Immunocore Limited announce the achievement of its first milestone in its major research and licensing agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for multiple novel targets.
The achievement comes less than four months after the companies signed their agreement and triggers a first undisclosed milestone payment to Immunocore following the identification of a first lead candidate ImmTAC against one of the targets.
For each product that reaches the market, up to £200 million is due to Immunocore in development and commercial milestone payments, as well as up to double digit royalties.
Immunocore is responsible for all pre-clinical development activity and for initial clinical trials in patients while GSK will handle the remaining development and commercialisation of the products.
Immuncore’s world-leading platform of bi-specific biological drugs, called ImmTACs (Immune mobilising mTCR Against Cancer), 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 as it can address intracellular target proteins and not just cell surface proteins, and provides the ability to develop extremely potent targeted therapies for cancers that are poorly served. A particular feature is that the ImmTACs can be directed to target and destroy only the cancerous cells, avoiding damage to healthy cells.
James Noble, Chief Executive Officer of Immunocore, commented: “We are delighted to have made rapid progress and achieved our first milestone within such a short timescale. We have established a very productive relationship with GSK during these initial months of working together and look forward to advancing this and other programmes towards the clinic.”