Lilly has entered into a co-discovery and co-development collaboration with Immunocore, focusing on the creation of new cancer therapies.
The companies will be working together to research and potentially develop novel T cell-based cancer treatments, using Immunocore’s Immune Mobilising Monoclonal T-Cell Receptor Against Cancer (ImmTAC) technology as a basis.
ImmTACs have shown potential to successfully direct a patient’s T-cells to specifically target cancerous tissue, fighting off the disease via the immune system while avoiding damage to healthy cells.
Immunocore will receive an upfront fee per programme for the discovery of novel ImmTACs against jointly-selected cancer targets. If Lilly accepts any of the resulting preclinical candidate packages to develop further, Immunocore will have the option to continue co-development with Lilly on a cost and profit-sharing basis.
Dr Jan Lundberg, executive vice-president for science and technology and head of Lilly Research Laboratories, said: “The major goal and challenge of cancer immunotherapy is to direct the immune system to recognise and destroy cancer. We believe Immunocore’s ImmTAC platform has the potential to do just that.”
This comes after the firm teamed up with Qiagen earlier this year on the development of companion diagnostics for simultaneous analysis of DNA and RNA biomarkers in common cancers.