Immunocore achieves research milestone in GlaxoSmithKline
7 November 2013
Oxford-based Immunocore has announced the achievement of the first
cancer drug development milestone in its research and licensing agreement with GSK,
triggering a first payment.
The achievement comes less than four months after the companies
signed the agreement and triggers a first milestone
payment (undisclosed) to Immunocore following the identification of a first lead
candidate ImmTAC against one of the targets.
Under the agreement announced in July, Immunocore will receive up
to £142 million in pre-clinical milestone payments across the
targets. In addition, for each product that reaches the market, up
to £200 million is due to Immunocore in development and commercial
milestone payments, as well as up to double digit royalties.
Immunocore is responsible for all pre-clinical development
activity and for initial clinical trials in patients while GSK will
handle the remaining development and commercialisation of the
Immuncore’s world-leading platform of bi-specific biological
drugs, called ImmTACs (immune mobilising mTCR against cancer),
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 as it can address intracellular
target proteins and not just cell surface proteins, and provides the
ability to develop extremely potent targeted therapies for cancers
that are 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.
T cell (grey) attacking a cancer cell (yellow)
James Noble, Chief Executive Officer of Immunocore, commented:
“We are delighted to have made rapid progress and achieved our first
milestone within such a short timescale. We have established a very
productive relationship with GSK during these initial months of
working together and look forward to advancing this and other
programmes towards the clinic.”