Pandorum lands $11m to advance regenerative therapy for corneal blindness

Indian regenerative medicine company targets human trials of therapy designed to restore vision to patients with corneal opacity.

Indian biotech Pandorum Technologies has secured $11 million in a “pre-Series B” funding round to advance its flagship therapy for corneal blindness into human trials. The Bengaluru-based company, which specializes in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, has developed a “liquid cornea” technology based on regenerative exosomes that is designed to “reverse an ulcerative cornea to a healthy state in less than a year.”

According to Pandorum, corneal opacity accounts for over 4% of blindness worldwide, with more than 1.5 million new cases each year. The company says its approach has demonstrated in “extensive pre-clinical studies” to promote scarless regeneration of cornea tissue and restore vision.

With research and development labs in Bengaluru, India, and the Bay Area, San Francisco, Pandorum is now focused on advancing its cornea program through clinical manufacturing and regulatory processes, aiming to dose its first patients in 2025.

“Our flagship product Kuragenx combines proprietary biomaterials with regenerative nanotherapy, guiding the formation of a functional corneal tissue to restore vision,” said Dr Tuhin Bhowmick, CEO of Pandorum.

Beyond its corneal blindness program, the funding will also facilitate the advancement of Pandorum’s technology platform, which the company claims also has regenerative potential in liver, lung, and neuronal tissues.

The new funding was sourced from a consortium of investors including Everest Finance Investment, Acebright Pharma, and renowned Indian investors Ashish Kacholia and Bandana Kankani, alongside existing investors Sunil Kant Munjal and the Indian Angel Network.

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