrant scientist, who flung himself into a crisis much of his adopted country ignored and for four decades never let go of a brash and maybe even brilliant idea, even when the tools didn’t exist and the NIH told him it was impossible. Skepticism still runs high, just not as high as when Khalili first started sketching out the idea to friends and colleagues on napkins nearly a decade ago. “We have to be very careful,” says Fyodor Urnov, a gene editing expert at Cal-Berkeley who worked on early HIV gene editing studies. “But I think, overall, the field can move from hypothetical to realistic optimism.” Premium subscription required
Selectx Pharmaceuticals Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When was Selectx Pharmaceuticals founded?
Selectx Pharmaceuticals was founded in 2002.
Where is Selectx Pharmaceuticals's headquarters?
Selectx Pharmaceuticals's headquarters is located at One Innovation Drive, Worcester.
What is Selectx Pharmaceuticals's latest funding round?
Selectx Pharmaceuticals's latest funding round is Series B.
How much did Selectx Pharmaceuticals raise?
Selectx Pharmaceuticals raised a total of $5M.
Who are the investors of Selectx Pharmaceuticals?
Investors of Selectx Pharmaceuticals include Boston University Technology Development, TVM Capital and Inventages Venture Capital.
Who are Selectx Pharmaceuticals's competitors?
Competitors of Selectx Pharmaceuticals include Portola Pharmaceuticals, Ocera Therapeutics, Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp., Potentia Pharmaceuticals, BrainCells and 7 more.
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