$100 million deal with focus on human trials using IMC-C103C in combination with Tecentriq.

Despite the exit of a number of top-level executives in recent months from cancer biotech company Immunocore, the UK firm recently extended its partnership with Roche. Originally established with Genentech in 2013, the latest deal brings $100 million in upfront and near-term payments to Immuncore to conduct clinical trials of its preclinical candidate IMC-C103C alone, and in combination with Roche’s cancer immunotherapy Tecentriq (tezolizumab), in a variety of solid tumors. 

IMC-C103C is designed to target tumors that express the melanoma-associated antigen A4 (MAGE-A4) protein, which is known as a cancer-associated antigen expressed in a wide range of malignancies. Tecentriq is a fully humanized, engineered monoclonal antibody of IgG1 isotype against the protein programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1).

If the studies are successful, then Immunocore will have the option to co-develop IMC-C103C through commercialization or license it to Genentech in return for royalty and milestone payments. The clinical studies will begin in early 2019.

Immunocore also has partnerships with AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly and the Gates Foundation.