Adaptimmune and GSK announced a strategic collaboration and licensing agreement in June 2014 for up to five programs, including the lead NY-ESO TCR program. GSK has an option on the NY-ESO-1 program through clinical proof of concept and, on exercise, will assume full responsibility for the program.
“We are delighted to broaden our collaboration with GSK, which is also fully committed to the development of this revolutionary T-cell therapy,” said James Noble, chief executive officer, Adaptimmune. “We believe that our affinity enhanced T-cell programs have the potential to deliver important clinical benefit to cancer patients, and it is therefore essential that we accelerate our efforts to meet their needs. We are working closely with GSK to expedite development of our affinity enhanced T-cell therapy targeting NY-ESO, and if we succeed in generating pivotal data consistent with that of our ongoing studies, we believe it has the potential to be the first engineered T-cell therapy to reach the market.”
Axel Hoos, senior vice president oncology R&D, GSK said, “At GSK we’re progressing a pipeline of immuno-oncology therapies to stimulate anti-tumor immunity in patients. As we highlighted to investors at our R&D event last year, this Adaptimmune collaboration is a key element of that pipeline and is part of a comprehensive program for cell and gene therapy. With this expanded collaboration, we have the opportunity to accelerate the lead program in synovial sarcoma toward pivotal trials and also to investigate several other tumor types and combine the T-cell therapy with immune-modulating therapies such as checkpoint inhibitors.”
The companies will accelerate the development of Adaptimmune’s NY-ESO therapy into pivotal studies in synovial sarcoma and will explore development in myxoid round cell liposarcoma. Additionally, the companies may initiate up to eight proof-of-principle studies exploring combinations with other therapies, including checkpoint inhibitors.
According to the expanded development plan, the studies will be conducted by Adaptimmune with GSK effectively funding the pivotal studies and sharing the costs of the combination studies via a success based milestone structure.