Immunocore, which has developed biological drugs based on T-cell receptor (TCR) technology, has entered into a research collaboration and licensing agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for multiple novel targets not addressable using antibody-based technologies, Immunocore announced in a press release today.
Under the agreement, Immunocore will be responsible for all of the preclinical development and for initial clinical trials, and GSK will be responsible for remaining development and commercialization. Immunocore will receive up to £142 million (US$212 million) in preclinical milestone payments across the targets. In addition, for each product that reaches the market, up to £200 million (US$298 million) is due to Immunocore in development and commercial milestone payments, plus up to double-digit royalties.
Immunocore’s ImmTACs (Immune mobilising mTCR Against Cancer) use TCRs to recognize 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 recognize changes on the surface of cells, and provides the ability to develop extremely potent, targeted therapies for cancers that are currently poorly served.
Immunocore has completed development of the ImmTAC technology, including the generation of a GMP-compliant, fully scalable manufacturing route. The company has also established regulatory pathways approved by FDA and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) that will form the basis of all future ImmTAC programs. The most advanced ImmTAC drug, IMCgp100 for the treatment of melanoma, is currently in Phase I/II clinical trials in the United Kingdom and United States.