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Selecta Biosciences reducing workforce by 36% to develop product pipeline

Selecta Biosciences Inc. is reducing its workforce by 36% to focus on the development of its product pipeline.

As of Jan. 3, the move has affected about 17 employees working in Selecta's research and related general and accounting departments.

In the realignment, Selecta Biosciences will focus on developing SEL-212, its lead product candidate intended to treat chronic refractory gout.

The company will also prioritize the development of its ImmTOR technology in combination with adeno-associated virus-based gene therapy for treating Crigler-Najjar syndrome, a severe, rare genetic condition characterized by the body's inability to properly convert a toxic substance called bilirubin in the blood.

Selecta Biosciences decided to deprioritize its oncology development program as part of the restructuring.

These measures are expected to cut Selecta's annual cash burn by 19% going forward. The Watertown, Mass.-based company expects to complete the workforce reduction in the first quarter of 2019.

After the workforce reduction, the company expects to have about 45 full-time employment positions and to be appropriately resourced to continue executing on its current strategy.

Selecta said it expects to incur aggregate charges in connection with the workforce reduction of about $488,000 for employee severance and termination benefit costs, all of which are expected to be cash expenditures.