Exclusive Collaboration Utilizes Pandion’s Platform to Discover Novel Tissue-Specific Immunomodulators for Type 1 Diabetes and Other Autoimmune Diseases of the Pancreas

Cambridge, MA, and Tokyo, October 31, 2019 - 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.


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