7/9/2013 7:03:51 AM
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Immunocore signs research and licensing agreement with GlaxoSmithKline to discover ImmTACs against novel targets
(Oxford, UK, 9 July 2013) Immunocore Limited, the Oxford-based biotechnology company developing novel biological drugs called ImmTACs to treat cancer and viral disease, today announced it has entered into a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for multiple novel targets not addressable using antibody-based technologies. This is Immunocore’s second major partnership this year.
Under the terms of the agreement, Immunocore will receive up to a total of £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, plus up to double digit royalties. Immunocore will be responsible for all of the pre-clinical development and for the initial clinical trials in patients and GSK will be responsible for the remaining development and commercialisation of the products.
Immunocore has created a world-leading platform of bi-specific biological drugs, called ImmTACs (Immune mobilising mTCR Against Cancer), 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. The most advanced ImmTAC drug, IMCgp100 for the treatment of melanoma, is currently in Phase I/II clinical trials in the UK and USA.
James Noble, Chief Executive Officer of Immunocore, commented: “We are delighted to collaborate with GSK, our second major partnership signed this year. GSK is a leading pharmaceutical company with a proven track record in the development of biotherapeutics and this is an important partnership for Immunocore.”
Laurent Jespers, VP and Head of Innovation BDU, Biopharm R&D of GSK, said: “We are very excited about the opportunity to work together with Immunocore to develop ImmTACs. We believe ImmTACs offer a tremendous opportunity in treating cancer and in other areas where there is a large unmet medical need.”
Immunocore Ltd, UK
T: + 44 (0) 1865 261491
M: + 44 (0) 7771 377363
Available on request:
1. Melanoma cancer cells (red) are targeted and killed by T cells (blue) when activated by the drug, IMCgp100 (a melanoma specific ImmTAC). Healthy cells (green) are ignored and left undamaged.
2. James Noble, Chief Executive Officer of Immunocore
3. Immunocore laboratory – Scientists growing research cells
Killing cancer - video available on request
A video is available on request which shows melanoma cancer cells (red) being killed by T cells (blue) when activated by the drug, IMCgp100 (a melanoma specific ImmTAC). Healthy cells (green) are ignored and left undamaged.
The video can be viewed at: http://www.immunocore.com/technology/cancer-killing/
Founded in 2008, Immunocore Ltd is a privately owned, clinical-stage, biotechnology company, developing a highly innovative platform technology that generates novel drugs called ImmTACs for the treatment of cancer and viral infection.
Immunocore traces its roots to Avidex Ltd, founded in 1999 as a spin-out from the University of Oxford to develop novel T Cell Receptor technology invented by the founder and chief scientist, Dr Bent Jakobsen. Immunocore has over 50 staff and is located in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.
Immunocore has major discovery collaborations with leading pharmaceutical companies Genentech and GSK.
Immunocore’s ImmTAC technology enables the immune system to recognise and kill cancer or viral cells. T Cell Receptors naturally recognise diseased cells and Immunocore’s competitive advantage is its ability to engineer high affinity T Cell Receptors and link them to an antibody fragment, anti-CD3, which can activate the immune system to kill the targeted cancer or viral cells. These bi-specific proteins, called ImmTACS, have the potential to be extremely potent anti-cancer or anti-viral agents.
Immunocore has completed development of the ImmTAC technology, including the generation of a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) compliant, fully scalable manufacture route. The Company has also established regulatory pathways approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) that will form the basis of all future ImmTAC programmes.
The most advanced ImmTAC drug, IMCgp100, is currently in Phase I/II clinical trials in melanoma patients in the US and UK.
For more information: http://www.immunocore.com
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