Under the terms of the agreement, Immunocore will receive up to a total of £142 million in pre-clinical milestone payments across the targets. In addition, for each product that reaches the market, up to £200 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 pre-clinical development and for the initial clinical trials in patients and GSK will be responsible for the remaining development and commercialisation of the products.
Immunocore has created a world-leading platform of bi-specific biological drugs, called ImmTACs (Immune mobilising mTCR Against Cancer), which exploit the power of T Cell Receptors (TCRs) to recognise 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 recognise changes on the surface of cells, and provides, for the first time, the ability to develop extremely potent targeted therapies for cancers that are currently poorly served.
The most advanced ImmTAC drug, IMCgp100 for the treatment of melanoma, is currently in Phase I/II clinical trials in the UK and USA.
James Noble, Chief Executive Officer of Immunocore, commented: “We are delighted to collaborate with GSK, our second major partnership signed this year. GSK is a leading pharmaceutical company with a proven track record in the development of biotherapeutics and this is an important partnership for Immunocore.”
Laurent Jespers, VP and Head of Innovation BDU, Biopharm R&D of GSK, said: “We are very excited about the opportunity to work together with Immunocore to develop ImmTACs. We believe ImmTACs offer a tremendous opportunity in treating cancer and in other areas where there is a large unmet medical need.”