Pharma Focus Asia

Immunocore and Gadeta Announce Agreement to Develop First Gamma Delta (γδ) TCR ImmTAC for Solid Tumors

Saturday, December 03, 2022

Immunocore Holdings plc, a commercial-stage biotechnology company pioneering the development of a novel class of T cell receptor (TCR) bispecific immunotherapies designed to treat a broad range of diseases, including cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases, and Gadeta B.V., an innovative clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering the development of gamma delta (γδ) TCR-based immunotherapies for solid tumors, announced today that they will collaborate on the first γδ ImmTAC® for solid tumors, including colorectal cancer.

“Immunocore pioneered TCR therapy with the launch of KIMMTRAK and we continue to push the edge of TCR science, including researching non-HLA restricted TCR therapies, both internally and through collaborations that complement our platform,” said David Berman, Head of Research and Development of Immunocore. “We are very pleased to collaborate with Gadeta to combine their expertise in gamma delta TCRs with our scientific, development, and commercialization capabilities to deliver new TCR therapies.”

"Gadeta is excited to work with Immunocore on bringing these novel, soluble γδ-TCRs to patients with solid tumors,” said Marcel Zwaal, Chief Executive Officer of Gadeta. “This agreement shows the potential of Gadeta’s new tumor targeting mechanism and it provides us with an opportunity for maximizing the impact of our suite of technologies for T cell related therapies, including the NOVA γδ-TCR discovery platform."

Gamma delta T cells are an important subset of immune cells that sit on the boundary of the innate and adaptive immune systems. They patrol the body using their T cell receptors to scan for cellular alarm signals, some of which are not HLA restricted, such as modified cell surface proteins or protein clusters caused by cancer or pathogens. Gadeta has identified a portfolio of novel, first-in-class, γδ-TCRs. One of those, referred to as ‘201, specifically recognizes a non-HLA restricted alarm signal on the surface of cancer cells. Gadeta is developing ‘201 TCR in its proprietary TEG (T Cells Engineered to Express a Defined Gamma Delta TCR) cell therapy platform as GDT201. Pre-clinical data for GDT201 show promising results across a wide range of colorectal cancer cell lines and the product will be evaluated in a Phase 1 trial for a range of solid tumor indications, slated to start in H2 2023. GDT201 remains fully owned by Gadeta.

Under the terms of the agreement, Immunocore and Gadeta will collaborate on ‘201 γδ-TCR target discovery, and Immunocore will have the option to develop ImmTAC therapies derived from the ‘201 TCR as part of the research collaboration. Immunocore has an option for an exclusive license to further research, develop and commercialize an ImmTAC candidate from the collaboration. Gadeta is eligible to receive upfront, near-term option fee and research milestone payments. If Immunocore exercises its option for an exclusive license, Gadeta is eligible to receive development milestone and commercial milestone payments and is also entitled to receive royalties on sales of the product.

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