Oncology Central

Immunocore races forward in the bid to design novel immunotherapies

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Immunocore, one of Britain’s biggest privately owned biotech companies, is poised to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding as it gets closer to becoming a start-up valued at over $1bn.

Immunocore’s TCR technology is focused on a small protein termed ImmTAC (Immune mobilising monoclonal TCRs Against Cancer); a molecule that enables the immune system to recognize and eliminate cancerous cells.

IMCgp100 targets the melanoma-associated antigen gp100. The technology has been granted Orphan Drug Designation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of uveal melanoma and is currently undergoing a pivotal clinical study as a monotherapy.

The latest fundraising boost would provide Immunocore with the opportunity to push their drug towards commercialization and could allow the company to advance their studies in solid tumors.

Studies exploring combinations of IMCgp100 and other immunotherapies, including checkpoint inhibitors durvalumab and tremelimumab for patients with metastatic cutaneous melanoma, are currently recruiting.

Immunocore broke records among European biotechs 2 years ago when it raised $320m from investors. It has already collaborated with Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly and more recently The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that they are set to invest up to $40 million in the company to support its development of immunotherapies for infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV.

References: The Times press release, Immunocore, Reuters press release

 

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