Immunocore, an Oxford-based biotechnology company developing novel biological drugs called ImmTACs to treat cancer and viral disease, has entered into a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline for multiple novel targets not addressable using antibody-based technologies. This is Immunocore's second major partnership this year.
Immunocore will receive up to $182 million in preclinical milestone payments. In addition, for each product that reaches the market, up to $256 million is due in milestones, plus royalties.
Immunocore will be responsible for preclinical development and initial 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. This 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 targeted therapies for cancers.
The ImmTAC drug IMCgp100, for the treatment of melanoma, is currently in phase I/II trials in the U.K. and U.S.