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GEN News Highlights : Jul 9, 2013

GSK Partners with Immunocore in Potentially $508M+ ImmTACs Deal

Immunocore is in the money, as its ImmTAC technology appears to be trending: Less than two weeks after the Oxford-based biotechnology company entered a potentially $300 million collaboration and licensing agreement with Genentech for the discovery and development of cancer targets using ImmTACs, the firm has now entered a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline for multiple targets not addressable using antibody-based technologies.

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

Under the terms of the agreement, Immunocore will be responsible for all of the preclinical development and for initial clinical trials, while GSK will be responsible for the remaining development and commercialization of the products.

What are ImmTACs? According to Immunocore, ImmTACs (immune mobilizing mTCR against cancer) can exploit the power of T-cell receptors to recognize intracellular changes that occur during cancer or viral infection. The company says traditional antibody-based therapies can only recognize changes on the surface of cells, and and as such, ImmTACs have the potential to develop targeted therapies for cancers that are currently poorly served.

"We believe ImmTACs offer a tremendous opportunity in treating cancer and in other areas where there is a large unmet medical need," said Laurent Jespers, vp and head of Innovation BDU, Biopharm R&D of GSK.