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30 November, 2020 - 14:24 By Tony Quested

Antibody deal involves Cambridge, Portugal and US

FairJourney Biologics in Portugal and Cambridge’s IONTAS, which joined forces in May, have entered an antibody discovery agreement with Pandion Therapeutics – a Nasdaq-quoted Massachusetts company – using novel discovery platforms.

A diverse panel of novel target binders from Porto-based FairJourney Biologics and IONTAS will be used to uncover functional antibodies to advance autoimmune and inflammatory disease research.

Cambridge-based law firm Mills & Reeve was one of the advisers for the combination of FJB and IONTAS in early summer and its prediction that the union would soon bear fruit has proved correct.

The new partnership will harness both FJB and IONTAS’ proprietary antibody libraries and technology platforms to investigate novel therapeutic targets for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

Pandion focuses on the development of innovative modular therapeutics using its TALON™ (Therapeutic Autoimmune reguLatOry proteiN) drug design and discovery platform. 

The TALON effector modules are based on immunomodulatory molecules that act as regulatory control points within the immune system. In conjunction with a tissue-specific targeting moiety, the effectors create novel bifunctional molecules for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

Under the terms of the agreement, Pandion will access the novel libraries and platform technologies provided by FJB and IONTAS. A dedicated FJB/IONTAS FTE will be assigned to the project with the aim of discovering diverse panels of novel target binders for use within the TALON platform. 

The deal extends an existing relationship between the companies and gives Pandion the option to use standard phage display or mammalian display as the engines for the discovery of next generation antibodies. 

Dr António Parada, CEO at FairJourney Biologics and IONTAS, said: “Our teams have gained considerable experience in antibody discovery for use in generating mono-specific and bi-specific therapeutics. 

“We now have a pipeline of undisclosed therapeutic partnerships nearing clinical research. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Pandion and applying our experience and expertise to generate a diverse set of antibodies for further study.”

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