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Genentech, startup sign $330 mn deal for cancer targets

28 June 2013 | News | By BioSpectrum Bureau

Immunocore, Genentech enter R&D deal for cancer targets

Immunocore, Genentech enter R&D deal for cancer targets

Singapore: Immunocore entered into a research collaboration and licensing agreement with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, for the R&D of multiple novel cancer targets using Immunocore's ImmTAC technology.

Under the terms of the agreement, Immunocore will receive an initiation fee of between $10 and $20 million per programme and is eligible to receive in excess of $300 million in development and commercial milestone payments for each target programme and significant tiered royalties.

Immunocore has created a world-leading platform of bi-specific biological drugs, called ImmTACs, 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. A particular feature is that the ImmTACs can be directed to target and destroy only the cancerous cells, avoiding damage to healthy cells.

Dr James Noble, CEO, Immunocore, commented that, "We are very pleased to have Genentech, a recognized leader in oncology, on board as our first major partner to discover, develop and commercialise ImmTAC therapies against multiple cancer targets."

Dr James Sabry, senior VP, Genentech Partnering, said that, "We believe Immunocore is the leading company in T Cell receptor biology and drug development and an excellent partner for Genentech in this area. We are delighted to have initiated this significant partnership with them. We hope this collaboration will lead to breakthrough therapies for cancer patients with unmet medical needs."

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