Company has the option to further develop and commercialize IMA950 after early-stage trials.

Immatics biotechnologies is teaming up with Cancer Research UK for the early clinical development of IMA950, the company’s vaccine candidate against glioblastoma multiforme. Cancer Research UK will fund a U.K.-based Phase I trial, and Immatics will supply the drug and carry out immunomonitoring of treated patients.

Once the study is completed the firm will have an option to further develop and commercialize the drug in exchange for future payments to Cancer Research UK. If the option is not exercised, rights to IMA950 will be passed to the cancer charity’s commercialization arm, Cancer Research Technology, to secure an alternative partner.

IMA950 comprises 11 glioblastoma multiforme-related peptides and is designed to trigger T cells to recognize and destroy cancer cells. The Phase I trial will enroll up to 45 newly-diagnosed patients, who will receive a number of doses of the vaccine alongside routine surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.

IMA950 is the fifth treatment candidate but the first vaccine to enter Cancer Research UK’s Clinical Development Partnership (CDP) scheme, the charity states. The CDP program allows companies to retain the rights to their treatment while enabling the charity to advance early development work.

Immatics is focused on the discovery and development of tumor-associated peptides (TUMAPs) for use as immunotherapies in cancer. The company already has two products in clinical trials. Lead therapeutic vaccine candidate, IMA901, is in Phase II trials for the treatment of renal cancer, while IMA910 is undergoing a large-scale Phase I/II trial for the treatment of colorectal cancer. 

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