GSK to develop Adaptimmune’s melanoma and ovarian cancer biologic

By Fiona BARRY

- Last updated on GMT

GSK to develop Adaptimmune’s melanoma and ovarian cancer biologic

Related tags T cell receptor Gsk

GSK will develop and commercialise Adaptimmune’s T-cell receptor (TCR) cancer therapies in a deal that could yield more than $350m (€257m) for the Oxford, UK biopharma firm.

Under the agreement, GSK will co-develop Adaptimmune’s cancer testis antigen programme, NY-ESO-1. It will be able to exclusively option the programme from proof-of-concept stage, expected in 2016.

The companies will also work together on several of Adaptimmune’s other TCR-targeted pipelines.

$350m and beyond

James Noble, Adaptimmune CEO, told GSK suited Adaptimmune because it was the only company offering to collaborate on pipelines, and because its cell therapy experience would speed the journey to commercialisation:

The deal pushes NY-ESO itself as a product as fast as possible to registration.

“It also resources all of the CMC [Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls] work needed to optimise NY-ESO and all future products and provides Adaptimmune with the rights to the resources above for its own pipeline.

In other words, GSK and Adaptimmune can create pipelines through this collaboration. No other partner offered this combination of advantages.​”

The deal could yield payments from GSK to Adaptimmune in excess of $350m over the next seven years, with the probability of “significant​” additional milestone payments depending on the outcomes of the partnership. Adaptimmune will also receive royalties ranging from single to double digit percentages of net sales of the resulting drugs.

No to future licensing

Despite the deal, Adaptimmune’s CEO denied this partnership is a sign the company plans to sell its technology to other pharmaceutical companies.

Adaptimmune is “now strategically placed to pursue our own products without licensing them out,​” Noble told

The company is presently running trials in the NY-ESO-1 programme in multiple myeloma, melanoma, sarcoma and ovarian cancer patients in the US. European trials are expected to start soon.

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