GSK partnership deal signals further intent on cancer
The UK company has been transforming its pipeline of products to pivot towards oncology, and its latest partnership with Innate Biotechnologies continues this trend.
GSK will pay €45m ($50m) upfront for two ‘initial programs’, with Immatics potentially earning a further €507m ($550m) on each of these programs depending on development, regulatory and commercial milestones.
Immatics’ work focuses n T-cell receptor (TCR) therapies, with the two companies beginning work developing autologous T-cell therapies but includes an additional option to explore allogeneic cell therapies. GSK also holds the option to select additional programs.
According to Immatics, TCR molecules utilize the body’s immune system by redirecting and activating the T-cell response towards cancer cells against particular tumor targets.
Previously, a spokesperson for the company told BioPharma-Reporter that “TCR therapies have the advantage of tapping into the intracellular pMHC target space, which is not accessible to chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T and antibodies.”
In terms of development responsibilities, Immatics will take selected programs through development and validation steps until the identification of a clinical candidate. At which point, GSK can take sole responsibility to progress the candidate through development onto commercialization.
Immatics retains the option to engage in the further development of one or more TCR therapies, including conducting first-in-human clinical trials should GSK request it.
The partnership deal with GSK represents a further vote of confidence in Immatics capabilities to develop viable clinical candidates.
Last year, Immatics signed a deal potentially worth $1.5bn with Celgene and, prior to that, had agreed a similar partnership with Amgen.