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Nov 7, 2013

First Milestone Reached in Immunocore, GSK ImmTAC Deal

  • Less than four months after GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Oxford-based biotech company Immunocore inked an agreement to discover ImmTACs against multiple novel targets, the first milestone has been achieved, triggering an undisclosed payment.

    Per the original deal, Immunocore is eligible to receive up to a total of £142 million ($211 million) in preclinical milestone payments across the targets, and up to £200 million ($297.3 million) in development and commercial milestone payments plus up to double-digit royalties for each product that reaches the market. 

    Immunocore's ImmTACs (Immune mobilising mTCR Against Cancer) can exploit the power of T-cell receptors to recognize intracellular changes that occur during cancer or viral infection. The firm says that ImmTACs can be directed to target and destroy only cancerous cells, avoiding damage to healthy cells. 

    In addition to the agreement with GSK, Immunocore also has a ImmTAC deal with Genentech that was made in June—less than two weeks before the GSK deal—that could be potentially worth over $300 million.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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