Eli Lilly and Co. and Immunocore have entered into a discovery and development collaboration for novel T cell-based cancer therapies. The companies will use Immunocore's Immune Mobilizing Monoclonal T-Cell Receptor Against Cancer (ImmTAC) technology to elicit an immune system response to attack cancer cells. ImmTACs have shown potential to direct a patient's T cells to specifically target cancerous cells, avoiding damage to healthy cells.
Immunocore will receive $15 million upfront for the discovery of novel ImmTACs against jointly-selected cancer targets to generate preclinical candidate packages. If Lilly accepts a preclinical package for further development, Immunocore will receive an opt-in fee of $10 million and will have an option to continue co-development on a cost- and profit-sharing basis. If Immunocore does not exercise its option, it will be entitled to potential future milestones and royalties.
"We are very pleased to have entered into this strategic partnership with Lilly, and look forward to working together in an integrated fashion," said Eva-Lotta Allan, Chief Business Officer, Immunocore. She added: "Lilly is a leading oncology player and we are delighted to advance novel T cell-based therapies into the clinic in collaboration with them."
"The major goal and challenge of cancer immunotherapy is to direct the immune system to recognize and destroy cancer. We believe Immunocore's ImmTAC platform has the potential to do just that," said Jan Lundberg, Ph.D., executive vice president, Science and Technology and president, Lilly Research Laboratories. "We are delighted to be working closely with Immunocore to develop potential novel therapies for cancer patients."