Pandion selects Just to cut cost of bispecific Ab development

Just Biotherapeutics says smart design and optimization of the molecule and the manufacturing process will speed the development of Pandion Therapeutics’s lead bispecific antibody PT101.

Just Biotherapeutics has entered into a master services agreement for the development and clinical manufacturing of Pandion Therapeutics’ lead candidate.

Pandion is a biotech located in Cambridge, Massachusetts developing bispecific antibodies for the tissue-specific treatment of patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and organ transplants. The firm completed a $58 million (€50 million) Series A financing earlier this year co-led by Polaris Partners.

Pandion has teamed with Just to develop and manufacture its bispecific antibody. Image: iStock/Kritchanut

While financials of the Just deal have not been divulged, Just co-founder and CEO Jim Thomas told BioProcess Insider the firm plans to expedite Pandion’s IND filing by the end of 2019, with the possibility of working on other programs beyond this date.

Development and manufacture of PT101 will take place at Just’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington, she added, which comprises of 35,500 square-feet of lab and cGMP clinical manufacturing space.

Expediting and cutting costs

Just will use its J.DESIGN platform to service the contract, which includes cell line development, process development, and Phase 1 clinical manufacturing.

Developed in house, the “platform centralizes and integrates highly complex data sets generated from the distinct activities encompassing the development and manufacture of biologics – i.e., molecular design, process and product design, and manufacturing design – into a common design space,” Thomas said.

The platform helps speed up development and “substantially” reduce manufacturing cost “through smart design and optimization of the molecule, the process, and manufacturing plant,” he continued.

“We utilize a proprietary suite of predictive computational tools early in the design of the molecule to optimize it for process development and to ensure manufacturability and formulation stability. High throughput tools are utilized to rapidly deliver robust and efficient manufacturing processes. We also use disposable technologies and intensified processes to create a flexible, deployable, and cost-effective manufacturing solution.

“We have found that optimization – and smart design – is the most powerful lever for enhancing the speed of development and the lowering of manufacturing costs.”

While Thomas did not discuss numbers, in 2017 founding partner and CSO Dean Pettit told delegates at the BPI East Conference that his firm is hoping to slash the cost of goods for proteins by using the platform to address every area in the development and manufacture of biological products from around $150-200 per gram to as little as $10.

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