Panion Animal Heath AB was founded in July 2015 as a wholly owned subsidiary of CombiGene AB and with the purpose to develop and commercialize the canine (dog) application of CombiGene AB’s technology for gene therapeutic treatment of drug refractory epilepsy.
The scientific foundation goes back almost 20 years to the researchers Merab Kokaia and David Woldbye and was based on the hypothesis that the NeuroPeptide “Y” (NPY) is part of the body’s own defense mechanism for preventing epileptic seizures. They discovered that a pronounced anti-seizure effect could be achieved if an increased level of NPY is combined with an increased level of the receptor Y2 in the brain.
While CombiGene AB focuses on human epilepsy, other animals may also experience epilepsy attacks, which threaten their health and welfare. Having a family dog with unmanageable epilepsy affects not only the dog, but the entire family. Developing a treatment for such cases would be highly welcomed and would cover an unmet medical need in the veterinary field.
The candidate drug for development has been selected in June 2016.
At CombiGene AB’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting in 2016 it was decided to distribute Panion to CombiGene AB’s shareholders and transform it to a separate unit.
The business strategy of Panion was extended beyond just developing and commercializing a treatment against canine epilepsy and it includes acquisition and inlicensing of other, similar assets. With similar assets is meant the commercialization rights for animal health applications of ongoing human health development projects or products.
By this strategy, considerable synergies are achieved, Panion’s capacity will be used in an optimal way, and the licensors and partners will be offered a convenient way to develop these otherwise unexploited assets