Pandorum Technologies secures USD 11 million investment to advance its regenerative therapy for corneal blindness to clinical phase

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 BENGALURU, India , March 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Pandorum Technologies, a leading biotechnology company, announced today the successful closure of a pre-Series B funding round, securing USD 11 million (INR 88 crore) in investment. The funding was sourced from Mr. Ashish Kacholia, Everest Finance Investment, Acebright Pharma and Ms. Bandana Kankani’s syndicate along with existing investors Mr. Sunil Kant Munjal and the Indian Angel Network.

Founded by Arun Chandru & Dr. Tuhin Bhowmick, the startup company focuses on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. With the current round of funding, Pandorum aims to progress towards the First-in-Human study of its Flagship product Kuragenx- the ‘Liquid Cornea’, to treat corneal blindness. The funding will also allow the company to advance its tunable technology platform that has demonstrated regenerative potential beyond cornea, such as, for liver, lung and neuronal tissues.

“We are thrilled to have the support of the notable investors, including Mr. Ashish Kacholia– as we continue to innovate and develop therapeutics to restore healthy tissue functions, in order to help the patients suffering from unmet clinical needs. Our flagship product Kuragenx combines proprietary biomaterials with regenerative nanotherapy, guiding the formation of a functional corneal tissue to restore vision. This is a First-in-Class approach that can truly blur the line between treatment and cure” said Dr. Tuhin Bhowmick, Co-Founder & CEO of Pandorum Technologies.

Mr. Ashish Kacholia said, “This startup is working on cure for corneal blindness. Though the journey to commercialization is long, amazing payoffs possible for all mankind. Indian science and scientific community making amazing strides.”

“There’s a paradigm shift happening in the Indian biotech and lifescience sector with deep-tech companies like Pandorum pushing boundaries and creating global innovations. My best wishes to the team for what they have set out to accomplish,” said Ms. Bandana Kankani from Nexxtmile who invested and also advised on this funding round.

“It is inspiring to see a company originating from India started by two young founders poised to change the landscape of cornea transplant and blindness in the world. We are glad to support the team as they navigate the path towards commercializing their cornea regeneration platform, Kuragenx,” said Mr. Ashish Sheth – Partner at Orbit Financial Capital (OFC). OFC acted as buyside advisor to Acebright Pharma.

Corneal opacity is one of the major causes of blindness worldwide, with millions waiting for donor tissues against significant odds. Pandorum’s Kuragenx promotes scarless regeneration of cornea tissue to restore vision, as demonstrated in extensive pre-clinical studies. In 2023, Kuragenx was awarded the Orphan Drug Designation by the USFDA, for the treatment of Neurotrophic Keratitis, a form of ulcerative corneal blindness that is currently untreatable or extremely difficult to treat. Pandorum is currently engaged in clinical manufacturing process and IND enabling studies of Kuragenx, with the aim towards the first patient dosing in 2025, after obtaining due regulatory approvals.

“Giving back vision with something made in the lab, without depending on donor corneas, is truly transformative. Kudos to our team at Pandorum. Could not have been possible without the support of our investors, partners and the Government enabled R&D ecosystem. Indeed, it’s a multi-billion dollar global opportunity; more so, this will positively impact millions of lives,” said Arun Chandru, Co-Founder & Director of the company.

Pandorum has its R&D labs in Bangalore, India and in the Bay Area, San Francisco, USA, and works with prominent global partners. The company has received competitive grants from the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, and has previously raised funds from marquee investors and VCs including Mr. Sunil Kant Munjal, Mr. Binny Bansal, Mr. T K Kurien, Mr. Sachin Bansal, 021 Capital, Indian Angel Network (IAN) Fund, Karnataka Venture Fund (KITVEN), Kotak Investment Advisors and 500 Startups.

For more information, visit www.pandorum.com

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