Cell Medica and UCL to develop T cell receptor cancer products


Cell Medica gains an exclusive worldwide option and licensing agreement for these technologies

Cell Medica, a portfolio company of Imperial Innovations Group, is to work with University College London (UCL) to develop a new treatment for cancer.

Under the agreement, Cell Medica, a UK-based cellular immunotherapy company, will use UCL’s T cell receptor (TCR) technology to generate modified TCR products for the treatment of cancer.

The alliance also provides Cell Medica with an exclusive worldwide option and licence agreement for these technologies, as well as TCR gene sequences for the development and sale of specific products.

The deal builds on the research of Professor Hans Stauss and Professor Emma Morris of UCL, global leaders in developing modified TCRs for cancer treatments, who are based at the Royal Free Hospital, a UCL Partners academic health science centre.

UCL will conduct the preclinical and early clinical research under the guidance of a Joint Steering Committee.

Cell Medica will support the product development work with its experience in manufacturing clinical-grade cell therapies and establishing production processes suitable for industrial scale-up.

Following completion of successful first-in-man studies, the products will transfer to Cell Medica for later-stage clinical development and commercialisation.

Cell Medica has entered into an exclusive licence and option agreement with UCL Business, the technology commercialisation company of UCL, for the dominant TCR platform patent and two target antigens.

As part of this agreement, both parties can bring targets or platform technologies to the collaboration, with the aim of generating leading-edge modified TCR products.

In addition, UCL and Cell Medica have signed a Sponsored Research Agreement under which Cell Medica will fund all research and development with an exclusive option to license all products developed within the collaboration.

The financial terms of this transaction have not been disclosed.


Russ Cummings, CEO at Imperial Innovations, said the collaboration with UCL follows another exclusive licensing agreement and a co-development partnership with the Baylor College of Medicine (Baylor) in Houston, Texas.

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With the acquisition of Swiss biotech Delenex Therapeutics in July, Cell Medica has significantly expanded its armoury as it seeks to capitalise on the market for next-generation cancer products, he said.