GSK inks partnership with Immunocore

Companies will focus on novel targets that can't be treated with antibody-based technologies

Kelsey Kaustinen
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OXFORD, UnitedKingdom—Biotechnology company Immunocore Ltd., which specializes in thedevelopment of novel biological drugs known as ImmTACs for the treatment ofcancer and viral disease, has announced the establishment of a partnership withGlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for several novel targets not addressable byantibody-based technologies.
 
 
Per the terms ofthe agreement, GSK will pay Immunocore up to £142 million (approximately $211.2million) in preclinical milestone payments across the selected targets. Additionally,Immunocore stands to receive up to £200 million (approximately $297.5 million)in development and commercial milestone payments for each product thatsuccessfully makes it to market, in addition to up to double-digit royalties.In return, Immunocore will be responsible for all preclinical developmentactivities and initial clinical trials in patients, while GSK will beresponsible for further development as well as commercializing the products.
 
"We are veryexcited about the opportunity to work together with Immunocore to developImmTACs," Laurent Jespers, vice president and head of Innovation BDU, BiopharmR&D of GSK, said in a press release. "We believe ImmTACs offer a tremendousopportunity in treating cancer and in other areas where there is a large unmetmedical need."
 
Immunocore'sImmTACs—Immune mobilizing mTCR Against Cancer—are bi-specific biological drugsthat make use of T cell receptors to recognize intracellular changes that takeplace in the presence of cancer or viral infection. The company's most advancedImmTAC drug, IMCgp100, is being developed for the treatment of melanoma, and iscurrently undergoing Phase I/II clinical trials in the United Kingdom and theUnited States.
 
"We aredelighted to collaborate with GSK, our second major partnership signed thisyear. GSK is a leading pharmaceutical company with a proven track record in thedevelopment of biotherapeutics, and this is an important partnership forImmunocore," James Noble, CEO of Immunocore, commented in a statement about thepartnership.
 
The partnershipis the second large agreement for Immunocore in the past few months. Thecompany announced a similar arrangement in late June with Genentech, a memberof the Roche Group. The two companies signed a research collaboration andlicensing agreement centered on Immunocore's ImmTACs. Per the agreement,Immunocore will receive an initiation fee of between $10 million and $20million per program, and also stands to receive more than $300 million indevelopment and commercial milestone payments for each target program, as wellas significant tiered royalties.
 
 
 
 
 
SOURCE: Immunocore press release

Kelsey Kaustinen

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