Immunocore Limited, the Oxford, UK-based biotechnology company developing novel biological drugs called ImmTACs to treat cancer and viral disease, has entered into a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for multiple novel targets not addressable using antibody-based technologies.
Under the terms of the agreement, Immunocore will receive up to a total of £142 million ($217 million) ($306 million) in preclinical milestone payments across the targets. In addition, for each product that reaches the market, up to £200 million ($306 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 preclinical development and for the initial clinical trials in patients and GSK will be responsible for the remaining development and commercialization of the products.
Immunocore has created a platform of bi-specific biological drugs, called ImmTACs (Immune mobilizing mTCR Against Cancer), which exploit the power of T Cell Receptors (TCRs) to recognize intracellular changes that occur during cancer or viral infection. The 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.