GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has partnered with Germany-based Immatics Biotechnologies for the development of adoptive cell therapies to treat different cancers.

The partners aim to identify, research and develop T-cell receptor (TCR) therapies primarily for solid tumours. Initially, the companies intend to create autologous cell therapies.

Also, the deal covers an option to use Immatics’ ACTallo technique to add allogeneic cell therapies.

The partners will use TCRs discovered with Immatics’ XCEPTOR TCR platform and meant for two of the company’s targets identified and validated using its XPRESIDENT technology.

Immatics CEO Harpreet Singh said: “By combining Immatics’ world-leading target and TCR discovery platforms with GSK’s advanced manufacturing, development capabilities and a commitment to next-generation TCR-T technologies, both companies are joining forces to enable the development of effective novel therapies for cancer patients with high unmet medical need.”

As part of the strategic collaboration agreement, GSK will make an upfront payment of around $50m to Immatics, which is also eligible for more than $550m in development, regulatory and commercial milestones for each product, along with royalties.

GSK holds an option to add more target programmes to the partnership. Immatics will receive option, milestone and royalty payments for each additional programme.

Immatics will be responsible for developing and validating TCR Therapeutics up to the selection of a clinical candidate.

GSK will then carry out development, manufacturing and commercialisation activities globally, while Immatics may choose to work together on the development one or more TCR Therapeutics.

Earlier this month, GSK collaborated with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to aid the development of a vaccine against the coronavirus, 2019-nCoV.

GSK will provide access to its pandemic vaccine adjuvant platform technology to help speed-up the development of coronavirus vaccine candidates.