Biotechnology company ImmunoScape has signed a collaboration with Singapore’s Experimental Drug Development Centre (EDDC) to develop new TCR-based bispecific molecules for solid tumours.

ImmunoScape will utilise its catalogue of tumour-specific TCR candidates to co-develop off-the-shelf TCR-based bispecific molecules with EDDC. 

These molecules have two separate binding sites and are created to attach to and trigger T cells. This guides them towards tumour areas to interact with cells that express the appropriate tumour-specific antigen through the TCR. 

This helps the patient’s T cell repertoire to eradicate cancer cells selectively. 

EDDC will contribute its expertise in therapeutic protein design and antibody engineering for the development of these bispecific molecules.

The parties will commence the work under the partnership early in 2024.

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ImmunoScape CEO Choon-Peng Ng stated: “The benefit of off-the-shelf TCR molecules is that they do not require engineering and manufacturing of the patient’s own T cells, which can make them accessible to a much broader patient population and further results in much lower production costs and shorter timelines for the patients to receive the drug. 

“By combining the power of our machine learning-augmented TCR discovery platform with EDDC’s broad expertise in the design of multifunctional constructs, we will aim to rapidly develop novel off-the-shelf TCR-based bispecific molecules that could overcome widespread challenges in cell therapy approaches against solid tumours.”

ImmunoScape discovers and develops next-generation TCR cell therapies for oncology indications. 

Its deep Immunomics technology and machine learning platforms aid in conducting large-scale mining and immune profiling of T cells using samples of cancer patients to detect new, therapeutically significant TCRs across a range of solid tumour types. 

The company has several programmes in the discovery stage and plans to advance them to investigational new drug application-enabling studies and subsequent clinical trials. 

Cell & Gene Therapy coverage on Pharmaceutical Technology is supported by Cytiva.

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