Immunocore in deal with Genentech to develop cell-specific cancer drugs

2 July 2013

Oxford-based Immunocore has announced that it has entered into a research collaboration and licensing agreement with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, for the discovery and development of multiple novel cancer targets using Immunocore’s ImmTAC technology.

Under the terms of the agreement, Immunocore will receive an initiation fee of US$10-20 million per programme and is eligible to receive in excess of US$300 million in development and commercial milestone payments for each target programme and significant tiered royalties.

Immunocore has created a world-leading platform of bi-specific biological drugs, called ImmTACs, which exploit the power of T Cell Receptors (TCRs) to recognise intracellular changes that occur during cancer or viral infection. This unique recognition ability of TCRs sets them apart from traditional antibody-based therapies that can only recognise changes on the surface of cells, and provides, for the first time, the ability to develop extremely potent targeted therapies for cancers that are currently poorly served. A particular feature is that the ImmTACs can be directed to target and destroy only the cancerous cells, avoiding damage to healthy cells.

James Noble, Chief Executive Officer of Immunocore, commented: “We are very pleased to have Genentech, a recognized leader in oncology, on board as our first major partner to discover, develop and commercialise ImmTAC therapies against multiple cancer targets.”

James Sabry, Senior Vice President of Genentech Partnering, said: “We believe Immunocore is the leading company in T Cell receptor biology and drug development and an excellent partner for Genentech in this area. We are delighted to have initiated this significant partnership with them. We hope this collaboration will lead to breakthrough therapies for cancer patients with unmet medical needs.”

Bent Jakobsen, Chief Scientific Officer and founder of Immunocore, added: “Our collaboration with Genentech generating ImmTACs against these novel targets allows us jointly to explore the true potential of the technology. We have established a robust and reproducible platform and we look forward to see ImmTACs addressing some of the major challenges in cancer therapy.”


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