Twist to biopharma with Pandion antibody optimization expansion

Twist Bioscience will leverage its antibody optimization platform to help develop further autoimmune and inflammatory candidates for Pandion Therapeutics.

The two firms have completed an initial project using Twist’s antibody optimization platform based on DNA sequencing technology and will now collaborate on further antibodies for autoimmune regulation.

Twist Biopharma – a division of California-based Twist Bioscience – CEO Emily Leproust said the deal with Pandion “is an excellent example of how our antibody optimization solution can change the discovery and early development paradigm.”

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Talking on Twist’s Q4 FY2019 financial call, she said: “This is a collaboration that draws on the Twist Antibody Optimization solution to enhance the characteristic of antibodies and a great demonstration of what our technology can achieve.”

The firm claims the tech rapidly identifies antibodies with improved binding affinities across different animal species by writing the DNA sequence of the antibody into its proprietary software and identifying all the variations of the antibody sequence which occur within the human repertoire.

Evercore ISI analyst Luke Sergott said the expanded deal represents Twist’s commitment to building applications around its silicon-based DNA writing platform and a push into the biopharma partnership space.

“We believe the biopharma business can drive massive upside to revenue and cash flow depending on contract economics,” he said in a note. “We see no reason why Twist should not continue ramping partnerships and realizing a portion of the value they bring to biopharma. This is especially poignant among discovery partners where Twist is adding all of the value by discovering antibody therapies.”

He also hinted that the next-generation sequencing (NGS) tools business will drive growth going forward, with the firm’s synthetic DNA business playing second fiddle.

For the firm’s fourth quarter ending September 30, total revenues were $54.4 million, more than double on the same period the year prior.