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Pandion Therapeutics, a clinical-stage, biotechnology company developing modular protein therapeutics for autoimmune disease, has announced the closure of an $80 million Series B financing. The funding will be used to support the development of multiple product candidates in the company’s pipeline.
The financing round was led by Access Biotechnology and Boxer Capital and included new investors RA Capital and OrbiMed. All of Pandion’s existing venture capital investors, including Polaris Partners, Versant Ventures, Roche Venture Fund, SR One, JDRF T1D Fund and BioInnovation Capital, participated in the round, a statement said.
Pandion Therapeutics said it will use the money to fund the continued development of multiple product candidates such as its lead clinical-stage program, PT101, a novel interleukin 2 (IL-2) mutein Fc fusion protein, that is currently in Phase 1 clinical development; bringing a second program into clinical development; and broadening its modular drug design platform. It has a drug pipeline of systemic immune modulators and tissue-targeted therapeutics focused on the gut, liver, skin, kidneys, and pancreas.
In March, Pandion began a Phase 1 study in ulcerative colitis, a disease characterized by inflammation of the inner lining of the large intestine. The Phase 1 clinical trial will assess the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of PT101 in healthy volunteers and will include measures of its pharmacodynamic and immuno-modulatory activity. The trial is designed to demonstrate the safety of PT101 and confirm its ability to expand regulatory T-cell populations in human subjects. Pandion intends to investigate PT101 as a treatment for patients with ulcerative colitis and other autoimmune diseases.
The company expects that the drug could have applications for treating other autoimmune disorders.
The financing will also enable the company to expand its team and infrastructure to support the future growth of the company, Pandion said.
The Cambridge, MA-based startup, which emerged two years ago, is developing modular biologics for autoimmune regulation that are designed to achieve lasting therapeutic outcomes for patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
“This financing from a world-class syndicate of life science investors speaks to the strong potential of our pipeline of modular proteins and bifunctional antibodies for autoimmune diseases. With their support, we are well positioned to continue to advance our lead clinical-stage IL-2 mutein program, PT101, and execute on our strategy to develop new therapies for areas of high unmet need,” said Rahul Kakkar, Chief Executive Officer of Pandion Therapeutics.
“Part of the intent of this fundraising was to think about where, in terms of clinical applications, PT-101 would go. This round will, in part, be used to fund our first patient-based trial to start in 2021, in refractory ulcerative colitis,” Kakkar told the FierceBiotech website.
Following the funding round, Dan Becker, a principal at Access Biotechnology and Christopher Fuglesang, co-founder and managing director of Boxer Capital, will join the Pandion board of directors.
Becker said: “Pandion is leading the field with its platform for developing modular biologics for immune regulation designed for precise, disease modifying response at the site of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. We are excited to partner with Pandion as they develop and advance their robust pipeline of promising drug candidates.”
Two years ago, Pandion raised $58 million in a Series A financing round. The round was led by Polaris Partners, Roche Venture Fund and Versant Ventures. There was participation from SR One, JDRF T1D Fund, and BioInnovation Capital.
In April 2019, Pandion entered a deal with Twist Bioscience Corporation to apply the Twist’s antibody optimization platform to the targeting arm of a bispecific antibody.
In October 2019, Pandion began a collaboration with Astellas to develop treatments for autoimmune pancreatic diseases using Astellas’ modular immune effector. At the time, the two companies said they were working to discover and develop bi0specific drug candidates as potential treatments for Type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases of the pancreas.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that affects about 1.25 million children and adults in the United States. The American Diabetes Association estimates that nearly 18,000 new cases are diagnosed annually in people under age 20.
An estimated 1.3 million Illinoisans are diabetic. The state has come up with measures to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs for some diabetics, as there were concerns high costs could lead diabetics into debt.