Merck to acquire US biotech company Pandion Therapeutics for $1.8bn
Merck has agreed to acquire Pandion Therapeutics, a Massachusetts-based clinical-stage biotech company, for about $1.85 billion in an all-cash deal.
Pandion Therapeutics is engaged in developing therapeutics for addressing the unmet needs of patients suffering from autoimmune diseases.
The US biotech company is being acquired by Merck for $60 per share.
Commenting on Merck acquisition of Pandion Therapeutics, Dr. Dean Y. Li – president of Merck Research Laboratories, said: “This acquisition builds upon Merck’s strategy to identify and secure candidates with differentiated and potentially foundational characteristics.
“Pandion has applied its TALON technology to develop a robust pipeline of candidates designed to re-balance the immune response with potential applications across a wide array of autoimmune diseases.”
Pandion Therapeutics is focused on advancing a pipeline of precision immune modulators that target critical immune control nodes.
Its lead candidate is PT101, which is a modified IL-2 mutein fused to a protein backbone. PT101 is designed to selectively trigger and expand regulatory T cells (Tregs) for potentially treating ulcerative colitis and other autoimmune diseases.
Earlier this year, Pandion Therapeutics wrapped up a phase 1a clinical trial for PT101, in which the primary objective of safety and tolerability was achieved.
Also, part of its pipeline are PD-1 agonists, which are being developed for various autoimmune diseases.
Dr. Rahul Kakkar – CEO of Pandion Therapeutics, commenting on Merck acquisition of Pandion Therapeutics, said: “Pandion grew out of our founders’ personal and scientific mission to change the way patients living with autoimmune diseases are treated. In just a few years, we have taken that mission from idea to clinical proof of mechanism with PT101, our lead IL-2 mutein.
“We are proud that Merck has recognized our team’s innovation and drive in creating a pipeline of diverse candidates that activate natural immune regulatory mechanisms and thereby have the potential to achieve better clinical responses for patients.
“We believe Merck is well positioned to bring our novel approach to the millions of those living with autoimmune diseases, and we look forward to seeing these molecules progress in the clinic.”
The deal, which is subject to customary conditions, is expected to be wrapped up in the first half of this year.