Merck to Acquire Pandion Therapeutics for $1.85 Billion

BioPharm International Editors

Through the acquisition, Merck will have access to Pandion’s pipeline of precision immune modulators targeting critical immune control nodes, including its lead candidate, PT101.

Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, announced on Feb. 25, 2021 that it has acquired Pandion Therapeutics, a US-based clinical-stage biotechnology company, for $1.85 billion.

Through the acquisition, Merck will have access to Pandion’s pipeline of precision immune modulators targeting critical immune control nodes, including its lead candidate, PT101, an engineered interleukin (IL)-2 mutein fused to a protein backbone designed to activate and expand regulatory T cells (Tregs) for the treatment of ulcerative colitis and other autoimmune diseases, Merck said in a company press release.

“This acquisition builds upon Merck’s strategy to identify and secure candidates with differentiated and potentially foundational characteristics,” said Dr. Dean Y. Li, president, Merck Research Laboratories, in the press release. “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 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,” added Dr. Rahul Kakkar, CEO, Pandion Therapeutics, in the press release. “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.”

Source: Merck