Immunocore Limited and Eli Lilly and Company have announced that they have entered into a co-discovery and co-development collaboration to research and potentially develop novel T cell-based cancer therapies.
Using Immunocore’s Immune Mobilizing Monoclonal T-Cell Receptor Against Cancer (ImmTAC) technology, the companies will seek to use the power of the body’s own immune system to attack cancer cells. ImmTACs have shown potential to direct a patient’s T cells to specifically target the cancerous cells, avoiding damage to healthy cells.
Under the terms of the agreement, Immunocore will receive an upfront fee of $15 million per program for the discovery of novel ImmTACs against jointly-selected cancer targets in order to generate preclinical candidate packages.
If Lilly accepts a preclinical candidate package to develop and potentially commercialize, Immunocore will receive an opt-in fee of $10 million and will have an option to continue co-development with Lilly on a cost-sharing and profit-sharing basis.
If Immunocore does not exercise its option, it will be entitled to potential future significant milestone and royalty payments.
“We are very pleased to have entered into this strategic partnership with Lilly, and look forward to working together in an integrated fashion,” said Eva-Lotta Allan, Chief Business Officer, Immunocore. She added: “Lilly is a leading oncology player and we are delighted to advance novel T cell-based therapies into the clinic in collaboration with them.”
“The major goal and challenge of cancer immunotherapy is to direct the immune system to recognize and destroy cancer. We believe Immunocore’s ImmTAC platform has the potential to do just that,” said Jan Lundberg, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Science and Technology and President, Lilly Research Laboratories. “We are delighted to be working closely with Immunocore to develop potential novel therapies for cancer patients.”