International law firm Gowling WLG has acted for leading T Cell Receptor (TCR) biotechnology company, Immunocore, on its transaction with Genentech relating to Immunocore's developmental cancer drug IMC-C103C.
IMC-C103C is an ImmTAC® molecule targeting tumours that express the protein MAGE-A4 (Melanoma-Associated Antigen A4).
Immunocore has partnered with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, to expand an existing discovery collaboration.
Under the terms of the agreement, Immunocore will lead the first-in-human clinical trial to establish safety and preliminary efficacy of IMC-C103C as both monotherapy and in combination with atezolizumab (Tecentriq®). The clinical trial, which is scheduled to commence in early 2019, will enrol patients across a number of solid tumour types.
As part of the agreement, Genentech will pay Immunocore $100 million in upfront and near-term milestone payments. Upon establishing proof-of-concept data, Immunocore retains an option to continue to co-develop IMC-C103C through commercialisation, or to fully license the candidate to Genentech in return for royalty and milestone payments.
Gowling WLG partner Patrick Duxbury and principal associate, Jenny Davies, acted for Immunocore on the transaction.
Patrick Duxbury said: "We worked alongside Immunocore's business development team and Genentech's in house team to form this collaboration. It has been rewarding for the team to be part of Immunocore's next phase in delivering first-in-class biological therapies that have the potential to transform lives of people with serious diseases."
Andrew Hotchkiss, CEO of Immunocore, said: "MAGE-A4 is a known cancer-associated antigen expressed in a wide range of malignancies. Genentech is a leader in oncology with extensive immunology expertise, with whom we've had a good collaborative relationship for several years. We look forward to embarking upon this new partnership to investigate whether IMC-C103C could ultimately improve the lives of people with MAGE-A4 positive cancers.