CAMBRIDGE, Mass. & TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pandion Therapeutics, Inc. (“Pandion”), and Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503, “Astellas”) announced today the signing of a License and Collaboration Agreement directed toward the research, development, and commercialization of locally acting immunomodulators for autoimmune diseases of the pancreas.
The collaboration will allow the parties to combine Pandion’s modular biologics and functional immunology expertise with Astellas’ advanced therapeutics development and global commercialization capabilities for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Under the terms of the agreement, Pandion will be responsible for design and discovery of bispecific drug candidates based on Pandion’s proprietary modular immune effector and tissue tether platform and Astellas will be responsible for conducting preclinical, clinical and commercialization activities for the selected candidates developed during the collaboration.
Under the terms of the agreement, Pandion could receive up to $45 million as upfront and payments related to research and preclinical activities. Additionally, if Astellas develops and commercializes multiple candidates for multiple pancreatic autoimmune diseases, Pandion is potentially eligible to receive more than $750 million in future development and commercial milestone payments from Astellas. Pandion may also receive royalties on worldwide net sales of any commercial products developed through the collaboration.
“We are excited to collaborate with Astellas,” stated Pandion’s Chief Executive Officer, Rahul Kakkar, MD, “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.”
“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,” stated Naoki Okamura, Representative Director Corporate Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Astellas. “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.”
Astellas reflected the impact from this deal in its financial forecast of the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2020.
Pandion Therapeutics is developing modular biologics for autoimmune regulation that are designed to achieve lasting therapeutic outcomes for patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The company is developing its lead drug candidate, PT101, an IL-2 mutein fusion protein that preferentially expands T regulatory cells, as well as a robust pipeline of systemic immune modulators and tissue-targeted therapeutics focused on the gut, liver, skin, kidneys, and pancreas. Pandion’s approach to developing modular proteins, antibodies and bispecifics includes two key elements: first, the innovative biologics are based on cutting-edge immunomodulators such as an IL-2 mutein or PD-1 agonist that work systemically by activating regulatory pathways of the immune system that suppress uncontrolled autoimmune responses; and second, these immunomodulators can be combined with tissue-selective tethers, building modular proteins and antibodies that target the precise location within the organ to deliver the desired effect. Pandion is backed by leading life sciences investors including Polaris Partners, Versant Ventures, Roche Venture Fund, SR One, BioInnovation Capital, and the JDRF T1D Fund. The company is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Please visit www.pandiontx.com.
Astellas Pharma Inc., based in Tokyo, Japan, is a company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. For more information, please visit our website at https://www.astellas.com/en
Astellas Cautionary Notes
In this press release, statements made with respect to current plans, estimates, strategies and beliefs and other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements about the future performance of Astellas. These statements are based on management’s current assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: (i) changes in general economic conditions and in laws and regulations, relating to pharmaceutical markets, (ii) currency exchange rate fluctuations, (iii) delays in new product launches, (iv) the inability of Astellas to market existing and new products effectively, (v) the inability of Astellas to continue to effectively research and develop products accepted by customers in highly competitive markets, and (vi) infringements of Astellas’ intellectual property rights by third parties. Information about pharmaceutical products (including products currently in development) which is included in this press release is not intended to constitute an advertisement or medical advice.