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Pandion Pulls In $80M as Ulcerative Colitis Drug Advances in Clinic


Pandion Pulls In $80M as Ulcerative Colitis Drug Advances in Clinic


Pandion Pulls In $80M as Ulcerative Colitis Drug Advances in Clinic


Pandion Therapeutics emerged in 2018 aiming to reach clinic trials in two years testing its biologic drugs in autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. The company now has $80 million to support a lead program in early-stage testing and a pipeline of potential treatments.

Access Biotechnology and Boxer Capital led the Series B round of funding announced Wednesday.

Pandion is developing drugs intended to treat autoimmune diseases by fixing the immune system imbalance that leads to these conditions. The Cambridge, MA-based biotech’s drugs are proteins and antibodies engineered to home in on a site of autoimmune disease or inflammation. These drugs then activate pathways of the immune system to tamp down the excessive immune response causing the disorder.

Pandion’s lead drug, PT101, is a protein engineered to expand the activity of regulatory T cells (Tregs), immune cells whose role is to suppress excessive immune system responses. Last month, the company dosed the first patient in a Phase 1 study in ulcerative colitis, a disease characterized by inflammation of the inner lining of the large intestine. The company says the drug could also have applications treating other autoimmune disorders. In addition to its internal R&D, Pandion also has a partnership with Astellas Pharma focused on developing treatments for type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases of the pancreas.

There are other companies trying to tap into the immune system’s pathways as a way of treating disease. In February, Sonoma Biosciences launched with $40 million in financing to support its preclinical Treg research.

With its new funding, Pandion says it will continue clinical development of its lead program and bring a second one into human testing. Its pipeline includes compounds in preclinical development for autoimmune disorders of the liver and the skin, kidney conditions, and type 1 diabetes. The company also plans to expand the technology platform used to design its drugs.

Pandion’s 2018 Series A financing raised $58 million. That round brought on board as investors Polaris Partners, Versant Ventures, Roche Venture Fund, SR One, JDRF T1D Fund, and BioInnovation Capital. Those investors also participated in the Series B round, joined by new backers RA Capital and OrbiMed.

Image: iStock/cgtoolbox

Frank Vinluan is an Xconomy editor based in Research Triangle Park. You can reach him at fvinluan@xconomy.com. Follow @frankvinluan

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