GSK selects third oncology target in discovery partnership with Immunocore


UK-based firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has selected a third target as part of its ongoing oncology discovery partnership with Immunocore for multiple novel targets not addressable with antibody-based technologies.

Immunocore is a T-cell receptor (TCR) company that develops biological drugs to treat cancer, infectious diseases and autoimmune diseases.

As part of the collaboration, Immunocore will produce a new ImmTAC molecule against the selected target that is relevant in multiple cancers.

Immunocore chief scientific officer Dr Bent Jakobsen said: “The initiation of this new programme adds to a growing body of evidence that our ImmTAC technology has real potential to generate novel, potent drug candidates against disease targets, which are difficult to address with other biologic platforms.

"The initiation of this new programme adds to a growing body of evidence that our ImmTAC technology has real potential to generate novel, potent drug candidates against disease targets, which are difficult to address with other biologic platforms."

“ImmTAC molecules are relevant across a wide range of cancer types and have the ability to tackle solid 'cold', low mutation rate tumours - the majority of tumours which are difficult for other immuno-oncology drugs to address.”

The current project is the third programme to be initiated as part of the discovery collaboration with GSK that was announced in 2013.

Under the agreement, Immunocore is working on two other ImmTAC programmes, of which the lead project is on track for an Investigational New Drug (IND) this year with potential application in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), bladder cancer, synovial sarcoma, melanoma, and ovarian cancer.

GSK Immuno-Oncology senior vice-president, Therapeutic Area head and Oncology Research and Development head Dr Axel Hoos said: “ImmTAC molecules have great potential among the third generation of immuno-oncology agents and we look forward to seeing this promising programme progress.”