On Thursday, Selecta Biosciences (NASDAQ:SELB) announced an update to its collaboration with Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, a partnership focused on the development of MMA-101 and ImmTOR as a combination treatment for methylmalonic acidemia (MMA). Investors were not pleased with some of the information Selecta Biosciences revealed, however. As a result, the company's shares are dropping sharply today. Selecta Biosciences' stock was down by 16.5% as of 12:50 p.m. EDT.
Selecta Biosciences announced that moving forward, it will hold the exclusive rights to advance the development of MMA-101 and ImmTOR as a combination treatment for MMA. Previously, Selecta Biosciences shared these rights with Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, but the latter opted to give all the rights to Selecta.
The most likely reason why Selecta Biosciences' stock is plunging today is the announcement that due to a manufacturing issue, the company now expects the submission of its investigational new drug (IND) application for MMA-101 and ImmTOR to be delayed at least until the fourth quarter of 2021.
Drugmakers have to submit an IND application before starting human clinical trials for a new investigational medicine. Selecta Biosciences had previously said that the combo treatment of MMA-101 and ImmTOR would "enter the clinic in the second quarter of 2021 with preliminary data expected by year-end."
Most of Selecta Biosciences' programs are still in their early stages, and the company doesn't have any products on the market. Any delay in the progress of one its clinical programs is likely to scare off some investors, which is what is happening today. At any rate, for investors focused on the long term, it seems way too early to consider purchasing shares of this healthcare stock.