Pandion Raises $80 Million Series B to Advance Autoimmune Therapies
Pandion Therapeutics, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, closed an $80 million Series B financing. The round was led by Access Biotechnology and Boxer Capital. It included new investors RA Capital and OrbiMed. Existing investors also participated including Polaris Partners, Versant Ventures, Roche Venture Fund, SR One, JDRF T1D Fund and BioInnovation Capital.
The funds raised will be used to continue developing several pipeline products, including its lead program, PT101, a novel interleukin 2 (IL-2) mutein Fc fusion protein in Phase I development for autoimmune diseases. It also plans to bring a second program into the clinic and expand its modular drug design platform.
The company’s therapies are designed to fix the immune system imbalance that causes autoimmune diseases. They target the site of the disease or inflammation, activating immune pathways in order to dial down the excessive immune response that causes the disease.
On February 24, the company announced it had dosed the first patient in the Phase I trial of PT101, which will investigate ulcerative colitis and other autoimmune diseases. The Phase I trial is in healthy volunteers and focus on safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics.
“PT101, the lead program in our pipeline of modular protein therapeutics, has the potential to transform the standard of care for patients with a wide array of autoimmune diseases by modulating the immune system through the body’s natural mechanisms, rather than suppressing it,” said Rahul Kakkar, Pandion’s chief executive officer, in a statement at the time. “We are extremely pleased to announce the commencement of this first-in-human trial less than three years after we launched Pandion and began discovery work on PT101.”
As part of the financing, Dan Becker, Principal, Access Biotechnology, and Christopher Fuglesang, co-founder and managing director of Boxer Capital, will join Pandion’s board of directors.
“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,” Becker said. “We are excited to partner with Pandion as they develop and advance their robust pipeline of promising drug candidates.”
The company’s Series A financing round in 2018 raised $58 million.
In October 2019, Pandion inked a license and collaboration deal with Astellas Pharma to allow the companies to combine Pandion’s modular biologics and functional immunology expertise with Astellas’ advanced therapeutics development and worldwide commercialization capabilities for autoimmune diseases.
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.
And in December 2018, Pandion received an investment from the JDRF T11D Fund that let Pandion launch a type 1 diabetes (T1D)-focused program. The company said at the time, “The investment from the JDRF T1D Fund will fund the evaluation of Pandion’s existing molecules for T1D, and in parallel initiate the development of islet-specific tethers to pair with Pandion’s existing immunomodulators for T1D specific drugs. The company’s bispecific platform combines a powerful immunotherapy and a tissue tether to stop the autoimmune attack. For those living with T1D, especially children, tissue-targeted immunotherapies demonstrate a significant opportunity to provide safer and more powerful chronic-use treatment options.”