Adaptimmune, a biotechnology company developing TCR engineered T-cells to treat cancer, has entered into a strategic collaboration and licensing agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for the development and commercialization of its lead clinical cancer program.
Using its T-cell receptor (TCR) engineering technology, Adaptimmune has created TCRs, which are deployed to target the cancer testis antigen, NY-ESO-1, and other targets. The company’s trials in the NY-ESO-1 program in multiple myeloma, melanoma, sarcoma and ovarian cancer in the U.S. are generating encouraging results, with European trials set to commence shortly, and it has a pipeline of follow-on programs.
Adaptimmune will co-develop its NY-ESO-1 clinical program and associated manufacturing optimization work together with GSK. GSK will have an option on the NY-ESO-1 program through clinical proof of concept, anticipated during 2016, and, on exercise, will assume full responsibility for the program. The companies also will co-develop other TCR target programs and collaborate on further optimization of engineered TCR products.
According to the agreed development plan, the deal could yield payments in excess of $350 million to Adaptimmune over the next seven years, with significant additional development and commercialization payments becoming due in subsequent years if GSK exercises all its options and milestones continue to be met. In addition, Adaptimmune also would receive tiered royalties on net sales.
Adaptimmune immediately will commence work on further TCR programs with GSK.
Axel Hoos, vice president of Oncology R&D and head of Immuno-Oncology of GSK, said, “We believe that Adaptimmune’s T-cell receptor engineering technology will be synergistic with the growing immuno-oncology portfolio of GSK and leverage our existing expertise in autologous cell gene therapy. Together this combination of capabilities offers an opportunity for significant progress in the use of the body’s immune system to fight cancer.”