Pandion bags $795m deal with Astellas for pancreas-targeted immunomodulators

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Pandion Therapeutics has bagged a $795 million worth license and collaboration deal with Japanese pharma company Astellas Pharma for the research, development, and commercialization of locally acting immunomodulators targeting autoimmune diseases of the pancreas.

The collaboration will bring together the modular biologics and functional immunology expertise of Cambridge-based biotech company and Astellas Pharma’s advanced therapeutics development and global commercialization capabilities for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

As per the deal terms, Pandion Therapeutics will take care of the design and discovery of bispecific drug candidates made through its modular immune effector and tissue tether platform. Its Japanese partner will be responsible for undertaking preclinical, clinical and commercialization works for the selected drug candidates resulting from the collaboration.

Pandion Therapeutics bags $795m deal with Astellas Pharma for pancreas-targeted immunomodulators

Pandion Therapeutics bags $795m deal with Astellas Pharma for pancreas-targeted immunomodulators. Image courtesy of Pandion Therapeutics.

Naoki Okamura – Representative Director Corporate Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Astellas Pharma said: “Astellas positions antigen-specific immune modulation (ASIM) as one of our strategic areas of primary focus and we are engaged in the development of novel therapies for autoimmune diseases using new modality/technology.

“Pandion’s tissue-specific immune modulation technology is anticipated to be the potential next-generation modality for ASIM, which can potentially expand its application to various other autoimmune diseases. We will continue to dedicate our efforts in delivering novel treatments for diseases with high unmet medical needs, pursuing cutting-edge science and technological advances.”

As far as the financial aspects of the deal are concerned, Pandion Therapeutics could get up to $45 million as upfront and payments associated with research and preclinical works.

The US biotech company has the opportunity to earn over $750 million subject to achieving future development and commercial milestones. The milestone payment will depend on the development and commercialization of various drug candidates by Astellas Pharma for the treatment of multiple pancreatic autoimmune diseases.

Additionally, the US pharma company stands to be paid royalties on global net sales of any commercial products that are developed through the collaboration.

Rahul Kakkar – CEO of Pandion Therapeutics said: “We are excited to collaborate with Astellas, a partner whose strategic vision for the potential of local immunomodulation in type 1 diabetes, and deep commitment and capabilities in immunology, will greatly accelerate our R&D efforts and build upon our existing collaboration with the JDRF T1D Fund.

“Type 1 diabetes involves the autoimmune destruction of the patient’s own pancreas. Our tissue targeted immune effectors are designed to directly address this aberrant immune response and modify the disease at the site of immune attack.”

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