Immunocore, Limited, a leading T Cell Receptor (TCR) biotechnology company focused on delivering first-in-class biological therapies that have the potential to transform lives of people with serious diseases, has formed a $100 million collaboration with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, to expand an existing discovery collaboration.
Genentech and Immunocore will now co-develop Immunocore’s therapeutic candidate IMC-C103C, an ImmTAC® molecule targeting tumours that express the protein MAGE-A4 (Melanoma-Associated Antigen A4).
Under the terms of the agreement, Immunocore will lead the first-in-human clinical trial to establish safety and preliminary efficacy of IMC-C103C as both monotherapy and in combination with atezolizumab (Tecentriq®). The clinical trial, which is scheduled to commence in early 2019, will enrol patients across a number of solid tumour types. As part of the agreement, Genentech will pay Immunocore $100 million in upfront and near-term milestone payments. Upon establishing proof-of-concept data, Immunocore retains an option to continue to co-develop IMC-C103C through commercialisation, or to fully license the candidate to Genentech in return for royalty and milestone payments.
Andrew Hotchkiss, CEO of Immunocore, said: “MAGE-A4 is a known cancer-associated antigen expressed in a wide range of malignancies. Genentech is a leader in oncology with extensive immunology expertise, with whom we’ve had a good collaborative relationship for several years. We look forward to embarking upon this new partnership to investigate whether IMC-C103C could ultimately improve the lives of people with MAGE-A4 positive cancers.”
James Sabry, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head of Pharma Partnering, Roche, added: “We’ve had a very productive collaboration with Immunocore since we began our initial partnership in 2013. We’re excited to move this first molecule forward, both as a single agent and in combination with Tecentriq, and to further explore the role of T cell receptor-directed medicines in fighting cancer.”